Tag Archives: dual Canada U.S. citizens

“Hitching a ride” – FATCA – The Trojan Horse of the Hire Act – Updated with Roger Conklin comment

Hitching A Ride – Is A “Trojan Horse” Provision Legitimate?

 

 

In order for legislation to have “moral force”, it should at a minimum:

1. Be read by legislators prior to it becoming law; and

2. Not contain provisions that are unrelated to the main purpose of the legislation – i.e. NOT “hitch a ride”

“Hitching a ride”** is especially easy if the Congressmen don’t read the legislation.  Nancy Pelosi commenting in relation to Obamacare, noted that it was important for Congress to pass the bill, so that the American people (and presumably Congress) could learn what was in it.

FATCA is unrelated to the  purpose of the HIRE Act. It simply “hitched a ride” into the Hire Act. Who knows how many Congressmen read and understood the Hire Act prior to voting in favor of it? Provisions that “hitch a ride” into legislation are analagous to  soldiers left inside a Trojan Horse*. Once the primary legislation takes effect, the “hitchhiker provisions” will be unleashed on an unsuspecting public.

FATCA has been referred to as the “neutron bomb” of international finance. It is the most dangerous act of American Imperialism ever.  It will  hasten the demise of the U.S. as a world power. Continue reading

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Accidental U.S. citizenship – does it stay with you for life?

Introductory comment added June 1, 2013.

This is an incredibly important issue for the reasons given here.

Since the Obama/Geithner/Shulman assault on U.S. citizens abroad began, I have observed people attempting U.S. tax compliance when they are NOT U.S. persons. The following post is neither fun nor all that interesting. Remember, for those unlucky to have it:

“U.S. citizenship is a problem to be solved.”

You may not need to solve it at all!

Hang in for a long read.

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Once upon a time  people wanted to be a U.S. citizen and were proud to be a U.S. citizen. That changed in 2011 when the IRS began to “hunt” U.S. citizens in all corners of the world. This affected many people who were and are paying huge taxes in “high tax” jurisdictions and did not know that they were also required to file U.S. tax returns.  People were also introduced to Mr. FBAR. Mr. FBAR is a particularly nasty guy who had the potential to subject them to huge penalties.

And just when you thought you had seen and endured it all the U.S. enacted FATCA. With the advent of FATCA – America’s Berlin wall: Continue reading

Tax compliance for U.S. citizens living outside the United States

The United States of America – A Nation of Forms

The meaning of U.S. citizenship

As it stands, there are a number of normal investments  prohibited to U.S. citizens living abroad. U.S.  citizens living abroad will likely find it much more  difficult to find an accountant or tax prep person to help them  with their taxes. There are at least three reasons:

 1. Paid Tax Preparer Registration Required – Effective for  the 2011 tax year, the IRS is requiring all “paid tax preparers” to register with and pay a fee to the IRS. For many this will require the taking of an exam.

(Whether this can be applied to preparers outside  the U.S. or not, it will certainly reduce the number  of  people  willing to take this on.)

 2. Professional liability – Who would  want the risk of making a mistake? I  know at least one Canadian CA who will not take American clients. Who would want the problems? In addition to  the 1040, there is the problem of the FBAR, the new 8938 form, the appropriate RRSP election form, and a  host of possible  other forms (see below).

3. Too much work for too little money – The work  is so substantial that, that I expect the minimum fee will be in the range of $1000 (for somebody who has no assets or issues). Although this I small change for some taxpayers, it is clearly too expensive for most taxpayers.

Continue reading

Possible waiver of U.S. tax and FBAR penalties for U.S. citizens residing abroad

Subject to the "unknown unknowns"

Thanks to Barrie McKenna of the Globe and Mail for this article and to his support on this important issue during this most difficult time for U.S. citizens residing in Canada and the rest of the world. Thanks also to Finance Minister Flaherty and the MPs who have supported Canada/U.S. dual citizens during this time.

On December 7, 2011 the IRS posted a Fact Sheet providing information about this issue. I have written some commentary about the Fact Sheet here.

I recently predicted that the IRS treatment of U.S. expats would become a diplomatic issue for the U.S. The December 2011 announcement by Ambassador Jacobson, concerning the IRS and U.S. expats,  suggests that this is true. Continue reading

OVDI Collateral Damage The Story Must Be Told

Those of you reading this blog are familiar with my conviction that the U.S. has completely abandoned its historical and constitutional roots. Let me be more precise. It is the Government of the United States that is the problem. The country is run by one of two private clubs – I am referring to the Democrat and the Republican parties.  America’s first president George Washington – feared and opposed political parties. In any case, I want to make a specific point: The country and the political process is for the people – not for the politicians, not the IRS, not the political parties, not the mainstream media. November 12, 2011 was the annual celebration of a day for our veterans of armed conflict. During World War II, the allied powers went to war to protect their freedom and liberty from the axis powers. Freedom and liberty is NOT the natural order of the universe. Continue reading

Expatriating Acts – The Status Of Your U.S. Citizenship

Updated on January 16, 2013

As the Government of Canada gets closer and closer to signing an IGA with the U.S. the issue of who is a “U.S. person” is becoming more and more important. Panic is starting to set in. Those of you who became citizens of another country prior to 1986 may not be U.S. citizens. Whatever you do: do NOT ask an accountant or tax preparer (they don’t have the expertise) or even a tax lawyer (they have a financial interest in your citizenship). The proper person to ask is a U.S immigration and citizenship lawyer.

Enjoy this old post.

Listen to the stories of these two people born in the United States. One of these is Professor Maurice Williams who wrote an interesting letter to Obama. Read the following blog post. These two people may or may not be U.S. citizens.

Renouncing U.S. Citizenship – A Growing Trend

Many people are coming to the conclusion that U.S. citizenship is at best undesirable and at worst dangerous. In the past – people came to America in pursuit of liberty and justice.  There are some who still do. What is new is the large number of people who are interested in “ceasing to be a U.S. citizen”. More and more people are renouncing U.S. citizenship.

But Wait – Maybe You Are Not A U.S. Citizen After All

I started this blog because I believe that there are U.S. expats who believe that they are U.S. citizens when in fact they are not. Even if you were born in the United States, you may not be a U.S. citizen. It is possible that there are people who entered the OVDI program who are no longer U.S. citizens. This is first of a series of posts where I will discuss reasons why you may no longer be a U.S. citizen.   There are many U.S. expats who would be very happy to be in your shoes. Continue reading

McKenna Globe Article – Comments on the comments

Yesterday I posted about Barrie McKenna’s article about American citizens in Canada renouncing  U. S. citizenship. Renouncing U.S. citizenship is a painful decision for many expats. Furthermore, there some expats renouncing U.S. citizenship will be hit with the exit tax. You must learn about the tax consequences of renouncing U.S. citizenship before you do it. As good as the Globe article was the number of comments was astounding. Incredibly 730 comments were posted in 24 hours. The comments were incredibly illuminating – recommend them to you. There is clear anger at the U.S. government. One of the most interesting comments came from the U Continue reading