Tag Archives: Form 8938

Forcing #Americansabroad to renounce US citizenship is like #Civilforfeiture – Now “ain’t that America”

Introduction – The general principles of Civil Forfeiture Reexamined


Civil forfeiture is becoming increasingly prevalent in the United States and in Western democracies. In it’s simplest form, Civil Forfeiture is a process where governments seize your property without going through the judicial process. Governments love it. It’s efficient, profitable and risk free.  It’s on the rise in both Canada and the United States. It has been the subject of numerous posts at the Isaac Brock Society. Certainly, FBAR penalties and other penalties for “Form Crime” are instances of civil forfeiture. I have argued that OVDP is a form of Civil Forfeiture.


Your property, your U.S. citizenship and the forcible taking of your U.S. citizenship

As I have pointed out time after time, after time ….

The Supreme Court of the United States has made it clear that those born or naturalized in the United States have a constitutional right to NOT have their citizenship “stripped from them”. I explored this in:

Cook v. Tait 12: Afroyim v. Rusk, the 14th amendment, and the forcible destruction of citizenship

In Afroyim, Justice Black wrote:

Citizenship is no light trifle 268*268 to be jeopardized any moment Congress decides to do so under the name of one of its general or implied grants of power. In some instances, loss of citizenship can mean that a man is left without the protection of citizenship in any country in the world—as a man without a country. Citizenship in this Nation is a part of a co-operative affair. Its citizenry is the country and the country is its citizenry. The very nature of our free government makes it completely incongruous to have a rule of law under which a group of citizens temporarily in office can deprive another group of citizens of their citizenship.We hold that the Fourteenth Amendment was designed to, and does, protect every citizen of this Nation against a congressional forcible destruction of his citizenship, whatever his creed, color, or race. Our holding does no more than to give to this citizen that which is his own, a constitutional right to remain a citizen in a free country unless he voluntarily relinquishes that citizenship.


If U.S. citizenship belongs to the individual, and the Obama administration is forcing people to renounce their citizenship, is this not a form of “Civil Forfeiture”?

The following posts and comments bear on this question.

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FATCA Form 8938 – Where it came from, how it came about, what it means for U.S. citizens abroad

Where it came from – 2009 – Obama describes his justification for what is to become FATCA

Obama Goes After Overseas Tax Cheats AKA U.S. Citizens Abroad – See the following video which was uploaded in May 2009.  Obama says taxes are an obligation of “citizenship“.  Obama lauds the work of Levin and Rangel (at this point they are the future architects of FATCA). The whole video (where “First Tax Cheat Geithner” introduces Obama) is interesting.  Note in particular the video starting at 7:30 where Obama provides his justification for what is to become FATCA.

How it came about – 2010 – The Hire Act (which included FATCA) was enacted.

It is important to note that FATCA was legislation which was unrelated to the principal purpose of the Hire Act. It was “slipped in” at the last minute. It is likely that few legislators knew what they were signing when FATCA was signed into law. FATCA was “Trojan Horse” legislation at its finest. But, FATCA is many other things including:

FATCA is a creator of jobs

FATCA  has created new and lucrative work for accountants and lawyers. (An NYU tax professor recently referred to FATCA as “The gift that keeps on giving“.) It has been a boon to the education industry – it will be soon be possible to receive a certification in FATCA compliance.

FATCA is a form of Capital Control

President Kennedy said that the U.S. government has never had to erect a wall to keep our people in. That was then. This is now.

FATCA is an attack on the sovereignty of other nations

Why should foreign banks do what the IRS wants?

FATCA – through Form 8938 – is an attack on U.S. citizens living abroad

This is the primary purpose of this post.

FATCA needs to be understood as legislation which is aimed at foreign financial institutions and U.S. persons with foreign assets. Almost all of the FATCA discussion has been about the effect of FATCA on foreign financial institutions. Form 8938 is the part of FATCA aimed at U.S. persons. It has received very little analysis until now. FATCA mandates form 8938 which  allows the U.S. government to impose massive penalties and force people to disclose their assets to the government. Continue reading