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Striking sentences, exact words

No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.
—  Article 15(2) of  Universal Declaration of Human Rights

I find the tax code complex so I use a preparer.   —  Douglas Shulman  (Commissioner of IRS)  01/10/10

Comment on:  Once free, now cost $450 to renounce citizenship
All this really means is that being a US citizen today ain’t worth a dollar. I mean really, think about it. If it cost you 450 dollars to throw out an old refrigerator then how much value is left in that refrigerator? ZERO. Likewise if it cost you 450 bucks to get rid of your US citizenship then it must not be worth squat either.  —  Coolhandluke  11 July 2010

This is about a transfer of wealth from Canadian citizens to the U.S., and it’s affecting hundreds of thousands of people in Canada.   —  Don Davies  (Member of Parliament, Vancouver Kingsway)  19 Aug 2011

FATCA has far-reaching extraterritorial implications. It would turn Canadian banks into extensions of the IRS and would raise significant privacy concerns for Canadians. … Canada is not a tax haven. People do not flock to Canada to avoid paying taxes.   —  Jim Flaherty  (Canadian Minister of Finance)  16 Sept 2011

In the first half of the 20th century the United States regularly expatriated citizens who did not want to give up their nationality. But later in the 20th century it shifted to the other extreme: it made it very hard to do so.   —  Ronald Sokol  (Lawyer)  7 Oct 2011

My message on this one is to sit tight. We are not unreasonable. We are not unsympathetic. We are not irresponsible.  —  David Jacobson  (US Ambassador to Canada)  18 Oct 2011

Because there are so many more people in Canada who are subject to this than anywhere else in the world, we wanted to let Canadians know as soon as we knew what was going on.  —  David Jacobson  (US Ambassador to Canada)  2 Dec 2011

10. Condemns the use of the ‘Diaspora tax’ on Eritrean diaspora by the Eritrean Government … 11. Decides that Eritrea shall cease using extortion, threats of violence, fraud and other illicit means to collect taxes outside of Eritrea from its nationals or other individuals of Eritrean descent …
 —  United States  (acting as one of five permanent members of United Nations Security Council)  5 Dec 2011

Taxpayers who owe no U.S. tax … will owe no failure-to-file or failure-to-pay penalties.   —  IRS  7 Dec 2011

Americans living abroad are going to find it very hard to maintain assets abroad. … This may be the widest expansion of jurisdiction by U.S. authority in American history  —  H. David Rosenbloom  (Director of the International Tax Program at the New York University School of Law; former director of the Office of International Tax Affairs, U.S. Treasury)  29 Dec 2011

Please limit your discussions to practical issues involving the tax laws that actually affect expats. We reserve the right to remove posts advocating extreme measures to avoid or evade taxation (such as renunciation), any illegal advice or suggestions and any political discussions of specific tax laws or procedures.
 —  Bevdeforges (Moderator, Expat Tax, ExpatForum)  13 Jan 2012

How bad is that when a citizen is frightened to call the Embassy of their country of birth?!? — I suddenly feel like I’ve escaped from the former Soviet Union!   —  Blaze  14 Jan 2012

I figured they already knew my name from the whole draft dodger/amnesty thing so if they wanted to find me they could. When we came to Canada way back then we accepted that we might never be able to go back to the states and after we were here for a couple of years found that we didn’t really want to. … If worse comes to worse we are back to where we were in 1973.   —  johnnb  14 Jan 2012

At the meeting last night [of hundreds in Halifax] I said to the person next to me, “I hope there is a reporter here to see how many people showed up” and her response was “just as long as they don’t take my picture”. Most of the people affected are risk averse, still trying to hide and figure out what to do.
—  CanuckDoc  19 Jan 2012

I fear … that I can spend copious amounts of time trying to be compliant and then another rule will come along and by the time I’ve heard about it, digested it and figured out how to comply with it, it will be too late. How do I save for retirement under these circumstances or manage a career or try to start a business venture? —  Victoria  21 Jan 2012

I decided to relinquish my US citizenship and I will perhaps never return to the United States again. Not because I owe tax, but because I fear the IRS and what could happen to me as an American living abroad.
—  Peter W. Dunn  27 Jan 2012

Hate to be suspicious of a Country that I always considered fair and honest. But I can´t help. My life in a sense has become a nightmare. This is not fun.  —  markpinetree  30 Jan 2012

Having done federal tax for 41 years [experience in working for the IRS] I have never seen something as controversial and volatile as … the problems with the new rules which are specific to Canadians.  —  30 Year IRS Vet  1 Feb 2012

January 26th deadline for a response [to formal complaint from Taxpayer Advocate Service] has now come and gone, and there is nothing from Commissioner Shulman yet. He is 7 days overdue. I trust there are no 20% penalties for late action on his part! Does he have “reasonable cause” for the delay or is this “willful” behavior on his part?  —  Just Me  1 Feb 2012

Il y a trois ou quatre ans, rénoncer à sa nationalité était consideré comme antipatriotique et tabou, mais aujourd’hui, tout le monde en parle. La pression monte et perturbe énormément mes concitoyens établis à l’étranger. En Suisse, les banques ne veulent plus de clients Américains: nous sommes devenus toxiques.  [Three or four years ago, to renounce one’s citizenship was considered unpatriotic and taboo, but today, everyone is talking about it. Pressure is growing and greatly upsetting my fellow citizens settled abroad. In Switzerland, banks no longer want American customers: we have become toxic.]  —  Jackie Bugnion  8 Feb 2012

Will the US only be satisfied when all its expatriates are unemployed? Is that the only thing they know how to do these days … increase unemployment? If the IRS hates their expatriates this much why don’t they let them just renounce their citizenships easily and be done with it? Has any civilized country on earth ever directed this much hatred toward its expatriates?  —  omghe’sstillanamerican  15 Feb 2012

It breaks my heart but the more I consider it, the more I believe that renouncing would greatly simplify my life. I hate so much that it’s come to this.  —  monalisa1776  17 Feb 2012

Bear in mind that it is a violation of US law for foreign bankers to encourage US citizens or foreign green card permanent US residents to “hide” funds and income abroad, and more than a few Swiss bankers, and Swiss banks have paid huge fines when they were caught. But there is no US law that prohibits US bankers from soliciting funds from non-resident foreign citizens to be hidden in tax free accounts in US banks.  —  Roger Conklin  22 Feb 2012

There are an awful lot of things to worry about in life but the IRS should not be one of them for people who are effectively disconnected from the US.  —  Steven John Mopsick (former IRS)  26 Feb 2012

OVDI proved that we can’t do business with IRS in good faith … we must avoid people/organizations with whom we can’t deal in good faith, especially when they have all the powers to enforce their will.  —  Expat_business_man  7 Apr 2012

1776 is already underway, one RENUNCIATION at a time.  —  Paul Revere  8 Apr 2012

As I said, none of this is about what is right, legal, or Constitutional – it is all about what bureaucrats can get away with because the cost, complexity, and time involved to prove our point is prohibitive, so they win by default.  —  Patric Hale  18 Apr 2012

In fact, the answer to this question: “Are banks going to require a customer to produce their parents birth certificates in the vetting process?” Is probably yes, by all indications.  —  David Jolly via bubblebustin  18 Apr 2012

Getting married overseas is pretty funny. The sales pitch the embassy tries to make on getting a green card for your spouse is laughable. If there is anyone else in the room when you point out the absolute stupidity in doing that, you’ll be kindly escorted off the grounds by a nice man with a gun. Speaking from experience.  —  harold  23 May 2012

If the US thinks their citizenship is worth so much why don’t they auction it off to see how much it will fetch? We have a billionaire who was willing to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to be free of US citizenship. That’s a powerful message.  —  omghesstillanamerican  1 June 2012

I have had clients in my office, on the phone and through e-mails express in no uncertain terms how this program has disrupted their lives. One lady told me her foreign husband was about to divorce her because of the depression she was experiencing as a result of her fear of “getting caught” by the IRS. I have heard stories of sleepless nights, anxiety, weight loss, weight gain, etc., as Americans (who in some cases have never lived in the US because they were born overseas to American parents) get wind of this program one way or another and panic.  —  Jane Bruno  5 June 2012

Political signals from the United States show that expatriation and tax policies are likely to get harsher. … The cost of expatriation now is less than the expected future cost of expatriation. Better to take the medicine now rather than later. … Expect the same exit tax rules, but more of them, and worse. Expect more expatriations. … Get out while the getting is semi-good. Don’t wait for more time. More time means more laws.
—  Phil Hodgen [tax lawyer]  5 June 2012

Thank you … it was a year of HELL … the mental anguish was almost unbearable … it cost several thousand dollars to get compliant …. I was always proud to be a dual citizen … I loved my American roots … but that has all changed and I now see that country in a way different light. —  Freeatlast  21 July 2012

It makes me weep to see the IRS wreaking havoc on the lives of innocent Americans abroad. And I don’t want to be next. Just because you do everything you think you’re supposed to do doesn’t mean you don’t have anything to worry about. I feel like I’m walking in a mine field. I might be able to walk through the field without setting off an explosion, but put one foot wrong and that’s it! Renouncing my US citizenship was the only rational decision. Emotionally it was very difficult for me, but in the end I needed to do the rational thing. —  SadCdn  15 Sept 2012

I moved back to Canada from the US last year, and it has cost me dearly. And yet, I am am glad that I got out when I did. My main regret is that I became a US citizen (I am Canadian by birth), so now I am in the process of undoing that horrible mistake … —  Suki  17 Oct 2012

The appointment took about 45 minutes. For this we drove 9 hours to Calgary and 9 hours back, spent two nights in a motel because the appointment was mid afternoon and we wouldn’t have been able to get there (or home) without spending a night somewhere, and spent $23 to park in downtown Calgary. To let the American government know that a 65 year old woman gave up citizenship 45 years ago. Guess I should just be happy there was no fee to relinquish. —  hijacked2012  19 Oct 2012

As has been discussed by so many, the complexity and cost of remaining compliant has become too great to bear. I completed IRS tax returns without complaint for over three decades as an American abroad, but the 2011 OVDI was a game-changer. I paid nearly five figures just to complete “information” forms with ZERO tax owing. I know I escaped easily compared to many others. Still, that money came right out of my retirement savings. —  SadCdn  19 Dec 2012

I personally know 17 individuals who renounced citizenship in Europe in 2012, all of whom have received their Certificates of Loss of Nationality. Of the 17, only one person’s name appears in the lists for the whole of 2012. These lists are not to be trusted. —  qm  14 Feb 2013

I think the US does not understand that they have just created a very large class of deeply disaffected and unwilling US citizens outside the US, who are now motivated to more closely monitor and politically oppose US arrogance, meddling and self-interest in their home countries. —  badger  14 Feb 2013

I also have a US passport, you are required to use it to travel to the US. So I can’t fly under the radar. I did find an accountant in the city that I think that I can work with and it looks like I will not owe anything. I am completing the FBARS myself as they are pretty easy, unlike the tax forms. I, like most of you are unhappy about my situation but I am moving as fast as I can to remedy this situation. I expect to be free of USP by September. I still don’t want a SSN, but will do what is required to close this chapter. By the way I expect to pay around $3,000 to put an end to this. —  CalgaryM  20 Mar 2013

Few days back I went to US consulate in a town in India. While I was waiting there for a service, within span of an hour two people renounced or relinquished US citizenship. One old lady can’t speak English, so the consular called a translator to explain to the old lady consequences of renouncing US citizenship. Almost every one waiting at citizen services can hear the translator’s loudly and prolonged explanation. I don’t know why she is renouncing instead of relinquishing, since India doesn’t allow dual citizenship. The Indian government gives a latter stating conditional offer of citizenship and one must relinquish his existing citizenship for securing certificate of Indian citizenship. Since India has multiple US consulate offices, I believe, renouncement and relinquishment numbers must be much higher than reported. —  Surya  21 Mar 2013

There is no price we could put on Freedom. I will be forever indebted and grateful to everybody on this site [Isaac Brock Society]. Yes to everyone who answered my questions but also to all who posted anything at all. I read during almost 4 months here and it paid off. Big Time. I acquired a lot more knowledge on this site than any high priced accountant would have given me. I will try and do the same and help others as much as I can. —  Authentic1213  10 Apr 2013

Nobody denied that the unintended targets of Congressional legislation aimed at those who supposedly “owe allegiance” to the USA, now assisted by craven foreign governments anxious lest their financial services entities lose access to the US market, are mostly unlikely to do anything at all. But the whole idea of universal self-assessment of taxation is to keep the taxpayer in an anxious condition, to make him overpay if possible, but at least not to underpay. Those now faced with an unprecedented, even retroactive, enforcement campaign and who must, if they wish to become compliant and avoid penalty or even prosecution (should they be identified in the future), sacrifice much of their wealth, even become insolvent. —  5th Swiss  29 July 2013

There’s a small but growing group of big corporations that are fleeing the country to get out of paying taxes. … I say fleeing the country, but they’re not actually do that. They’re not actually going anywhere. They’re keeping most of their business here. They’re keeping usually their headquarters here in the U.S. They don’t want to give up the best universities and the best military, and all the advantages of operating in the United States. They just don’t want to pay for it. So they’re technically renouncing their U.S. citizenship. They’re declaring they’re based someplace else even though most of their operations are here. Some people are calling these companies “corporate deserters.” —  Barack Obama  24 July 2014

[ Last update 1 Sept 2014 ]

Written by usxcanada

1 January 2012 at 12:00 pm

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