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Old 21.05.2014, 14:24
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Re: Giving up the blue passport because of FATCA - one member's experience

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The Franco-American Flophouse blog said this in a recent post about US citizenship renunciations:
Thanks for this post, MennoFloyd. F-A Flophouse also states that already so far in 2014 over 1000 US citizens have renounced (there's a link to the official list). Amazing. I wonder at what point anyone in Washington will notice or care? On the other hand, once folks start to notice and the US govt feels embarrassed, what other punishments might they come up with just to get back at us for making them look bad?
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Old 22.05.2014, 12:44
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Re: Giving up the blue passport because of FATCA - one member's experience

Yesterday morning I had the pleasure of visiting the US Embassy with my wife and child to apply for his passport renewal.

During my two-hour wait to be served (despite having an appointment) I was shocked to witness four Americans who were summoned by friendly gals behind their bullet-proof, microphone-isolated windows to explain why they intended to renounce their citizenship. I couldn't help but overhear their sad, apologetic responses and attempts at justification for such a tragic decision. Despite the Embassy assistant's repeated warning that such a decision was final and could not be reversed they patiently insisted that they wished to continue with the procedure.

I was shocked and saddened by the whole experience. All the more since I, too, am now considering the same. Having to explain my reasons for such a deeply personal step before a consul employee is something I wouldn't have been prepared for if I hadn't witnessed it in person.
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  #323  
Old 22.05.2014, 13:23
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Re: Giving up the blue passport because of FATCA - one member's experience

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Yesterday morning I had the pleasure of visiting the US Embassy with my wife and child to apply for his passport renewal.

During my two-hour wait to be served (despite having an appointment) I was shocked to witness four Americans who were summoned by friendly gals behind their bullet-proof, microphone-isolated windows to explain why they intended to renounce their citizenship. I couldn't help but overhear their sad, apologetic responses and attempts at justification for such a tragic decision. Despite the Embassy assistant's repeated warning that such a decision was final and could not be reversed they patiently insisted that they wished to continue with the procedure.

I was shocked and saddened by the whole experience. All the more since I, too, am now considering the same. Having to explain my reasons for such a deeply personal step before a consul employee is something I wouldn't have been prepared for if I hadn't witnessed it in person.
ssn650, you do not have to explain anything to the staff at the embassy. You have the right to renounce your citizenship if you want to. They, quite rightly, check to make sure you understand the ramifications, but they can't refuse your renunciation just because you don't tell them why you're doing it. They can't insist you give them a reason either, it's not their business. The procedure is quite clear:

A person wishing to renounce his or her U.S. citizenship must voluntarily and with intent to relinquish U.S. citizenship:
  1. appear in person before a U.S. consular or diplomatic officer,
  2. in a foreign country (normally at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate); and
  3. sign an oath of renunciation
There's no mention of explaining or giving a reason because you don't have to.

I renounced at Bern last year and found the staff very helpful all through the process from getting the appointment to the final oathtaking. At no point was I asked for, nor did I give, an explanation for why I was doing this. But if you feel you must given an explanation, should you decide to renounce, then take a tip from the IsaacBrockSociety website: "I'm doing it to simplify my life."
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  #324  
Old 22.05.2014, 13:33
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Re: Giving up the blue passport because of FATCA - one member's experience

Although I didn't have to, I didn't mind one bit telling them why I was doing it.
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Old 22.05.2014, 13:40
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Re: Giving up the blue passport because of FATCA - one member's experience

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Yesterday morning I had the pleasure of visiting the US Embassy ...
I have only had the "pleasure" of visiting the US embassy once, and it was quite a painful experience, both in terms of time, procedure, and witnessing events. One I have vowed never to repeat again until I renounce.

Wonder why we all have to file FBARs on line now, yet many of these overly burecratic and private affairs have to broadcast to all embassy visitors. Looking forward to the day when we can all renounce with the click of the mouse.
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Old 22.05.2014, 14:59
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Re: Giving up the blue passport because of FATCA - one member's experience

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Although I didn't have to, I didn't mind one bit telling them why I was doing it.
Yes, but did you use the F word - and I don't mean the 4-letter one.
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Old 22.05.2014, 15:37
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Re: Giving up the blue passport because of FATCA - one member's experience

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Wonder why we all have to file FBARs on line now, yet many of these overly burecratic and private affairs have to broadcast to all embassy visitors. Looking forward to the day when we can all renounce with the click of the mouse.
I wonder if it's all about humiliating us - are not all of us living abroad rich, dishonest, scumbags? Gosh, if I could just remember where I stashed all of those millions!
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Old 22.05.2014, 15:43
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Re: Giving up the blue passport because of FATCA - one member's experience

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Yes, but did you use the F word - and I don't mean the 4-letter one.
I didn't go into that much detail. I basically expressed general dissaproval of most policies — both foreign and domestic — of the US government without mentioning anything about taxes in particular.
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  #329  
Old 27.05.2014, 06:57
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Re: Giving up the blue passport because of FATCA - one member's experience

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I wonder if it's all about humiliating us - are not all of us living abroad rich, dishonest, scumbags? Gosh, if I could just remember where I stashed all of those millions!
Unlikely. It's a combination of exceptionalism and financial greed within the US. Many in the US still want to argue that US citizenship is a "priviledge" with a price tag since they seek for expats to reduce their tax bill because they hate paying taxes and figure that they can get away with it since they want to believe that the US is the best place in the world. This mentality will persist for decades into the future while the empire slowly collapses.
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  #330  
Old 03.06.2014, 08:05
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Re: Giving up the blue passport because of FATCA - one member's experience

IBS and Canadian citizens begin the fight back:

http://isaacbrocksociety.ca/2014/06/01/its-time/
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  #331  
Old 04.06.2014, 13:31
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Re: Giving up the blue passport because of FATCA - one member's experience

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Thanks for this post, MennoFloyd. F-A Flophouse also states that already so far in 2014 over 1000 US citizens have renounced (there's a link to the official list). Amazing. I wonder at what point anyone in Washington will notice or care? On the other hand, once folks start to notice and the US govt feels embarrassed, what other punishments might they come up with just to get back at us for making them look bad?
The Association of Americans Resident Overseas (AARO) has a video "Americans Overseas Week Recap" on its website. Between 1:12 and 1:14 John and Victoria talk about the attention that renunciations are getting in the US.

On another topic, at 1:07 to 1:09 Victoria discusses the security risk that FATCA bank account reporting presents to Americans living overseas. A perfect list for terrorists and extortionists, thanks to the US government.

http://www.aaro.org/aaro-in-action/4...ans-week-recap
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Old 04.06.2014, 15:59
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Re: Giving up the blue passport because of FATCA - one member's experience

Get a new passport!

Tom

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  #333  
Old 09.06.2014, 17:29
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Re: Giving up the blue passport because of FATCA - one member's experience

A telling phrase from the head of the Association of Swiss Private Banks the other day:

"It is time to recognise that, unlike the United States, Switzerland does not have the capacity to impose its views on the rest of the world, even if they are based on reasonable concepts," Gloor said Friday.

http://www.thelocal.ch/20140608/rattled-swiss-private-banks-turn-page-on-past

Got it in one, I'd say. Makes you wonder how the battle would have gone if Switzerland was a similar size/power. I think a lot of people/countries would have been looking to use the Swiss Franc instead of staying pegged to the dollar.
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  #334  
Old 12.06.2014, 13:36
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Re: Giving up the blue passport because of FATCA - one member's experience

Reuters-UK has a new article on the difficulties that Americans abroad are having obtaining and maintaining bank accounts due to FATCA. As many of us have experienced, the situation is particularly acute in Switzerland. A quote from the article:

"Many of the account-closing complaints are coming from Americans living in Switzerland."

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/0...0OR1QW20140611

Last fall the head of the FATCA program, Robert Stack, Deputy Assistant Treasury Secretary, published an article called "Myth vs. FATCA" in which he claimed:

"Myth No. 2: Some claim that U.S. citizens living overseas will become outcasts in the international financial world.

FACT: FATCA withholding applies to the U.S. investments of FFIs whether or not they have U.S. account holders, so turning away known U.S. account holders will not enable an FFI to avoid FATCA. We expect that many, if not most, of the governments implementing FATCA through IGAs will require their financial institutions to identify and report on all non-resident account holders, not just U.S. account holders."

The Deputy Assistant Treasury Secretary is a propagandist or a fool.


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  #335  
Old 12.06.2014, 14:05
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Re: Giving up the blue passport because of FATCA - one member's experience

This article has a short list of dubious types who have purchased citizenship from the Caribbean country of St. Kitts & Nevis. Although the list might be impressive, the $400,000 price tag is too dear:

http://www.caribbeannewsnow.com/tops...out-21504.html
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Old 12.06.2014, 15:06
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Re: Giving up the blue passport because of FATCA - one member's experience

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Reuters-UK has a new article on the difficulties that Americans abroad are having obtaining and maintaining bank accounts due to FATCA. As many of us have experienced, the situation is particularly acute in Switzerland. A quote from the article:

"Many of the account-closing complaints are coming from Americans living in Switzerland."

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/0...0OR1QW20140611

Last fall the head of the FATCA program, Robert Stack, Deputy Assistant Treasury Secretary, published an article called "Myth vs. FATCA" in which he claimed:

"Myth No. 2: Some claim that U.S. citizens living overseas will become outcasts in the international financial world.

FACT: FATCA withholding applies to the U.S. investments of FFIs whether or not they have U.S. account holders, so turning away known U.S. account holders will not enable an FFI to avoid FATCA. We expect that many, if not most, of the governments implementing FATCA through IGAs will require their financial institutions to identify and report on all non-resident account holders, not just U.S. account holders."

The Deputy Assistant Treasury Secretary is a propagandist or a fool.

He's a fool of course. It still doesn't mean FFI's don't want to add to their reporting burdens so won't take on US customers as seems to be the case at present. Or, if they do, they want proof of tax compliancy before they'll agree to let you have an account.

And does he really think other governments could get away with gathering non resident info on non-US clients by using the IGA? An agreement between the US and ?? to report US accounts doesn't give that ?? governnment the right to seek French, German, Italian, etc, account holders info in any way. Each IGA specifies USP's ONLY. Overweaning arrogance to think otherwise.
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Old 14.06.2014, 12:11
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Re: Giving up the blue passport because of FATCA - one member's experience

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He's a fool of course. It still doesn't mean FFI's don't want to add to their reporting burdens so won't take on US customers as seems to be the case at present. Or, if they do, they want proof of tax compliancy before they'll agree to let you have an account.

And does he really think other governments could get away with gathering non resident info on non-US clients by using the IGA? An agreement between the US and ?? to report US accounts doesn't give that ?? governnment the right to seek French, German, Italian, etc, account holders info in any way. Each IGA specifies USP's ONLY. Overweaning arrogance to think otherwise.
Found this gem on Robert Stack. Stack was a DC tax attorney in private practice before joining Treasury. He specialized in tax shelters:

"A partner in the Washington office of Ivins, Phillips & Barker and head of the firm's international tax practice group, Mr. Stack has over 20 years of experience in international tax matters, including representation of US investors investing in non-US jurisdictions, as well as non-US investors investing in the US. This work has included the formation of joint ventures and investment funds, the structuring of mergers and acquisitions, and tax-efficient cross-border structures, planning with respect to the cross-border ownership of intangible property, advising with respect to cross-border license arrangements and similar sophisticated ... international tax planning issues."

http://www.lawyer.com/robert-stack.html
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Old 17.06.2014, 10:21
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Re: Giving up the blue passport because of FATCA - one member's experience

Today's Wall Street Journal has an article on US expats giving up their US citizenship called "Expatriate Americans Break Up With Uncle Sam to Escape Tax Rules". At this link:

http://online.wsj.com/news/article_e...MDEwNjExNDYyWj

If the above link doesn't work, try copying the article name into Google
and then open article from Google.
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  #339  
Old 26.06.2014, 22:18
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Re: Giving up the blue passport because of FATCA - one member's experience

Threat of revoking US passports if you're not tax compliant rears its head again.

http://isaacbrocksociety.ca/2014/06/...rt-revocation/
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Old 28.06.2014, 18:21
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Re: Giving up the blue passport because of FATCA - one member's experience

This week's Newsweek has an article on Americans giving up their citizenship due to FATCA and the Obama administration's relentless war of terror on its overseas citizens. An excerpt:

"“I went to this U.S. expat meeting, and they warned me about all these fines – thousands of dollars or even jail time – if I do anything wrong,” says Sandy Opravil, an Indiana-born housewife who now lives in Switzerland. “I could become a criminal by mistake. It was presented in such a terrifying way. So I needed to decide who I am and where I live.”

Opravil eventually relinquished her U.S. citizenship in February 2014. “The bank told us, 'When your mortgage comes up for renewal, we can’t guarantee we’ll still be doing business with Americans.’ The message was pretty clear – you’re in an insecure position. Since I’ve been here for 30 years and all my ties are here, I decided to renounce my citizenship and live in one country.”

“I have clients telling me that their employers will no longer consider them for certain higher-level positions – for example, any that require signature authority over financial accounts or the establishment of foreign entities in the business which are held in nominee status by a corporate officer,” Jeker says. “Many are concerned they may lose their positions due to the Fatca factor.”"

http://www.newsweek.com/why-american...zenship-256447
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