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Old 17.08.2014, 20:36
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Interesting Article...

Saw this and though it pertained a little to a lot of people on the forum.

Cheers,

Marc

http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertwo...rtner=yahootix
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  #402  
Old 19.08.2014, 00:00
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Re: Giving up the blue passport because of FATCA - one member's experience

Another article on Americans abroad giving up their US citizenship due to Fatca:

"Exit Strategy: FATCA Tax Law Keeps Pushing Americans To Give Up Citizenship


Here’s a hot tip for accountants and tax attorneys: now is a good time to develop specialized expertise in advising clients who may be seeking to expatriate from the United States. That demographic looks more and more like a real growth opportunity.

That’s one potential lesson we can draw from recent years’ explosion of U.S. citizens living and working overseas who are now renouncing their citizenship. In the first six months of 2014, 1,577 Americans decided to expatriate; last year, nearly 3,000 called it quits, a record high number. In the last five years, a total of about 9,000 Americans surrendered their citizenship, according to a survey of federal data compiled by Bloomberg.

Why are so many Americans heading for the exits? Blame it on the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), a new law targeting Americans who conceal financial holdings in offshore accounts. By requiring foreign financial institutions to provide to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) detailed information on accounts held by U.S. citizens, FATCA was ostensibly intended to curtail tax evasion.

But in reality, the law has been rife with unintended consequences, as foreign banks and financial institutions have begun to decline doing business with American citizens, for fear of falling afoul of U.S. tax authorities. Some U.S. citizens have received notice that their long-standing accounts with overseas financial institutions are being summarily closed.

Unable to open up basic checking and savings accounts, while at the same time facing onerous reporting requirements and penalties, many are making the difficult decision to hand over their U.S. passports.

“It’s not just the super-rich doing it,” David McKeegan of Hong Kong-based Greenback Expat Tax Services says in Forbes. “We’re talking average, middle-class people, people teaching English as a second language and doing freelance jobs making $30,000–50,000 a year, simply because of the fact that they can’t open locked bank accounts.”

Investment advisor David Kuensi of Thun Financial Advisors laid out a detailed brief against FATCA in a July 10 Wall Street Journal op-ed. He describes the law as “an Orwellian tax nightmare” for U.S. citizens living and working overseas.

“The vast majority of U.S. expatriates living abroad harbor a strong sense of patriotism that includes a willingness to shoulder their fair share of the nation’s tax burden,” Kuenzi writes. “Deep resentment arises, however, when they confront the byzantine complexity of preparing a tax return that includes non-U.S. income and non-U.S. financial accounts. FATCA demands rigorous compliance with arcane rules that the IRS has until now never even attempted to enforce on a widespread basis. For Americans abroad, desperately trying to comply, the outcome to family finances is often disastrous.”

A Case Study in Poor Tax Policy

FATCA, passed in 2010 but only taking effect on July 1 after numerous launch delays, has emerged as a case study in poor tax policy. As is par for the course in today’s Washington, the law was enacted with little debate or attention to detail, and with little thought given to how it would work.

As a result, the implementation has been shoddy, marked by serial delays, technological glitches and changes of course. And FATCA’s targets haven’t been wealthy scofflaws, as promised, so much as Americans living and working overseas, who are now caught up in a global dragnet of arbitrary enforcement, onerous reporting requirements and endless complexity.

This year alone, the IRS has announced it would delay enforcement for financial institutions that make a “good faith effort” to comply and relaxed some penalties against individual taxpayers. But these ad hoc revisions, apparently intended to provide financial institutions and taxpayers some breathing room, seem to only be fueling further uncertainty and anxiety, since they make enforcement increasingly subjective.

It’s not as if the Treasury Department has only suddenly become aware of the troubles the law poses for ordinary taxpayers. In a report issued at the beginning of the year, the IRS Office of the Taxpayer Advocate listed FATCA implementation among the agency’s “Most Serious Problems.” They noted that poor design and implementation mean the law has the “potential to be burdensome, overly broad and detrimental to taxpayer rights.”

Sparking a Revolt

Meanwhile, the revolt against FATCA’s intrusions continues to grow. Members of Congress and legal experts raise critical questions about the IRS’s authority to forge and implement intergovernmental agreements for the law’s enforcement. North of the border, a group of Canadian citizens affected by the law have filed suit in federal court charging that their country’s agreement with the IRS to hand over FATCA information is unconstitutional.

And according to a recent poll by the financial advisory firm De Vere International, nearly 80% of Americans living and working overseas are considering giving up their U.S. citizenship, thanks to the climate of mistrust engendered by FATCA.

"Some told us that they felt they were now under suspicion by the IRS, even though there was no question of any wrongdoing or having any taxes owing,” De Vere CEO Nigel Green says. "

https://www.uschamber.com/blog/exit-...ve-citizenship
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  #403  
Old 21.08.2014, 21:32
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Re: Giving up the blue passport because of FATCA - one member's experience

A couple of posters over on IBS have said they were told by Canadian consular staff that the $450 renunciation fee will be going up soon so be warned.
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Old 22.08.2014, 09:26
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Re: Giving up the blue passport because of FATCA - one member's experience

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A couple of posters over on IBS have said they were told by Canadian consular staff that the $450 renunciation fee will be going up soon so be warned.

Thanks for the heads up.


But unfortunately not much you can do against this, if you are still waiting for the 5 year tax filing obligation to finish, so that you can start the renunciation process. Hope they wait until late next year .... or better not raise it at all.
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Old 22.08.2014, 09:32
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Re: Giving up the blue passport because of FATCA - one member's experience

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Thanks for the heads up.


But unfortunately not much you can do against this, if you are still waiting for the 5 year tax filing obligation to finish, so that you can start the renunciation process. Hope they wait until late next year .... or better not raise it at all.
Depends on where you are on the tax filing. There's nothing to stop you renouncing before you do the filing, I did it last year. Renounced and then back filed as needed.
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Old 22.08.2014, 11:03
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Re: Giving up the blue passport because of FATCA - one member's experience

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Depends on where you are on the tax filing. There's nothing to stop you renouncing before you do the filing, I did it last year. Renounced and then back filed as needed.
I am now filing my 4th year (2013) and 2014 will be the 5th. So I need to wait for next year. Or can I renounce in 2014 and than file the missing year, which would be 2009, even if i have filed 2010-2012 allready?
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Old 22.08.2014, 11:18
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Re: Giving up the blue passport because of FATCA - one member's experience

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I am now filing my 4th year (2013) and 2014 will be the 5th. So I need to wait for next year. Or can I renounce in 2014 and than file the missing year, which would be 2009, even if i have filed 2010-2012 allready?
I don't see why not. All the 8854 form requires is that you can confirm you've done the necessary filing for the previous 5 tax years before your date of renunciation.

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i8854.pdf

File 2009 now, renounce asap and then round off next year with a partial filing for 2014, 8854, etc.
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  #408  
Old 23.08.2014, 12:13
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Re: Giving up the blue passport because of FATCA - one member's experience

Article in today's Telegraph:

"British families billed £500 – to prevent Americans dodging tax

New US tax measures, aimed at helping American authorities collect tax from their overseas citizens, are leaving innocent Britons out of pocket "

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/p...dging-tax.html

Fatca is designed to increase US tax revenues by about $870 million per year worldwide. The compliance costs are way out of proportion compared with the relatively small increase in US tax revenue. Of course, since the US government doesn't pay the compliance costs, why would they care.
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Old 26.08.2014, 16:29
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Re: Giving up the blue passport because of FATCA - one member's experience

I see the IRS is raking in millions - or not.

http://isaacbrocksociety.ca/2014/08/...me-statistics/

100,000 new filers who don't owe the US a penny. Way to go folks!
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  #410  
Old 26.08.2014, 17:54
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Re: Giving up the blue passport because of FATCA - one member's experience

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I see the IRS is raking in millions - or not.

http://isaacbrocksociety.ca/2014/08/...me-statistics/

100,000 new filers who don't owe the US a penny. Way to go folks!
That'll learn 'em! Let's hire some more agents to process all that money... I mean paperwork.
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  #411  
Old 27.08.2014, 22:29
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Re: Giving up the blue passport because of FATCA - one member's experience

The fee for US citizenship renunciation is to increase from $450 to $2,350, according to DiploPundit:

"In any case, Americans who will be upset by this change in renunciation of citizenship fee can contact Congress to complain about this. Their elected representatives, presumably will be super-helpful to the soon-to-be non-voters."

http://diplopundit.net/2014/08/27/re...m-450-to-2350/

No one ever said the price of freedom is cheap!
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Old 27.08.2014, 22:49
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Re: Giving up the blue passport because of FATCA - one member's experience

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The fee for US citizenship renunciation is to increase from $450 to $2,350, according to DiploPundit:

"In any case, Americans who will be upset by this change in renunciation of citizenship fee can contact Congress to complain about this. Their elected representatives, presumably will be super-helpful to the soon-to-be non-voters."

http://diplopundit.net/2014/08/27/re...m-450-to-2350/

No one ever said the price of freedom was cheap!
From the Federal Register:
"Documentation for Renunciation of Citizenship
The CoSM demonstrated that documenting a U.S. citizen's renunciation of citizenship is extremely costly, requiring American consular officers overseas to spend substantial amounts of time to accept, process, and adjudicate cases. For example, consular officers must confirm that the potential renunciant fully understands the consequences of renunciation, including losing the right to reside in the United States without documentation as an alien. Other steps include verifying that the renunciant is a U.S. citizen, conducting a minimum of two intensive interviews with the potential renunciant, and reviewing at least three consular systems before administering the oath of renunciation. The final approval of the loss of nationality must be done by law within the Directorate of Overseas Citizens Services in Washington, D.C., after which the case is returned to the consular officer overseas for final delivery of the Certificate of Loss of Nationality to the renunciant. These steps further add to the time and labor that must be involved in the process. Accordingly, the Department is increasing the fee for processing such requests from $450 to $2,350. As noted in the interim final rule dated June 28, 2010 (77 FR 36522), the fee of $450 was set substantially below the cost to the U.S. government of providing this service (less than one quarter of the cost). Since that time, demand for the (renunciation) service has increased dramatically, consuming far more consular officer time and resources, as reflected in the 2012 Overseas Time Survey and increased workload data. Because the Department believes there is no public benefit or other reason for setting this fee below cost, the Department is increasing this fee to reflect the full cost of providing the service. Therefore the increased fee reflects both the increased cost of the provision of service as well as the determination to now charge the full cost.

Consular Time Charges
The Department previously charged a consular time fee of $231 per hour, per employee. This fee is charged when indicated on the Schedule of Fees or when services are performed away from the office or outside regular business hours. The CoSM estimated that the hourly consular time charge is now lower. Accordingly, the Department is lowering this fee to $135 per hour.

When Will the Department of State Implement this Interim Final Rule?
The Department intends to implement this interim final rule, and initiate collection of the fees set forth herein, effective 15 days after publication of this rule in the Federal Register."

http://www.ofr.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2014-20516_PI.pdf
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Old 28.08.2014, 07:27
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Re: Giving up the blue passport because of FATCA - one member's experience

Thanks MennoFloyd for posting these links. I'm going to repost them as a separate thread because I think all Americans here need to know about this and they may not pick it up from this thread. I'll send it over to IBS too.
So my understanding is this new fee is operative from the 6th September 2014, but written comments must be received on or before the 21st October 2014.
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Old 28.08.2014, 12:27
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Re: Giving up the blue passport because of FATCA - one member's experience

Looks like you got rid of yours just in time, Medea! If only I didn't have close family in the States I would have jettisoned mine last year.
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Old 28.08.2014, 17:36
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Re: Giving up the blue passport because of FATCA - one member's experience

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Looks like you got rid of yours just in time, Medea! If only I didn't have close family in the States I would have jettisoned mine last year.
Yes, it certainly looks that way Queen of Cups. I'd still pay the increased fee If I had to, but I'm sure the OH would have something to say about the cost of it. He didn't like it much when I did it last year.

It's families where there are children involved who want to get rid of their citizenship too that I also feel sorry for. It's going to cost them dearly if say, mom and two kids want to renounce.
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Old 28.08.2014, 18:00
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Re: Giving up the blue passport because of FATCA - one member's experience

Yes, and there is no calculating the loss to the US that those children and families represent - untold contributions to the economy, culture, etc.
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Old 28.08.2014, 18:43
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Re: Giving up the blue passport because of FATCA - one member's experience

Today's Russian RIA-Novosti newspaper has an article on how gangsters are trying to obtain bank account information on US citizens in Russia: "Russian Banks Receive Fake Requests to Disclose US Client Data – Reports"

Americans abroad can thank Fatca and the failure of the State Department to protect Americans abroad from the goons in the Treasury Department.
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Old 29.08.2014, 14:59
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Re: Giving up the blue passport because of FATCA - one member's experience

People in the company (no Bank) I work for received phising e-mails from the "IRS" requesting bank account info under FATCA rules. From colleagues in other companies I here the same.


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Today's Russian RIA-Novosti newspaper has an article on how gangsters are trying to obtain bank account information on US citizens in Russia: "Russian Banks Receive Fake Requests to Disclose US Client Data – Reports"

Americans abroad can thank Fatca and the failure of the State Department to protect Americans abroad from the goons in the Treasury Department.
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Old 30.08.2014, 00:01
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Re: Giving up the blue passport because of FATCA - one member's experience

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People in the company (no Bank) I work for received phising e-mails from the "IRS" requesting bank account info under FATCA rules. From colleagues in other companies I here the same.
In 2012 Michael Young, an opinion editor in Lebanon, wrote an article called "Fatca's security problem". Since then, the US Treasury, under the dubious leadership of Robert Stack and Mark Mazur, has published over 700 pages of Fatca regulations without a single sentence on data security and confidentiality. Fatca is a security risk for Americans living abroad, particularly in countries such as Lebanon.

An excerpt from "Fatca's security problem":

"[T]here is one aspect of FATCA that has not been sufficiently examined, but that remains potentially hazardous. The American government is effectively asking foreign institutions to prepare detailed data bases of American citizens, with no guidelines explaining how this information must be protected. For a country obsessed with the security of its citizens in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, such behavior is paradoxical, indeed astonishing.

Foreign financial institutions will effectively become vast repositories of information on Americans—including what they earn, the sources of their income, what they spend, where they live, who their family members are, and so on. In their zeal to implicitly label Americans living abroad as tax cheats requiring monitoring, the sponsors of FATCA have shown utter indifference to the safety of their citizens.

In some countries, the American authorities are well aware that their enemies have ready access to financial institutions. The Lebanese Canadian Bank scandal, in which bank managers were accused of helping Hezbollah launder money, showed that this was true in Lebanon. What is to prevent anti-American groups elsewhere from gaining access to data on American citizens, and possibly using this to their advantage? FATCA helps make it eminently possible.

Strangely, we have heard nothing about FATCA from the State Department, which is responsible for Americans overseas. At a time when American embassies regularly issue advisories to citizens to guarantee their safety, we are seeing the IRS asking institutions abroad to gather the most sensitive facts on Americans, with no oversight. The irresponsibility is breathtaking."

https://now.mmedia.me/lb/en/commenta...curity_problem
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Old 02.09.2014, 13:55
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Re: Giving up the blue passport because of FATCA - one member's experience

Hello all, first time poster here.

I have a question about re-acquiring U.S. citizenship should one renounce or relinquish. I know officially it is virtually impossible in most cases, but would it in theory be possible to "game the system"?

Here is my thought: If you have a Swiss (or EU) Passport you are not required to have a visa to enter the United States. However if your U.S. citizenship is based on birth in the United States, you still have a U.S. birth certificate. As you can still collect Social Security your social security number should still be valid. With a birth certificate and a social security card you can now apply for a drivers license. With those three things you could open a bank account, apply for a job and purchase or rent a house. In essence you are starting your life all over again in the United States with your still legal and valid U.S. birth certificate and social security number. Since the United States does not have exit controls, if you wish to travel internationally, just do so on your Swiss Passport. As many undocumented, illegal aliens are living and working in the United States and never get deported, imagine how hard it would be to for them to discover you and figure out you are not a United States citizen when you can produce a valid and legal U.S. birth certificate. In the event of relinquishment, in theory such actions could demonstrate that despite your pronouncements on the forms you filled out, you never really did intend to give up your citizenship.

Anyway, what do you all think? If a few years down the road a person decided they regretted giving up citizenship, could this be a back door way to get back to the United States, re-establish your life, and for all intents and purposes become "U.S. citizen" again?
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