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Old 31.12.2016, 21:13
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FATCA strikes again

Picked this up from the IBS website:

On New Year's Eve, the last curtain falls in the Laxdahl Theater. "Many who have registered for us to take over are pure dreamers," said Tyko Strassen, the director of the Laxdal Theater.

20 years the Laxdal theater determined the life of the petite woman with blond hair. Today, two hours before the turn of the year, the last curtain falls. "I can not believe it," says Katerina Laxdal in a low voice. The widow of theater founder Jón Laxdal (1933-2005) fights against the tears - in vain.

Beside her sits Tyko Strassen, her partner and new husband. Together they have conducted the theater in recent years. "It is even more difficult for Katerina than for me. I was only eight years, "he says. Then he demonstratively takes a sip from the beer bottle, as if to show that he is also struggling with the situation, and adds: "I'll never do that at this time."

It's 2pm. To match this, the last piece, which is performed in the Kaiserstuhler Amtshauskeller, is called "the drinker". When the piece was finished, nobody knew that the Laxdal theater would close at the end of the year. "The symbolism is almost eerie," says Katerina Laxdal. "The drunkard" was not a good-humor piece, no comedy.

Account lockout as trigger

When it was announced in October that the renowned theater, despite sold out performances and reliably flowing subsidy funds on New Year's Eve 2016, concluded the message far beyond the cantonal boundaries.

The circumstances that lead to the closure are bizarre and have nothing to do with culture. The reason lies in the long arm of the US tax authorities. The trigger is still the unclear tax status of the Swiss-born Tyko Strassen.

Because of this ambiguity, Postfinance has canceled the joint private account of the couple and blocked electronic financial services. "We are very popular with the post switch," says Strassen with a laugh.

Completing financial matters has become extremely complicated. So complicated that this extra effort makes the theater impossible to do next to professional activity. Strassen is a mathematician, his wife is a specialist in medicine.

The end leaves the couple sad. But also frustration and helplessness. The two also admit that the last few months have been a strain on their relationship.

Jón Laxdal founded the theater 30 years ago, since 1991 it is in the cellar of the old office building. After the death of Jón Laxdal in 2005, Katerina took charge of the booklet. "I am proud and satisfied that after 11 years Jón's death was successful," she says. "It is important to me that the Laxdal theater remains a good memory."

In these last days and hours she still had to work. "The unfiltered load of emotions will not come until the last curtain has fallen." For twenty years, Katerina Laxdal has spent every New Year at the theater.

As always, there are two performances on the last day of the year. "We have deliberately issued the directive that we want a very normal performance", says Tyko Strassen.

No farewell, no scary scenes on the stage. Only the actors get a bouquet of flowers in their wardrobe by Katerina Laxdal. Afterwards, the theater company, like all Kaiserstuhler, goes to the nearby Zollbrücke and celebrates the transition to the new year.

Because after a previous large order, a half-year ration of champagne is on stock, it is likely to be a humid and, in spite of all, perhaps a cheerful farewell to the old year and the theater.

The name Laxdal is taboo

After that, it was necessary to bring something normal again into life. "We were overwhelmed in the last months," Tyko Strassen says. But he did not have to worry about the future of the couple from Bülach.

As it goes on in the theater cellar, let the other two. For example, the cooperative office building, which rented the premises, or the Aargauer Kuratorium, which supported the Laxdal Theater in 2016 with 75,000 francs.

That a new solution with actor and director Peter Niklaus Steiner is found, they consider possible, but they do not want to interfere. Your lease expires at the end of March. Already at the end of January they want to complete the chapter for themselves and have cleared the old office.

It is clear that at the request of the couple the name Laxdal may not be used by any successors. It is unclear what happens with the equipment and the theater fundus.

"If there is a serious succession, we would offer a generous solution," says Strassen. At 50,000 francs he estimates the new value of the equipment.

The two point out that the management of a theater requires a lot of heart blood. "Many who have registered for us are pure dreamers," says Tystrassen. In a nutshell, it would take a lot of money and a big portion of craziness to keep such a project in the long run.

"Every year, we have reinvested thousands of francs from our private assets," he says. Now they are looking forward to celebrating New Year's Eve in the future at home or visiting a theater as an ordinary spectator. "But I will miss the contact with the audience," says Katerina Laxdal.

http://www.aargauerzeitung.ch/aargau...ende-130824090
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Old 01.01.2017, 19:52
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Re: FATCA strikes again

While the closing of the theater is sad sad, and this doesn't excuse FATCA for being the piece-of-sh*t legislation that it is, a bit of research into the case shows that a) the guy knew he was born a US citizen, b) was made aware that his attempted renunciation was not accepted by the US government because he was underage, but took no further action, and c) refused to cooperate with the bank in any way. So while I have sympathy for the situation, and absolutely understand his resentment of the US government for being placed in that situation, he could have avoided the problems by renouncing properly long ago.


http://www.zuonline.ch/front/eine-ho...story/14389694
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Old 01.01.2017, 20:03
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Re: FATCA strikes again

Yes, he should have taken action when the problem first appeared, especially as his serving in the Swiss army could have counted as an expatriating act. It just shows how far reaching this stupid Act can be and anyone can be caught up in the consequences if they ignore it.
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Old 01.01.2017, 21:03
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Re: FATCA strikes again

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Yes, he should have taken action when the problem first appeared, especially as his serving in the Swiss army could have counted as an expatriating act.
Becomming a Swiss citizen could count as an expatriating act as well.

Tom
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Old 01.01.2017, 21:08
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Re: FATCA strikes again

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Becomming a Swiss citizen could count as an expatriating act as well.

Tom
True, but they rejected his notification of renunciation when he got the Swiss citizenship at 20 as he was under age. What he should have done once he turned 21 or 25 or whatever the relevant age was, was to reapply based on the new citizenship.
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Old 01.01.2017, 22:11
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Re: FATCA strikes again

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Becomming a Swiss citizen could count as an expatriating act as well.

Tom
Except that it doesn't. Established practice is that acquiring another citizenship itself does not cause loss of US citizenship.
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Old 01.01.2017, 22:37
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Re: FATCA strikes again

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Except that it doesn't. Established practice is that acquiring another citizenship itself does not cause loss of US citizenship.
It does if you state that you took the new citizenship with the intention of relinquishing your US citizenship.

Tom
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Old 02.01.2017, 10:50
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Re: FATCA strikes again

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It does if you state that you took the new citizenship with the intention of relinquishing your US citizenship.

Tom
Except that it doesn't, at least not any more. If it did, then you wouldn't have people (justifiably) bitching about the hoops they have to jump through to renounce.
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Old 02.01.2017, 11:38
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Re: FATCA strikes again

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Except that it doesn't, at least not any more. If it did, then you wouldn't have people (justifiably) bitching about the hoops they have to jump through to renounce.
On the contrary, many people have been granted a relinquishment due to gaining a new citizenship with the intention of giving up the US one. Some have even prepared a document for the presiding official at the citizenship ceremony to sign to that effect - and they've been accepted as proof of said intention.

The bitches are because of a) the unjustified and exhorbitant cost when you renounce/relinquish and b) the obstacles that the US government and it's embassies/consulates put in the way of doing the actual deed. Long waiting times to even get an appointment at some and the insistence at many embassies/consulates of having 2 interviews - one where they do their best to persuade you to change your mind and then send you away for a few weeks more to "think about it", the second to do the actual renunciation itself. For those people who live many hours' travel from any embassy/consulate it's a pain to say the least. Having to do it twice is just aggrevation on the part of the US government as a renunciation doesn't need the initial interview as people taking this drastic step have already done all the thinking about it that they need to.

I'm happy to say that the US embassy here in Switzerland doesn't usually suffer from long waiting lists and only requires the one visit.
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Old 02.01.2017, 14:52
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Re: FATCA strikes again

I don't understand the link between the closing of the theatre and FACTA. A theatre is not a person. Presumably they could have enlisted non-US persons to be directors.
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Old 02.01.2017, 15:29
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Re: FATCA strikes again

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I don't understand the link between the closing of the theatre and FACTA. A theatre is not a person. Presumably they could have enlisted non-US persons to be directors.
Just what I was thinking; especially as the theatre was presumably founded by a non-american and then inherited by a person who is also not a US citizen.

If the problem is the ambiguous citizenship of the second husband then the owners have been rather stupid in not dealing with that sooner.
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Old 02.01.2017, 17:39
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Re: FATCA strikes again

Yes, that would have been another option. But it seems he has signatory authority on the personal accounts, if not the theatre's, and as they put a lot of their personal funds into the theatre it has caused problems. If he has the authority on the theatre's account then it's even worse.

All this could have been avoided if he'd taken action when he found out his supposed renunciation was rejected by the US. Certainly when PostFinance started querying his status he should have done more to rid himself of the citizenship before it got to this situation. In this case, as unfortunately in many others, ignorance is not bliss!
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Old 02.01.2017, 17:44
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Re: FATCA strikes again

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Yes, that would have been another option. But it seems he has signatory authority on the personal accounts, if not the theatre's, and as they put a lot of their personal funds into the theatre it has caused problems. If he has the authority on the theatre's account then it's even worse.

All this could have been avoided if he'd taken action when he found out his supposed renunciation was rejected by the US. Certainly when PostFinance started querying his status he should have done more to rid himself of the citizenship before it got to this situation. In this case, as unfortunately in many others, ignorance is not bliss!
None of this is FACTA's fault as you seem to suggest with your title. This is purely poor business management.
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Old 02.01.2017, 17:58
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None of this is FACTA's fault as you seem to suggest with your title. This is purely poor business management.
It would not have happened if FATCA hadn't come into existence. PostFinance would be happy to have them as customers, they could use their account/s fully and the theatre would still be up and running because PostFinance wouldn't care less that he's an American citizen if not for FATCA. That is the only reason they're getting grief from PostFinance.
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Old 02.01.2017, 18:09
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It would not have happened if FATCA hadn't come into existence. PostFinance would be happy to have them as customers, they could use their account/s fully and the theatre would still be up and running because PostFinance wouldn't care less that he's an American citizen if not for FATCA. That is the only reason they're getting grief from PostFinance.
And? They could have changed banks, complied with the FACTA refs, renounced his citizenship OR removed himself from financial responsibility of the theatre.

Why don't people take responsibility anymore? It's always someone else's fault.
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Old 02.01.2017, 18:49
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Re: FATCA strikes again

I agree, he's been stupid and brought it on himself for not reacting when FATCA started to rear it's ugly head. But he wouldn't have needed to do anything if the US government hadn't decided to go after it's expat population. The initial fault is theirs, the subsequent ones are his for not taking the matter seriously enough.
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Old 02.01.2017, 19:59
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Re: FATCA strikes again

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I agree, he's been stupid and brought it on himself for not reacting when FATCA started to rear it's ugly head. But he wouldn't have needed to do anything if the US government hadn't decided to go after it's expat population. The initial fault is theirs, the subsequent ones are his for not taking the matter seriously enough.
I still don't see it. If the speed limit changes is it the fault of the gov't if you don't comply?
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Old 02.01.2017, 20:08
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I still don't see it. If the speed limit changes is it the fault of the gov't if you don't comply?
Yes, if I'm not even driving a car in their country! Would you feel like complying if the US government insisted that Americans driving on Swiss motorways stick to the US speed limit because that's what it is in the States? No, of course you wouldn't. You'd be even more pissed off if the Swiss police stopped you because you weren't obeying US speed limit laws.
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Old 02.01.2017, 20:09
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Re: FATCA strikes again

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I still don't see it. If the speed limit changes is it the fault of the gov't if you don't comply?
If Switzerland hadn't given in to the US blackmail, there wouldn't have been a problem, either.

Tom
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Old 02.01.2017, 20:14
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Re: FATCA strikes again

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It's always someone else's fault.
Nonsense.

A Swiss in Switzerland is a Swiss, regardless of any other citizenship, and only has to follow Swiss law. Should they then go to the US, that's another situation.

That a foreign entity can force their absurd laws in such a case is truly screwed up.

And I don't see the US handing over details of Swiss bank accounts in the US, either.

Tom
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