Thursday, June 20, 2013

FATCA related links and my distress

If you use twitter, you can follow @FATCA_Fallout for continuous updates on the subject. I'm not a great fan of the Isaac Brock Society, to which he frequently links, but as a friend said the other day, by comparison, our organizations look so much more reasonable.
My own problem with FATCA is not a tax issue. I am quite conscientious in reporting my accounts and filing my returns in both countries. I would prefer the simplicity of residence-based-taxation, though, that would eliminate the need to report to the US. My problem is with the financial institutions' discrimination against US persons (citizens and greencard holders) both in the US and abroad. Some discrimination is old and tied to mis-interpretation of the Patriot Act by US banks, but most of it is recent, tied to FATCA, I believe.
This discrimination could lead to the conclusion that, in order to live "normally", I would give up my American citizenship. I would hate to feel that is what I have to do, and the kids, too, should do! And now there is the added threat that, if I (we) were do take that step, it would be interpreted "for tax reasons" and could prevent us from ever re-entering the US, even for visits. Yes, that is what Senators Schumer and Casey are proposing as an amendment to the immigration bill.
Anyway, here are just three of today's feed from @FATCA_Fallout:


Blaze said...

Ellen, you may want to check out Maple Sandbox (

We are allies and trading partners with Brock. But, while we try to While we offer a calm and casual approach, we know the battle against the IRS is a serious one that has turned lives upside down. So, we are determined to stand up to bullies, wherever they come from.

Like Brock, we are in Canada, so many of our posts and participants reflect that. However, we welcome people from around the world.

Tim said...

As a sometime Isaac Brock Society poster I would say the original origins of IBS are more towards people of American "origin" but who have obtained Canadian citizenship and in different ways have made some attempt to shed US status(up to obtaining a CLN). Unlike in Europe and Asia most American expats in Canada ended up taking Canadian citizenship over the years(including prior to the allowance of dual nationality) so there is a different to speak set of political and legal challenges.

Tim said...

The other thing I'll add and its something I have tried to point out on IBS for many months(now years) is if actually look at the mechanics of how the US government enforces tax law through the courts the IRS actually has some real problems in attempting to enforce tax law on expats. One of the most important questions under US law in any litigation is where is the proper venue for litigation. In criminal tax cases both as a matter of law and executive branch policy it has been determined it should be the defendants district of residence. Well what about US citizens abroad then. Well I guess in the case of someone like yourself or Victoria I would try to claim if I was the government that both of you are residents of Philadelphia and Seattle respectively. That "might" work but increasingly many if not a majority of US citizens abroad left the US as children or were born abroad to a US citizen parent. What about them. In fact these are some of the same issues that come up in voter registration.