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The United States Imposes A Separate And Much More Punitive Tax On U.S. Citizens Who Are Residents Of Other Countries

John Richardson April 10

Reposted Due To Upcoming Debate On Citizenship Taxation

On February 28, 2019 TaxConnections kindly posted my first post comparing the way that 19th Century Britain and 21st Century America Treated Its Citizens/Subjects. The post received a great deal of interest resulting in more than 120 comments (largely reflecting the frustration of Americans abroad and accidental Americans).

The purpose of that post focused largely on citizenship and the fact that the United States imposes worldwide taxation on U.S. citizens who are tax residents of other countries and do NOT live in the United States. What that post did NOT do was to focus on HOW the Internal Revenue Code applies to U.S. citizens who do NOT live in the United States.

The Bottom Line Is:

The United States is in effect imposing a separate and more punitive tax system on its citizens abroad. Strange but true. The purpose of this post is to explain how that works and to provide specific examples.

Prologue

Do you recognise yourself?

You are unable to properly plan for your retirement. Many of you with retirement assets are having them confiscated (at this very moment) courtesy of the Sec. 965 transition tax. You are subjected to reporting requirements that presume you are a criminal. Yet your only crime was having been born in America (something you didn’t even choose) and attempting to live as a U.S. tax compliant American outside the United States. Your comments to my recent TaxConnections Post reflect and register your conviction that you should not be subjected to the extra-territorial application of the Internal Revenue Code – when you don’t live in the United States.

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In The 21st Century The Most Important Thing About A Person Is Tax Residency

John Richardson- Residency Determines Tax

Green Card holders are deemed to be U.S. tax residents under the Internal Revenue Code. In most circumstances Green Card Holders are also treated as U.S. tax residents under U.S. tax treaties.

U.S. Green Card holders have traditionally been able to use tax treaties to sever “tax residence” with the United States. This decision carries both burdens and benefits and should never be undertaken without competent professional advice. (For Green Card holders who are “long term residents“, the use of a “tax treaty tie breaker” will result in expatriation. Expatriation may trigger the imposition of the Sec. 877A Expatriation Tax.)

The tax treaty tie breaker is available if and only if the individual is, according to the tax treaty, a tax resident of BOTH the United States and the treaty partner country.

Typically the tax treaty tie breaker is a mechanism where one uses the provisions of the tax treaty to assign tax residency to one and only one country according to the tax treaty.

To repeat: a condition precedent to the use of the tax treaty tie breaker is that the individual be a tax resident of both countries according to the tax treaty.

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United States Dual Citizens Receive Punitive Tax

Attention Please

We bring your attention to the commentary on the post this week  written by John Richardson of Citizenship Solutions in Toronto, Canada called “The United States Imposes A Separate And Much More Punitive Tax On U.S. Citizens Who Are Residents Of Other Countries”.

We appreciate the commentary to Johns post and ask our readers to add their own stories to educate the public of the impact of these laws have on dual citizens. The real financial impact is causing hardship and stress for many Americans who live and reside in other countries and have done so for years.

You can read the story and commentary at this link.

 

The United States Imposes A Separate And Much More Punitive Tax On U.S. Citizens Who Are Residents Of Other Countries

John Richardson - The United States Taxes Citizens Who Reside In Another Country

On February 28, 2019 TaxConnections kindly posted my first post comparing the way that 19th Century Britain and 21st Century America Treated Its Citizens/Subjects. The post received a great deal of interest resulting in more than 120 comments (largely reflecting the frustration of Americans abroad and accidental Americans).

The purpose of that post focused largely on citizenship and the fact that the United States imposes worldwide taxation on U.S. citizens who are tax residents of other countries and do NOT live in the United States. What that post did NOT do was to focus on HOW the Internal Revenue Code applies to U.S. citizens who do NOT live in the United States.

The Bottom Line Is:

The United States is in effect imposing a separate and more punitive tax system on its citizens abroad. Strange but true. The purpose of this post is to explain how that works and to provide specific examples.

Read more

Expatriates Are Very Upset With The United States IRS: 120+ Comments Educate You Why

John Richardson On Expatriate Taxes

We continue to receive commentary on the article written by TaxConnections Member John Richardson of Citizenship Solutions. His blog post on USA Of The 21st Century Is Like Britain In The 19th Century has hit a nerve with many expatriates around the world. The blog post and the 120+ comments that follow explain what is happening to those who happened to be born here but do not live in the United States. There is more to learn that will leave you at the edge of your seats so stay tuned to this post.

Read this post that has 120+ comments and growing by the day and please forward to expatriates you know to add commentary.

https://www.taxconnections.com/taxblog/the-usa-of-the-21st-century-is-like-britain-in-the-19th-century/#.XH3XiKJKiJB

Please add your commentary below to continue to educate others on the consequences of United States FATCA tax laws on your life.

Written By TaxConnections CEO, Kat Jennings

 

WOW! A Big Reaction To The Article Posted Yesterday Called “USA Of The 21st Century Is Like Britain In The 19th Century”

John Richardson About Americans Citizens Abroad

Yesterday, we posted an article called The USA Of The 21st Century Is Like Britain In The 19th Century written by John Richardson of Citizenship Solutions in Canada. John is an internationally recognized expert on the subject of dual citizenship and accidental Americans. The post created a significant amount of reaction and response which I want to bring to your attention today. It is important to understand the impact of U.S. tax laws and how they are affecting Americans who moved long ago to another country, or may have just been born here but do not reside in the United States.

It is a great article and the commentary continues to highlight the issues faced by many. You can read the article and the comments at this link:

https://www.taxconnections.com/taxblog/the-usa-of-the-21st-century-is-like-britain-in-the-19th-century/#.XHkuBqJKiJA

Your comments are welcome to continue enlightening the world.

Kat Jennings, CEO TaxConnections

 

The USA Of The 21st Century Is Like Britain In The 19th Century

John Richardson And FATCA

In 2018 Professor Lucy Salyer of the University of New Hampshire published “Under the Starry Flag” – a book largely about the 1868 Expatriation Act. The book describes a period in American history where Britain treated its “subjects” as having perpetual loyalty to the British Crown. To put it simply: One could NOT emigrate to America and expatriate. No matter what one did, those who were born British Subjects were destined to die British Subjects.

The above tweet links to an interview of Professor Lucy Salyer conducted on February 9, 2019. The interview is about Professor Salyer’s new book “Under the Starry Flag”. It is a fascinating (brilliantly researched) work. The publisher describes the book as:

The riveting story of forty Irish Americans who set off to fight for Irish independence, only to be arrested by Queen Victoria’s authorities and accused of treason: a tale of idealism and justice with profound implications for future conceptions of citizenship and immigration.

In 1867 forty Irish American freedom fighters, outfitted with guns and ammunition, sailed to Ireland to join the effort to end British rule. Yet they never got a chance to fight. British authorities arrested them for treason as soon as they landed, sparking an international conflict that dragged the United States and Britain to the brink of war. Under the Starry Flag recounts this gripping legal saga, a prelude to today’s immigration battles.

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Canada’s FATCA IGA Is About Government Of Canada Turning Dual Citizens Over To The United States

John Richardson FATCA Interview

What the Canada U.S. FATCA IGA is NOT about

Canada’s FATCA IGA is NOT about information exchange. The United States does NOT exchange information under the FATCA IGAs.

Canada’s FATCA IGA is not about residency. After all the purpose of FATCA is to transfer information from a country where the person DOES actually reside (and is a tax resident) to a country where the person does NOT actually reside (but is deemed to be a tax resident).

What the Canada U.S. FATCA IGA IS about

Canada’s FATCA IGA IS about the Government of Canada surrendering its citizens to the United States (effectively stripping them of their rights as Canadian citizens).

Canada’s FATCA IGA is about assisting the United States in imposing worldwide taxation on Canadian citizens who actually live in Canada, are tax residents of Canada and pay full taxes in Canada. Transition Tax anyone? Do you feel GILTI today? What were you thinking by buying that Canadian mutual fund in Canada?

Canada’s FATCA IGA is NOTHING like the OECD Common Reporting Standard. In simple terms, under the CRS information is transferred from a country where the person does NOT live to a country where he does live.

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Americans Abroad And The Transition Tax – Leaves Taxpayers In Tough Situation

John Richardson - Transition Tax Leaves Taxpayers In Tough Situation

As 2018 comes to and end many individuals are still trying to decide how to respond to the Sec. 965 “transition tax” problem. The purpose of this post is to summarize what I believe is the universe of different ways that one can approach Sec. 965 transition tax compliance. These approaches have been considered at various times and in different posts over the last year.

As 2018 comes to an end the tax compliance industry is confused about what to do. The taxpayers are confused about what to do. For many individuals they must choose between: bad and uncertain compliance or no attempt at compliance. (I add that the same is true of the Sec. 951A GILTI provisions which took effect on January 1, 2018.)

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Retroactive Taxation And The Sec. 965 Transition Tax

John Richardson - December 14

The 2017 U.S. Tax Reform AKA – The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act ushered in significant changes for Americans abroad who carry on business through small business corporations. Section 965 was an attempt to impose retroactive taxation on 31 years of corporate earnings that were NOT subject to U.S. taxation at the time that they were earned. In Canada Canadian Controlled Private Corporations are used as private pension plans. The effect of the Sec. 965 transition tax was/is to confiscate the pensions which were earned in Canada by Canadian residents. It’s simply wrong.

In early of 2018 Dr. Karen Alpert and I worked on a series of videos to explain the Sec. 965 Transition Tax. Those vides spawned a series of 27 posts about the Sec. 965 transition tax.

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US Transition Tax Hearing – Argues Regulatory Flexibility Act Should Apply And/Or De Minimis Rule Be Created

John Richardson - ACA

“The Tax Cuts And Job Act brought in a whole new level. Small locally owned businesses we caught up in an effort to repatriate money from the likes of Google and Amazon. These small business owners were forced to recalculate their earnings dating back to 1986 (just like a large multinational corporation). The tax preparation for this alone could easily be in the tens of thousands of dollars. The retroactive back taxes will likely bankrupt thousands of businesses.”

The Section 965 “Transition Tax” saga continues. Americans abroad may have political differences. They may have philosophical differences. They may live in different countries with different tax treaties. But, opposition to the Section 965 Transition Tax and GILTI appear to have unified all Americans abroad.

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The Purpose Of The United States “Regulatory Flexibility Act”

John Richardson - The United States Regulatory Flexibility Act

The purpose of the “Regulatory Flexibility Act” is to ensure that when making regulations the U.S. Government makes a distinction between large corporations (for example Apple) owned by millions and shareholders and small corporations (for example Joe The Plumber) owned by Joe himself.

The text of “Regulatory Flexibility Act” is here.

The purpose of the “Regulatory Flexibility Act” is to require that

Congressional Findings and Declaration of Purpose

(a) The Congress finds and declares that —

(1) when adopting regulations to protect the health, safety and economic welfare of the Nation, Federal agencies should seek to achieve statutory goals as effectively and efficiently as possible without imposing unnecessary burdens on the public;

(2) laws and regulations designed for application to large scale entities have been applied uniformly to small businesses, small organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions even though the problems that gave rise to government action may not have been caused by those smaller entities;

(3) uniform Federal regulatory and reporting requirements have in numerous instances imposed unnecessary and disproportionately burdensome demands including legal, accounting and consulting costs upon small businesses, small organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions with limited resources;

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