Internet Tax Summit – September 21, 2105 Comments – U.S. Citizens Living Abroad, Accidental Americans And Immigrants Coming To The U.S.


Just because I was put in the position to have to relinquish my citizenship does not in the least mean I feel this issue is over for me. There are others sorely impacted as well. I don’t think I will ever truly accept this episode in my life as just. Life is unfair and we must accept that however, these days every time I see some heinous criminal back in the U.S. on my television the thought always goes through my mind “Yes, but that person is not going to be put in the position to have to give up their citizenship no matter what they have done.” It seems childish, I admit but, I hope others will forgive somewhat my resentment over it. I do laugh at myself for having such knee jerk reactions but, I’ll allow myself some of that for a long while to come. 

My one consolation is that the State Department officer who dealt with my relinquishment bent over backwards to be kind to me about it saying “some people can’t keep it” meaning my citizenship. She very strongly hinted that she did not agree with this current situation and her effort to be so understanding got me through the day. State officials are not allowed to speak on domestic policy affairs so I doubly appreciated her effort to let me understand that she too felt this was wrong. When I handed my paper work to the clerk before seeing the officer the clerk loudly remarked “Oh, another one of these.” Meaning renounce/relinquishment paper work! How sad is that? Even embassy workers are getting used to people giving up citizenship.

I will attach a photo of what the weather was like the day my spouse and I drove the three hours to the University of Toronto for the filming to give you an idea of how determined I am that good people in the U.S. do understand the true impact FATCA is having rather than the stated press releases information. It brings a little levity to the situation and shows you that because I felt I had to relinquish with little choice in the matter, I am all the more determined to bring this issue to the light of day. After all, what else do I have to lose by speaking out?

As far as I am concerned I am still American. I had to get a document so I could live normally here and to protect my son and spouse but, that does not mean that is how I feel. If and when FATCA is amended I plan to do everything in my power to regain my citizenship. I have never had so much as a parking ticket and do not feel I or anyone else who is a law abiding person should have to pay for the crimes of a few off shore tax cheats. This entire episode is disgraceful. They caught those criminals with laws  that were already in place so the worst of it is that I don’t think FATCA was even necessary at all. They almost all lived inside the U.S. Calling a bank account “off shore” that is up the street from where you live is at the bottom of this issue.

Lest anyone think I did not do everything in my power to retain my citizenship, my spouse even sought jobs back in the U.S. and we made an effort to pick up stakes and move back there. My spouse is three years older than me and is not American so very few can just “move back” as some suggest. Had I moved back with foreign spouse in tow we’d have been a burden on the U.S. system until such time as he obtained proper working documents and a job. We have never taken a dime from anyone in our lives and did not intend to start now. Some seem to not really believe that there are so many expats with so few options.

Snow Storm



Another Comment:

I was put in a position to have to relinquish my U.S. citizenship or not be able to live, save, and bank normally here with my Canadian spouse. My spouse strongly objected being a blue collar worker and an honest person to having the U.S. delve into his banking information as if he were a practicing criminal with no evidence of any wrong doing. Tremendous pressure is being brought on proud Americans living abroad.

I did not take Canadian citizenship until such time as it became clear I would no longer be able to remain American. I never intended to be Canadian in all the years I lived here. I was born and grew up in the U.S. and my entire family outside of my spouse and son who are Canadian are all still in the U.S. Imagine the pressure of not knowing what to do? If I relinquish will I be able to see my family back home again? What if some law is passed that punishes us further by not allowing us back? If I do not relinquish can my Canadian family live with the impacts upon them of my retaining my U.S. citizenship? I had planned should something ever happen to my spouse here to return to live near my siblings in the U.S. in my older years. However, that is no longer a possibility for me. I think this shows just how dire the situations really are for Americans abroad.

It was with the deepest regret that I gave up my citizenship. I am fifty seven years old. FATCA was poorly thought out, poorly implemented and judging from the many Americans I know who live here it is truly destroying the U.S. good ambassadors abroad.

Another Comment:

I am a middle-class American veteran living abroad and I pay my fair share of local taxes.  I had to move abroad to find work during the glutted job market of the dot-com crisis.  In 2012, I had to renounce US citizenship to refinance my mortgage due to the severe discrimination caused by FATCA.  Renouncing US citizenship had no impact upon the taxes that I pay every year.  My retirement savings is tied to my mortgage and my mortgage has to be refinanced every few years.  I cannot afford to lose the home where my family lives, since such would harm my retirement savings and increase rental costs.  I have a multi-national, multi-cultural family with two children, my daughter is ten and my son is almost 2 years old.  My daughter is currently having difficulties getting a local child-savings account due to discrimination against US citizenship status.  Discrimination is wrong, and yet neither HUD, nor the VA, nor US representation, nor American human rights groups, nor the US Justice Department, nor the Department of State offered to assist my family with the difficulties of discrimination wrongly caused by US extraterritorial policy.  The US government neither understands nor is prepared to cope with the negative consequences of its actions beyond US borders.  It is armed with bigotry and misunderstandings, but unprepared to cope realities of the real world abroad.

I am an American and I will always be an American.  My ancestors sailed to America on the Mayflower.  Serving in the US military, I donated my life to America, for the American people.  My citizenship-status is the responsibility of the US government.  Not being a US citizen means that the US government fears my voice in US elections, since it understands that its foul treatment of Americans abroad is unacceptable.  My voice speaks the values which America used to cherish, which include freedom, justice and liberty for all.

Over the years, I’ve observed that America is excessively hostile against the American diaspora.  Much of this racism is the result of the American media, caused when journalists like you wrongly accuse the working poor abroad of not reducing your tax bill.

Enough is enough.  Instead of feeding racism in America against expats, please do more to educate people living in America about why their current unnecessary hostility against the American diaspora does more harm than good.

Another Comment:

It is not about taxes; it is about banking and being able to live their lives as  homeland Americans do. We are having our bank accounts (checking, savings, etc.) closed on us and our local banks do not want to retain “US Persons” as clients. We are not able to have investment accounts or retirement accounts. We are having our mortgages rescinded and/or denied DIRECTLY as a result of FATCA. Additionally, I know many who are denied employment because of FATCA as a “US Person” is too toxic to have as an employee. The Media never reports this!

We pay taxes where we live in our respective countries of residence.  FATCA has put on the front burner the issues of CBT (Citizenship Based Taxation) which the United States is the ONLY country except for a tiny African country, Eritrea, practices. The rest of the world practices RBT (Residency Based Taxation). CBT makes it impossible for families to live normal lives as others in their respective countries of residence and like homeland Americans.

We find it shameful that a country like the United States puts its diaspora in a position to choose between their livelihood, their family, and their US Citizenship!

We Welcome Your Comments Below!


If you missed the Broadcast, you can purchase the entire Internet Tax Summit recordings with all the PowerPoint Presentations and receive Bonus Materials – eBooks, 179 Page Outline Document, White Papers, InfoGraphic, and more…

Recordings And Bonus Material


TaxConnections is where to find leading tax experts and technology around the world. Discover tax professionals who offer you a wide range of tax expertise and be more informed about the technology that supports them in operating efficiently and successfully.

TaxConnections connects tax professionals with new tax clients and tax jobs around the world. Tax Professional Members establish higher visibility online so prospective clients and employers can find our members easily. Each members also receives a Virtual Tax Office which is the most valuable online real estate available today! TaxConnections makes a difference in your professional life.

We offer a Special Membership rate to tax professionals out of work.

Kat Jennings, CEO

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Flickr YouTube Vimeo    

Subscribe to TaxConnections Blog

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

2 comments on “Internet Tax Summit – September 21, 2105 Comments – U.S. Citizens Living Abroad, Accidental Americans And Immigrants Coming To The U.S.

  • Thanks for offering what should be for many some valuable information. I wish some of it could be accessed for free for many to realize what awaits them. And, kudos for including John Richardson who told it like it is for those who are not US Homelanders — either in the US or Abroad. As you have shown, there are others who have made their lives in other countries — as they are and always should be able to do — and will not return to the US.

    I left the US with my then-husband decades ago for work in Canada after Seattle became a big one-industry ghost town after the cancellation of the Boeing SST contract. We became Canadian citizens in 1975 and were warned at the time (by a US Consulate here) that we would thereby be losing our US citizenship. By the time we became Canadian citizens, we knew Canada was where we wanted to live, work and raise our family and it is a choice I have never regretted, for many reasons. I OFFICIALLY lost (again) my (unbeknownst to me) not-lost US citizenship in 2012 by renunciation at a US Consulate in Canada. I received my Certificate of Loss of Nationality to show to my local Canadian *foreign financial institution* to prove I was no longer a tainted US Person. My Canadian-born daughter has also renounced her US citizenship. My Canadian-born son cannot for any amount of money paid to any US tax lawyer, US tax accountant or US immigration/nationality lawyer. He’s entrapped into the absurdity of an extraneous US citizenship even beyond the day I’m no longer here and the US may be able to claim some of the small inheritance I leave for my Canadian-born children.

    I reject that my Canadian-born adult child who has never lived in or had any benefit from the U.S. (AND OTHERS LIKE HIM – and there are / will be others) is entrapped into extreme yearly administrative costs of U.S. tax and bank account reporting compliance because the U.S. will not allow him (them) to *renounce* (at a present fee of US$2,350) an acquired, non-meaningful and without their or their parents’ consent, U.S.-deemed U.S. citizenship. (And, yes, I agree — I was naive.)

    e.g., The U.S. Consulate in Calgary, correspondence from the U.S. Department of State/Legal and advice from a Washington, DC immigration/nationality lawyer* after discussions with DOS in Washington gave me the same information — all regarding *acquired* U.S. citizenship (though never registered as a US birth abroad – purposely – but that makes no difference).

    *Department of State (DOS) persons have “sympathy” for such cases. However, the developmentally disabled person will have to have FULL understanding of what he’s doing; if any question of lack of comprehension and grasping meaning and importance of ramifications, they could NOT approve such a case. From DOS point of view, U.S. citizenship is precious and they have therefore established fundamental requirements for “compelling reason”. Even though there is the risk that a person’s financial resources could run out before his/her life was over, they will never approve a renunciation for financial / economic reasons. DOS has NEVER had such a renunciation case approved due to “compelling circumstances”. (I could sue but persons he talked with at DOS are SURE no one would ever win such a case as the courts view the discretionary action that DOS has would take precedence).

    A parent, a guardian or a trustee cannot act on such a person’s behalf, even with a court order.

    If the US will not change to residence-based taxation as the rest of the world, there is needed legislation, Canadian and/or U.S., that makes sense for anyone affected by U.S. citizenship-based rather than Canadian residence-based tax law:

    • to find the same exit out of the *U.S.-deemed U.S. citizenship* maze,
    • to be able to live their lives resident in Canada or other countries, without discrimination by national origin or the national origin of one’s parent(s),
    • to be subject to the same laws and rights as any other Canadians.

    Abolish CBT and this problem goes away for millions upon millions and the US will look like a more caring and sensible country — it could use the PR boost.

    PS: Though I owed no other US taxes on my way out of US citizenship and completion of final Form 8854 to show I am not a *covered expatriate*, I did have to pay the IRS US$3,661 in taxes for the Canadian government mathcing contributions made to my son’s Canadian Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) — those bonds and grants funded by Canadian taxpayers. That sum was over and above what I took from my retirement savings to pay for US tax lawyers, US tax accountants and US immigration / nationality lawyers for renunciation and trying to find a way out for my son. This is not the way I planned to spend my Canadian retirement years or Canadian-earned and saved retirement dollars.

    Thanks again – and for listening to how it is for some of us abroad.

  • William Richards Jr.

    I always find your writings beautifully communicated and thought provoking. With regard to this FATCA legislation, I believe that it is worth noting that this was arranged in conjunction with the 2008 banking melt down. The global interbank market is so interdependent that it has become a tool to enforce and impose will upon other sovereigns, rather than our constitutional mandates.

    The United States government has tried in a time of crisis to over come the obstacle of what our law is, to assert jurisdiction beyond what our own constitutional law limits. They were unable to pierce blocking statutes as to foreign banking because it requires a specific United States statute and meeting the rigors of Due Process of our constitution. The international case law is very clear, there is no in personam jurisdiction by virtue of failure to meet the element of Due Process.

    It is was concocted during the stress of a global banking crisis in which it required cooperation of all central banks to coordinate to avert financial collapse. It was strong arm legislation by treaty agreements that were reluctantly entered into by sovereigns to maintain financial stability to protect their own citizens.

    The truth is banking with confidential accounts has been attacked on the basis of loss of tax revenues. But in fact the movement of capital offshore that has been occasioned by asset protection, dwarfs any loss of revenue to a sovereign. It has been estimated that in 1994 at least one to five trillion dollars has been held and funded in asset protection trusts offshore rather than in the United States. International Financial Centers of foreign sovereigns around the globe are competing for this capital to flow to their benefit just as a market economy and free trade is designed to work. Taxpayers are availing themselves of these opportunities to safe guard their hard assets from judicial regimes that pose a clear and present danger to their financial well being. Taxpayers that avail themselves of this guaranteed financial freedom do what they always have done, abide by the law and pay their taxes. There are a small number of renegade taxpayers, as there always are, they for whatever reason find unlawful acts to be their path.

    These are Treaties which are contracts and it is plausible that they were entered into under duress thereby making them voidable. As this global financial crisis continues, perhaps worsening, it will take a very strong sovereign to declare these strong arm treaties for what they are, political overreach, coercion.

    In this regard, see See, Debra Baker, Island Castaway, A.B.A.J., Oct. 1998.; also see David D. Beazer, The Mystique of of ‘Going Offshore’ UTAH BJ., Dec. 1996. WR

Comments are closed.