Taxes

FATCA Victim, on Renouncing Citizenship: 'It was a gut wrenching experience that I do not think I will ever be over'

Heckuva job, Chuck Schumer et al

|

Points off for the labeling, but you get the idea. |||

Yesterday I wrote about a December-January survey of Americans living abroad showing that 31 percent of them have been actively thinking about renouncing their citizenship in the wake of the awful Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), which places tax-reporting burdens on expatriates so intolerable that record numbers are revoking their citizenship.

One participant in that study, Ruth Freeborn, is part of the 43 percent of citizen-renouncers reporting pre-tax household income of less than $100,000, putting the lie to the Chuck Schumers of the world that FATCA targets are "fatcats." Freeborn wrote in to Reason to share her story. Read it and weep:

I was a stay at home mom to a kid with medical problems here in Canada. I married a Canadian and only moved here because his parents were elderly and depended upon him for care. I remained an American here in Canada and did not take Canadian citizenship until such time as it became impossible for me to remain American.

There was no way after the implementation of FATCA that I could keep my citizenship. I tried, I wrote congress persons and did all I could for two years to see if some amendment would come so that I would not have to relinquish my citizenship. The burdens on my family here in Canada were such that I simply could not keep it. It was a gut wrenching experience that I do not think I will ever be over. I did not owe the U.S. any taxes as we are too low income for that. The problems with FATCA are a lot more complicated and harmful than just taxes owed.

At any rate it has been rare that Americans living in the U.S. have attempted to understand what is going on here. I can tell you that having to explain to my family in the U.S. that I could no longer remain American was simply horrible to have to go through, especially having to tell my father who is in his seventies.

If congress ever fixes this mess I will fight as hard as I can to get my citizenship back. It's all I can do but, those of you in the U.S. can do so much by simply calling out the baloney a lot of the press in the U.S. is propagating about FATCA. Most of the harm is not happening to "fatcats" I have met with forty U.S. citizens here in my small city and every single one said they would likely not be able to keep their citizenship and that includes veterans. Meetings have been going on here in Canada going on three years now and no one is listening to us in the U.S. or trying to do a thing about what we are going through.

I did not break any laws, I did not owe the U.S. any tax and I never would have given I have NO income and all the income in this household is earned by my Canadian spouse.

FATCA is a disgrace and should be repealed. Sadly, it's also a harbinger of a future in which all of us—not just the 7-8 million Americans who live abroad, or the uncounted millions of us who hold more than $10,000 in foreign financial institutions—are compelled to invite the U.S. government into each and every savings instrument we own.

UPDATE: Freeborn explains more about her situation (and that of people in her shoes) in the comments below, under the name "Ruth."

NEXT: Not Every Gay Political Issue Is Connected to Every Other Gay Political Issue

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. One participant in that study, Ruth Freeborn, is part of the 43 percent of citizen-renouncers

    Perfect.

  2. Yet again, this exposes american socialist’s claim that property rights only benefit the rich for the bullshit that it is.

  3. “Baloney”? In the press?
    Just another billionaire teabagger, throwing up a smokescreen to cover her tracks.

    1. No wrong again. I vote NDP in Canada, look it up. Liberal and all my family in the U.S. save one person are democrats.

      1. Pssst Ruth.

        If you are the Ruth in the story, I appreciate your being here. But you have to understand, that in order to survive, we tend to be quite sarcastic in comments. Keep that in mind while you read.

        1. Andrew, thank you for responding. Yes, I am the “Ruth” in the story. Please understand my sense of humor has taken a bit of a hit on this issue. I would like to find some of this funny but, simply can’t. I’ll try to read more carefully. I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank Matt because his research on this topic has been so in depth and accurate and for wanting to publish my letter. I’m just one person. I’ve met with many more who are having a very hard time. Even the consulate officer said to me on my relinquishment appointment “We understand, not everyone can keep it” meaning my citizenship. There were five people in there, four of us with relinquishment appointments. It’s disgraceful.

          1. Ruth,

            Maybe I’m stupid, but I have yet to read what exactly the hardship was for you. Please elaborate. Thanks.

            1. EAP, if you read the supporting links Matt provided, you can see, in general terms, what the hardship is.

              1. I figured that out from the commens further down, but it would have been nice if a sentence or two had been placed in the article instead of a link or two.

      2. Ruth, he’s being sarcastic. You need to understand that sarcasm rules here and we’re joking much of the time.

      3. I think Brooks was being sarcastic, Ruth. It runs so strong here that sometimes it short circuits individual sarc-detectors.

      4. FATCA didn’t go into effect in Canada until 2014. The last general election in Canada was 2011. So if you have voted NDP in Canada, either you voted as a non-citizen or you became a Canadian citizen before FATCA went into effect.

        1. I am a member of the NDP. One does not lose their U.S. citizenship when they become Canadian. I had to apply before FATCA came into law as it can take so long to go through and we had already been turned down for our mortgage renewal before FATCA officially came into law here. Our credit union wanted Americans out.

          1. FATCA was only passed in 2010. So your citizenship app must have gone through much quicker than expected for you to have voted in 2011 Canadian elections.

            1. This is…amazing. You actually think you’re Sherlock Holmes here. OH MY GOD.

              How have you not killed yourself yet? How is this possible?

            2. I joined the NDP in 2012. My husband has always been a member, you are correct that I have not had the opportunity to vote yet but, will soon. When I worded it “I vote NDP” I meant in the present. I became Canadian in 2012 officially.

              Btw, the NDP, Liberal Party, Green Party and the Canadian Civil Liberties association all opposed FATCA here. There was a huge push against it in Parliament but, Canada had no choice but, to go along as the U.S. threatened sanctions against Canadian banks if they did not in violation of Canada’s own laws. The IGA the U.S. caused Canada to sign actually protects the bankers here, not the citizens of either country. There is a law suit in progress over it here now.

              I specifically joined the NDP because of their push back on this issue though the MP here Ted Hsu *Liberal Party* pushed back hard too and there is a public hansard online that you can read as to why it is opposed here by nearly every party.

          2. Ruth, Unless you are prepared for some heavy sarcasm and some obnoxious people, you probably want to ignore much of what you read here in the comments.

            I’m curious about the specific problems you encountered. Sounds like the Canadian banks not wanting to do business with Americans under FATCA is the main problem. It that correct?

      5. Democrats! That’s part of your problem right there. The Fatca extortion was made into law during Ob?aama’s administration. Of course, the cuck and RINO Republicans probably voted along with their Democrat friends.

  4. Parading out the one in a million sob story case to shut people’s brains off is an age-old leftist tactic. It is shameful for you to be partaking in it.

    the 43 percent of citizen-renouncers reporting pre-tax household income of less than $100,000

    I notice this claim doesn’t have a link.

    1. I love it when the commies’ get so pissed off that the mask slips.

      1. Slips? They aren’t even trying to keep it on anymore.

    2. Fuck you, Tulpa, you scumbag. Why don’t you post under your real handle? Oh, wait, it’s because you think everyone hates you because I’ve poisoned the well against you, not because you’re a disgusting amoral piece of shit. Fuck off, moron.

      1. I want to know what he thinks about same-sex hand-holding and foot massage.

        1. You’ll be happy to know that I got RLC’ed yesterday because the idiot in front of me decided to stop in the middle of the intersection when the left turn arrow turned yellow, and I had no choice but to sit there while it turned red.

          Good idea, terrible implementation.

          1. It was a food truck, wasn’t it?

          2. Hey Tulpa, are you embarrassed that we identified you after a single post? You should be. You fucking moron.

            1. tanquam ex ungue leonem

              1. Except you’re no Newton. Although you may well be an adult virgin like he was.

              2. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

                Oh god your delusions of grandeur are the most hilarious thing imaginable. How you don’t find your own delusional state embarrassing beyond belief is impossible to understand, unless we realize that you are, basically, retarded.

                But we already knew that. Don’t worry, Tulpy-Poo, we know the mouse by its squeak. As you can see, every time.

                1. Few people with reasonable opinions would bother explaining them in this echo chamber of vipers. So I admit it is easy to spot me.

                  1. And yet you keep coming back. You loser. You child. You failure. Fuck you.

                  2. OH GOD IT’S HILARIOUS

                    Keep squeaking, Mousy-Poo! Squeak squeak!

                  3. this echo chamber of vipers

                    Hiss! Hiss! (hiss…hiss)

                  4. echo chamber of vipers

                    This is the part where you crush our heads, right?

                    Sadly it will be less Mountain and more Kids in the Hall.

                2. Was Tulpa opposed to all social benefits for illegal aliens? I honestly don’t know.

                  1. I believe so. He’s for most right-wing things, as long as they’re motivated by hate.

                    1. Ah. Yeah, that would seem to comport with is response to me below.

              3. Porque Pig|4.16.15 @ 11:57AM|#
                “tanquam ex ungue leonem”

                Hey, Porky! Tell us again about why Wiki doesn’t have ads! But don’t bother bullshitting for an hour first.

          3. You are literally the most pathetic person I think I’ve ever seen, Tulpy-poo. Congratulations, you’re now more pathetic than your mom. Now that’s saying something.

          4. I’m sure the logs of red light cameras are littered with photos of your Toyota Echo.

            1. Naw. He drives one a those little Datsuns where the seat folds down.

              1. Several years ago, he actually admitted to owning one.

                He was *proud* of his skinflintism and complete lack of style and masculinity.

                1. That’s a pretty fancy car for someone who can barely hold down a job at a 3rd-rate community college.

                2. Oh yeah, that’s right.

                  He LIVES in the Datsun.

          5. and I had no choice but to sit there while it turned red.

            Since you’re of the law-and-order type, you should have already known that you aren’t supposed to enter an intersection unless you can clear it. YOU should be happy to have been RLC’d.

    3. That was the result of the survey that is linked in the first sentence of the blog post.

      Also, “one in a million” is not remotely accurate, as you will see if you click on the links in my blog post from yesterday, in the sentence “This is not surprising to anyone who has paid attention to this issue.”

      1. Forget it, Welch. It’s Tulpatown.

      2. He’s an asshole troll, don’t waste your time.

    4. There is a link in the previous article to the study.

    5. Re: Porque Pig,

      Parading out the one in a million sob story case to shut people’s brains off is an age-old leftist tactic.

      I don’t get the logic. Are you saying you agree with FATCA? Or you don’t agree with it and what you’re criticizing is the tactic?

      I just want to understand your reasoning.

  5. If it’s this bad when she doesn’t owe any tax or have any income, I can’t even imagine what it’s like for someone with more complicated finances. The US government is beyond out of control–in general–and also especially with how it treats foreigners here and US citizens abroad. And it partly does that because they’re easy targets. That’s the government for you: bullying and stealing from the easiest to do so from.

    1. “Government for the people” means government for Americans. Not foreigners. If they don’t like it here they are free to find another country that will treat them better.

      1. C-. Totally unoriginal. Boring. Derivative.

        Can’t we get some actual trolls and socks with a glimmer of talent? Just a glimmer, instead of total shit acts like this? You’re not even interesting enough to mock.

        1. Also uninformed, boring and stupid

        2. Also uninformed, boring and stupid

          1. Ooops. Note to self: Read at least one post down.

        3. “C-. Totally unoriginal. Boring. Derivative.”
          You left out stupid. Don’t forget stupid.

        4. Can’t we get some actual trolls and socks with a glimmer of talent?

          No.

      2. If they don’t like it here they are free to find another country that will treat them better.

        I think they just did that.

        Were you always this stupid?

        1. The inflow is way bigger than the outflow.

          1. You’re talking about your asshole, right?

            1. I hope so. But if you prefer to have stuff going into your anus, that’s your right. I don’t judge.

              1. Holy shit, you can’t be honest when deflecting an insult.

                Judging is all you do, you mendacious twat. You’re like a worse version of Gladys Kravitz.

      3. 1) She was an American when this shit was impacting her.

        2) I’m assuming this means you are opposed to any and all government funds and programs being made available to non-citizens currently in this country?

        1. Beyond basic protection of their rights or programs where determining citizenship of benefiters is inefficient (such as subsidized mass transit).

      4. “Government for the people”

        There seems to be a word missing in the middle of that phrase…screwing, fucking, raping?

  6. Chuck Schumer loves citizens so much he just wants to clutch each and every errant one to his bosom and hold them close and never let them go.

    1. Thanks for making me think about Chuck Schumer’s bosom.

        1. Ewwww.

    2. You forgot “to suckle at his leathery nipple.”

      1. Are you treading on NutraSweet’s territory here? Be careful, he might sic Warty Hugeman on you.

        1. *involuntarily shudders and furiously swims away at michael phelps speed*

          1. Don’t listen to him. I’m a fan of leathery nipples for all.

            1. “The proletariat had become so dependent upon his sour, soporific milk that not even his wiry hair upon their tongue would cause them to turn their faces away.”

              *still swims back into cave for fear of Warty Hugeman’s wrath*

              1. Thanks for that. It’s not like I just got done eating lunch at all, so it’s all good…

  7. Fee to renounce citizenship: $2,350.

    1. If only we had our moonbase I would gladly drop 235,000 pennies down a gravity well right on top of IRS headquarters.

      1. Unfortunately they would burn up before any damage was done.

        Drop a rock.

  8. I’m saving for my US-born son’s education with registered accounts in Canada. Do these fall under FACTA reporting? How the fuck should I know, when talking to 4 different people at the IRS yields 4 different fucking answers. I can only imagine it’s going to get worse and worse for him… I guess I’ll start saving up a “renounce your citizenship” fund for him as well.

    1. Far as I can tell, once you have more than $10,000 total parked in non-U.S. instruments, the colonoscopy requirements kick in. Zoom through $50,000 and $100,000, and it gets considerably worse (with bigger penalties attached).

      1. So this sob story has $100K foreign bank accounts? The plot thickens.

        1. $100K seems like a lot of savings to you? That is so, so sad.

          1. It’s significantly more than most people have. From Mr. Welch’s former channel:

            Research from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) released Tuesday found 57% of U.S. workers have less than $25,000 in total household savings and investments, excluding their homes.

            1. U.S. workers have less than $25,000 in total household savings

              A person and a household are two entirely different things. So this phrase actually has no meaning whatsoever. Whatever meaning you think it has comes from your own imagination.

        2. Or more than $10K, idiot.

          1. Ha! Good luck finding a bank that will do business with an US citizen with an account under $10000

        3. I would reckon not, though I don’t know. (And I don’t know how that would thicken the plot.)

          If you are in middle age, $100,000 in total savings is not remotely fatcat territory. Having that 100K in foreign institutions instead of American ones should not subject you to this kind of scrutiny and penalty.

          1. The problem is some foreign banks just refuse you as a customer.

            So now you have $10,000/50,000/100,000 in cash. I’m sure that makes modern life easy.

            “Just use American banks in America.”

            OK…good luck paying your heating bill via direct withdrawal.

            Next…your employer only wants to pay in local currency. How does he deposit your monthly salary into your US bank account?

            It quickly becomes a huge chore, and if your country makes your life impossible, well, its no wonder people renounce.

            1. The problem is some foreign banks just refuse you as a customer.

              If only there were some economic system that could deal with buyers being refused by sellers…

              1. Ladies and gentlemen, this is what mongoloidism looks like. Step right up, folks! See the retard in all his glory! Watch him say unbelievably delusional shit! Enjoy as he embarrasses himself again and again, happily! Only five cents! Step right up!

                1. It really is epically pathetic.

              2. This board is a perfect example of that.

                No one ever bought an ounce of the bullshit you spew. But yet, you keep coming back and trying to sell more, impervious to reality.

                1. That was directed at Porque/Tulpa, not you, Harun.

                  Stupid threading.

            2. I hope by your comments you too are not affected by all this. My Canadian spouse could not go to his boss here and say he wants his paycheck deposited in the U.S. where he isn’t a citizen and does not live. That indeed would be “off shoring” People need to bank where they live and should not be treated like suspected tax cheats just because they need a bank account to pay bills and hold a mortgage where they live if there is an American in the household. That’s FATCA.

              1. Sorry you and your family had to go through this, Ruth.

          2. Matt, you’re arguing with a troll. Not even a regular troll who believes idiotic things, but a simple minded contrarian liar known as Tulpa. You literally can’t reason with it. It will blatantly lie and misconstrue everything you say. Best to just let Warty, Epi and the rest insult it until it crawls back into whatever hole it came from.

          3. Having that 100K in foreign institutions instead of American ones should not subject you to this kind of scrutiny and penalty.

            Having $100K in any kind of assets should subject you to this kind scrutiny.

            /IRS FAQ page.

        4. No, I did not have 100,000 in “foreign bank accounts” My husband makes all of our income at a working class job here in Canada working for a Canadian company as a Canadian citizen. I have zero income and we’ve never made anywhere near that kind of money.

          1. Well that’s a shame. But surely you see that it would be impossible to prevent true tax evaders from falsely claiming to be in a situation like yours.

            1. Oh my god Tulpa, you’re disgusting.

              1. He’s actually getting a smug-boner from giving shit to a woman in a bad situation. Tulpy–I mean Mousy–Poo, you are vile beyond belief. And you happily, eagerly showed us that. So you’re irredeemably stupid too.

                1. He’s actually getting a smug-boner from giving shit to a woman in a bad situation.

                  Well, “Ruth” sounds suspiciously Semitic, does it not?

                2. THE LAW IS THE LAW, Epi. Better to destroy a million Ruths than to let one Ruth keep a little bit of her money.

            2. Eliminate the income tax and problem solved. But ignoring that:

              Virtually every country in the world doesnt tax citizens living and working abroad. The US is one of the few.

              Also, fuck off slaver.

              1. No rob, it wouldn’t be solved because Ruth ALREADY has no income.

                1. Her household has income.

                  But, yeah, FACTA is only indirectly connected. But I wouldnt imagine it staying around if income tax didnt exist because money laundering issues go away too.

                  1. FATCA would never exist if there were no income tax.

            3. “Better a hundred innocent suffer then let one guilty man evade punishment” or something.

      2. Matt, some of the banks here are saying that it is too expensive for them to go by those suggested thresholds. They say they cannot afford to ferret out all Americans and anyone related to them every year and then on top of that ferret out who met the thresholds so to save money they are just going to report on everyone with any “U.S. indicia” They don’t even have to be American, just share joint accounts with one.

        1. “Some of” is not “all of”. The market would seem to be offering you a choice.

          1. Squeak squeak!

            Go Mousy-Poo! Go!

          2. Fuck off and die Tulpa you pathetic asshole. Do you get a boner from giving a hard time to someone who has been victimized by the government? You pathetic twat.

            1. Do you get a boner from giving a hard time to someone who has been victimized by the government?

              Obviously he does, look at how he is in cop threads.

        2. Ruth, I’m sorry you have attracted one of our trolls.

          1. It’s funny to see you all falling over each other to offer condolences to the sob story that is aligned with your ideology, after the callousness you displayed toward sob stories supporting other ideologies.

            I’m giving this person a chance to respond to the doubters. Which is more useful for an honest person than a million expressions of sympathy.

            1. Your delusions about yourself and the purpose you think you serve is always the most hilarious part of the days you cowardly slink back onto the board.

              If you had anything useful to say, you wouldn’t have to trick people into talking to you by constantly changing your handle. You’re like a shit-stained bum that keeps following people after they change subway cars to get away from his ravings.

              1. As I noted below, he has to do this to fufill prophecy. Next he must say, “Hodie mecum eris in paradiso.

              2. As I noted below, he has to do this to fufill prophecy. Next he must say, “Hodie mecum eris in paradiso.

            2. Fuck you. No one questions the fact that FATCA has made foreign banks mostly avoid doing business with Americans at all. We know that it affects Americans living abroad.
              Whether or not the law is necessary to stop tax evasion, there are people being harmed unjustly by the law. There is no doubt of that fact, whatever you think of the law.

      3. Ah, the tricky thing is the account is in my name, and he’s just a named beneficiary, 50/50 with his sister. 2 of the 4 IRS monkeys had no idea what that even meant.

    2. you’re running into the “rule of man not law” problem.

    3. And remember, even if the four different people at the IRS tell you the wrong things, it’s still your fault. Never forget that.

      1. Look, it’s your mom’s fault, m’K?

      2. Have you seen the Rumsfeld letter?

        http://www.ff.org/donald-rumsf…..o-the-irs/

    4. If “in the aggregate” your foreign accounts contain at least $10,000 at any point during the calendar year, then you have to file an FBAR with the US Treasury or be potentially hit with absolutely crazy mandated fines.

      1. Shit, I just realized I need to file an FBAR because I’m a signatory on a foreign account and don’t qualify for an exemption. WHAT THE FUCK?

      2. The accounts are mine, and he’s a named beneficiary, 50/50 with his sister. Does that fall under FBAR reporting? 2 of the 4 IRS monkeys I talked to couldn’t even comprehend that simple description of the situation.

  9. It wasn’t clear from the letter or the article: what hardship did she face? I’m not doubting the veracity of her claim I just don’t understand these “other” implications of FATCA. Is she saying that, as a result of her being an American living abroad her family household income (from her Canadian spouse) causes her to run afoul of the law? Or is it because she uses a Canadian financial institution?

    1. FATCA’s reporting requirements are incredibly exacting — imagine coughing up every account number of every pocket of money you hold outside of the U.S., no matter how trivial the amount, and then also reporting the maximum U.S. dollar value during the preceding tax year (which means also tracking down exchange rate fluctuations), and doing it all under the threat of severe penalties. That’s for you & usually all immediate family members, regardless of their citizenship. There is no way you can TurboTax your way out of this with any sense of confidence; you need expensive professional help. Meanwhile, you likely also face the hardship of not being able to bank in your country of residence, because banks are rightly chafing at the prospect of being tax-collectors for the IRS.

      This information is contained in many of the links from my post of yesterday.

      1. Gotcha. Thanks, Matt.

        Seems that the use of financial institutions to implement policy/extract vengeance is the modus operandi increasingly (“Chokepoint” being the other glaring example). What used to be part of the playbook for organized crime now is implemented to garner the government tithe or put undesirables out of business .

        1. What used to be part of the playbook for organized crime now is implemented to garner the government tithe or put undesirables out of business .

          Which is why even scumbags must be defended against government overreach. A right lost to one is a right to all, etc.

        2. It’s a simple connection. Money is the tool of the bourgeoisie used to oppress the proletariat. Banks are the storehouse for money. Therefore, attacking the banks attacks the capitalists.

          It also has the bonus of making capitalism look bad because it’s such a pain in the ass to deal with money.

        3. FACTA is Operation Chokepoint writ large.

      2. “Meanwhile, you likely also face the hardship of not being able to bank in your country of residence, because banks are rightly chafing at the prospect of being tax-collectors for the IRS.”

        I have found this to be true.

        As an American, it is practically impossible to open a bank account in Mexico unless you’ve achieved permanent resident status.

        1. Which the subject of this story presumably has achieved in Canada.

      3. When I ran into this problem in Taiwan many banks would just drop you or not accept you.

        ING did that to me when they ran into this issue.

        Last time I was there, the bank’s help desk was now covered in US government document forms with Chinese translations…that’s how many people are affected that some branch bank in some medium city in Taiwan is forced to have a full desk covered in IRS documents.

        I wanted to change my address with them, but then I’d have to fill out all these forms, and sign away my privacy. Not worth it for some piddly account I use to pay a local cell phone bill of $12 / month.

        Again, the IRS is forcing a foreign allied government to do this to catch how many tax cheats?

        1. Sorry… the second bank was a local bank that did accept me.

          ING was another, previous bank. They dropped me from brokerage accounts, due to capital gains reporting rules.

          America needs a territorial tax system like everyone else has.

  10. If I were going to design a law to discourage emigration from this sinking ship, it would look an awful lot like FATCA. I wonder if that was Schumer’s intent or if he just happened to design an evil law because he’s evil.

    1. Evilly incompetant?

    2. ^THIS^

      “Wo ist dein “exit visa,” Untertan?”

    3. FATCA is just the beginning of capital controls. That is all

      1. Bingo.

        If holding US gold coins was made illegal by executive order in 1933, it doesn’t take a leap of faith to see that making cash illegal can happen that quickly. See Iceland, France, Cyprus, etc.

    4. If I were going to design a law to test-run complete government control of individual accounts inside this sinking ship, it would look an awful lot like FATCA.

      Coming soon to your U.S. bank account.

  11. We’re talking about a ton of retired people on fixed incomes who move to Latin America because the cost of living is so much lower, too.

    I’ve found this to be true of most expats out there in the world. There are a small number of artsy/student types that are there for the cultural experience, and there are some people who move to other countries because their job requires it, but in my personal experience, most of the people who end up living overseas leave because things aren’t working out back home in the USA.

    A lot of them would go home if they could, but they can’t afford a decent standard of living back home anymore. There’s a certain sense of adventure to it, as well, but I still think most Americans who move to southern Mexico and Central America and stay there do so because the cost of living is so low. When you look at the list of top expat communities in the world for retirees, they’re all in places with a low cost of living.

    http://money.usnews.com/money/…..t-retirees

    Every one of them that isn’t in Latin America is either some place cheap in Europe (Spain/Portugal) or somewhere cheap in Asia (Thailand/Philippines).

    1. Yeah, and they make sure to mail in their absentee ballots to keep my generation paying into the system that provides the “fixed income” to support their Latin American adventure.

      1. I’m not sure you get that they’re spending less money living somewhere else than they would be here. You’re not subsidizing them living high on the hog.

        They’re actually living cheaper there than they would be here.

        Besides, what are you gonna do? Tell people on social security that they’re not allowed to leave the country?

        I’m all for getting rid of social security, too. In part, so that fewer retired people are relegated to living in Latin America to enjoy a decent standard of living.

        But they aren’t a drain on the system because they’re living abroad. Hell, a lot of them would probably be in more expensive/subsidized housing if they were here in the U.S.

        People with money when they retire don’t move to Mexico and Central America.

        They move to Scottsdale, Raleigh-Durham, or Tampa.

        1. You’re not subsidizing them living high on the hog.

          No, I’m subsidizing them so they can take my hard-earned dollars and dump them into a foreign economy.

          1. Illegal immigrants send home a lot of their pay, too.

          2. “No, I’m subsidizing them so they can take my hard-earned dollars and dump them into a foreign economy.”

            I don’t oppose Social Security because of how other people spend my money.

            I oppose Social Security because they’re taking my money–and that’s the end of it.

            If you think I’m going to support the government telling people what they can and can’t do or where they can and can’t go–just because the government forced them to participate in Social Security–then you’re crazy.

        2. Does Medicare work there?

          If not, we could be saving big bucks.

          1. Hell, most of the people who were buying their medications online from Canadian pharmacies were people on Medicare.

            Pharmaceuticals often cost less in Canada and Mexico than what you have to pay out of pocket when you’re on Medicare.

  12. The best part is, they can always get you for not filing, even if a thirty second back-of-the-envelope calculation shows you owe nothing. Because, “Prove it.”

  13. $100K seems like a lot of savings to you?
    .
    Oh, come on. You put that in the `bank, and live like a king on the interest. It’s, like, upwards of a hundred bucks a year.

    1. t’s, like, upwards of a hundred bucks a year.

      Which, admittedly, is probably more than his allowance.

    2. This is a person who claims to make so little that she wouldn’t need to pay any income tax. One of Obama’s 47%.

      Speaking of which, any guesses on who she voted for in 2012?

      1. You don’t have to guess, moron:

        Ruth|4.16.15 @ 12:04PM|#

        No wrong again. I vote NDP in Canada, look it up. Liberal and all my family in the U.S. save one person are democrats.

        1. He really is that stupid, WTF.

        2. The last Canadian election was in 2011, and FATCA was implemented in Canada only in 2014. She claims she didn’t become a Canadian citizen until she was forced to by FATCA.

          Hmm.

          1. You really are an insufferable douche in addition to being an idiot. Pathetic.

            1. Actually it appears I was correct: she confirms that she has never voted NDP above. If I’m an idiot then what does that make the people who accepted her story hook line and sinker?

              1. Far brighter than you.

              2. People who don’t care about irrelevant details like her voting choices.

          2. I’m not sure what you don’t understand here. Do you think that prior to 2014 she or her financial institution was immune from the steep fines levied for non-compliance in reporting? Foreign banks that do business in the United States are charged 30 percent of their US income for non-compliance. Therefore, even before the 2014 agreement, many Canadian banks that earn US income participated in FATCA reporting individually. And even before that, there were the foreign bank account report requirements of the Bank Secrecy Act.

          3. Tulpa, you get stupider every post. You are now stupider than functional illiterates.

          4. No, you fucking moron. She said she didn’t start to renounce her US citizenship until FATCA forced her to.

  14. Libertarian establishment types keep railing against the IRS, but with no idea what the tax is or how to go about fixing it. So, when Ted Cruz says “flat tax” or Gary Johnson says “fair tax” they salivate like pavlov’s mutt. Then Bozzo Boaz writes a nice little piece about how wonderful it would be if we could check off what we want to pay taxes for.
    The truth is that the tax is a classical liberal tax on public offices and privileges. It has to be to be constitutional. It always has been. It is modeled after the English tax system that started in 18th century. The Civil War income tax was the first time the US used it, and all income taxes are the same. The tax code doesn’t change. It is full of very old statutes that go back to the civil war.
    If you do not have privileged “income”, you need not pay the tax. That’s because the tax is on the privilege, and the income merely measures the amount of the income. If you earn money in a common law occupation of common right, you do not owe tax.
    Unless libs start talking about their right to earn a living and not about making being taxed for it more convenient, (flat tax) , or turning every retail sale in America into a privileged transaction,
    (fair tax) the cancer will indeed continue to spread.

    1. That’s because the tax is on the privilege, and the income merely measures the amount of the income.

      Um,…okay……

      1. Yeah, that was almost Herc-like, except more retarded.

        1. Herc was awesome, this guy is just stupid.

        2. and not as entertaining.

      2. It was spouting this nonsensical drivel last week as well. What “privilege” is it talking about?

    2. The Civil War income tax was the first time the US used it, and all income taxes are the same. The tax code doesn’t change. It is full of very old statutes that go back to the civil war.
      If you do not have privileged “income”, you need not pay the tax. That’s because the tax is on the privilege, and the income merely measures the amount of the income. If you earn money in a common law occupation of common right, you do not owe tax.

      I’m not sure where you’re getting that.

      The Revenue Act of 1861, formally cited as Act of August 5, 1861, Chap. XLV, 12 Stat. 292, included the first U.S. Federal income tax statute (see Sec.49). The Act, motivated by the need to fund the Civil War [1], imposed an income tax to be “levied, collected, and paid, upon the annual income of every person residing in the United States, whether such income is derived from any kind of property, or from any profession, trade, employment, or vocation carried on in the United States or elsewhere, or from any other source whatever [ . . . .]”

    3. Libertarian establishment types

      lulz

      1. Don’t think I didn’t notice the word “MAN” in your handle, Almanian. Stop keeping me down!

    4. The primary complaint against the IRS, from myself and a large proportion of the libertarian-ish folks I have encountered is not the taxation itself, which is bad, mind you, but the fact that the nature of the agency and the tax code itself has, is, and will be a vehicle for distributing favors to political allies and punishments to political enemies.

      1. Which is why it will never change.

      2. Personally, my biggest two complaints are :

        1) It has completely criminalized almost everybody, at their whim. The IRS can find something to complain about on any damn return, if they feel like it. Compliance with the law is no guarantee at all that they won’t fuck with you.

        2) Kangaroo court nature of the whole thing. 4rth amendment, 5th amendment ? Ever heard of them? Why don’t they count when it comes to taxes?

        1. Why don’t they count when it comes to taxes?

          The answer may be found at this link.

  15. When I was living in Bangkok, there were only a handful of banks that would allow Americans to open accounts because most banks didn’t want to deal with the FACTA reporting requirements, and those that did offered a much lower interest rate based on your nationality to cover the costs of reporting.

    My British expat friends were amazed; they didn’t even have to pay taxes.

  16. The USA is literally the only country in the world which requires its citizens living abroad to make the number of filings FATCA mandates. All other countries, AT MOST, require a filed affidavit saying you were abroad and/or earned all income in a foreign jurisdiction for that tax year.

    FATCA makes it difficult for Americans to bank abroad. Many foreign banks simply refuse to service Americans (terrified of being accused of helping Americans — even through simple negligence — of avoiding the payment taxes and losing access to New York’s financial system).

    If you’re an American living and working abroad permanently, you need reliable banking access. It only makes sense to renounce your citizenship just so you’re not faced with the specter of having your bank accounts summarily shut down.

    1. terrified of being accused of helping Americans — even through simple negligence — of avoiding the payment taxes and losing access to New York’s financial system

      No freakin wonder so many of the eschatology freaks think that America=Babylon the Great

  17. I still can’t get over how fast Warty outed Tulip upstream. And then how fast Tulip broke down and confessed, What a pathetic, broken person.

    If I ever got pissed off and “left” HyR, the one thing I WOULDN’T do is come back regularly under another handle to get abused. Till I slipped up, talked about bagpipes, and everyone knew it was me.

    Course, I’m not Tulip, nor Mary Stack, soooo….I just don’t understand and never will. Pathetic.

    1. If I weren’t here, nobody would have seriously questioned the narrative. I’m not ashamed of what I am.

      1. I’m still unclear on what you think the narrative is and what questions you’ve posed about it.

      2. OH GOD THE DELUSION

        The fact that you aren’t ashamed is what makes you particularly, spectacularly vile, Mousy-Poo. But just keep digging that hole. It’s not like making it any deeper is going to matter, it’s already most of the way to China.

        1. Here’s the thing, I would assume that many of us feel similarly to how I do; I do not come here to have my “narrative challenged.” I get enough of that on the outside. I come here to commiserate with like-minded people, something which is exceedingly rare. So when someone decides to play Socrates, as opposed to the gadfly “stinging people to enrage them, for the truth” it just comes across as the actions of a petulant child, squatting down to shit a turd in the punch bowl.

          1. Challenging narratives is fine, I don’t mind it at all. But that’s not what Delusiony-Poo is doing, as much as he deludes himself that it is. But he’s vastly too stupid and autistic to even remotely understand that.

          2. But, Tulpa is so wise.

            Why can’t you open wide and accept his hot, searing missile of wisdom?

          3. Bo and Tulpa really are two sides of same coin.

          4. So you want an echo chamber? Fine. There are plenty of collaboration tools on the net that allow you to pick and choose who can comment.

            Just give up the pretense that you want to be in a free marketplace of free minds, rather than a libertarian version of the puppy and cookie infested romper rooms the SJWs provide on college campuses for speech victims.

            1. You just don’t get it. Do you?

              You squandered whatever value you had as someone who could make any contribution of any value to this board, through years of vapid and narcissistic commenting, thinking that your knee-jerk contrarianism has any value in and of itself. You maintain this delusion to this day.

              But, Sug already pointed out that you know this, since you have to slither back on here under assumed identities, having destroyed the value of your original identity.

              That you derive some kind of warped joy from your universal loathing here, only makes it more pathetic.

            2. Your prior video on the topic made your point much more eloquently.

            3. I’m fine with being challenged. Quite a few folks here have and I’m better for it. All I’ve seen out of you is a thin gruel of “retard” and “fuckstick.”

            4. The obvious echo chamber is Tulpa’s empty skull.

            5. rather than a libertarian version of the puppy and cookie infested romper rooms the SJWs provide on college campuses for speech victims.

              I’m not the one who curled up in the fetal position on the floor and had a hissy-fit upon learning I imbibed Kosher for Passover Coca-Cola, sweetcheeks.

              1. How do you curl up in the fecal position and have a hissy-fit at the same time?

                I took the fight to the people who defrauded me and made them rue the exchange.

                1. How do you curl up in the fecal [sic] position and have a hissy-fit at the same time?

                  You’ve never seen a toddler fall on the floor in a fetal position while crying, screaming, and kicking their feet?

                  I took the fight to the people who defrauded me and made them rue the exchange.

                  Did you bring your mattress with you?

                2. How do you curl up in the fecal position and have a hissy-fit at the same time?

                  I took the fight to the people who defrauded me and made them rue the exchange.

                  Oh hee heee this is my favorite pair of sentences i’ve seen all day.

                  1. When Im in the “Fecal Position” I’m generally sitting on a porcelain pot and not having much of a “hissy-fit”

                    ?? WTF???

          5. What the fuck do you mean, I drank hemlock!?!

            So when someone decides to play Socrates…

            Is there a suggestion there?

      3. And what a job you’re doing, making completely unfounded assertions that have been corrected repeatedly by both the author of the article and its subject.

      4. You should be ashamed of what you are, Tulpa. You disgusting, immoral, lying sack of shit. And as if being a liar wasn’t bad enough, you had the gall to insult Ruth and try to get her to admit she’s lying or something. You are truly vile, do you know that? I wouldn’t allow you in my house. If I saw you stranded on the side of the road in a snowstorm, I wouldn’t pick you up.

        1. I wouldn’t pick you up.

          Except to do a Karelin Lift.

        2. Where did I insult her?

          She has now admitted her statement “I vote NDP” was false. Not a hanging offense of course, but it was false.

          1. False in the sense that there hasn’t been a general Canadian election for her to vote in. So in other words, not false at all. You disgusting vile sack of shit. I wouldn’t beat you with a stick if you were on fire.

            1. So if I said that I ride unicorns, that would not be a false statement?

              1. Holy hell, you are a pedantic idiot. You are literally the only person here who doesn’t understand what she meant.

                1. Exactly, Jordan. And also, that’s just a mule with a dildo taped to its head.

                  1. And the way you’re riding it is hell on its neck.

                2. BS, Jordan. People who responded to me had the same interpretation of what she said (except they believed it to be true).

              2. Porque Pig|4.16.15 @ 1:32PM|#
                “So if I said that I ride unicorns, that would not be a false statement?”

                Sophistry, here is your shitbag messenger.

          2. Porque Pig|4.16.15 @ 1:24PM|#
            “Where did I insult her?”

            Why should anyone give you the time of day? Get lost.

      5. Porque Pig|4.16.15 @ 12:34PM|#

        “If I weren’t here, nobody would have seriously questioned the narrative.”
        Not true; self-justifying bullshit

        “I’m not ashamed of what I am.”
        That’;s because you’re entirely too stupid to do so.

    2. So, what you’re saying is that you’re not into S&M.

    3. Epi noticed him first. Credit where it’s due.

    4. He’s been using that name for a little while now. Time for a new one, I guess.

  18. Now THAT is a Friday Funny!!!!

  19. I’m not ashamed of what I am.

    The sheep ENJOYED it!

  20. Here is the funny thing: there is plenty of narrative challenging on this site. There are a number of authors who get ripped on every article they write. There are plenty of issues with wide disagreement.

    My position on IP isn’t popular. Otherwise sensible people like Tonio freak out over certain issues.

    But because we dont argue over the specific things No and Tulpa obsess over, we aren’t challenging the narrative.

    1. Perhaps, but nobody disagrees as much or as hard as I do. With Reason swinging left, even Tony and PB probably disagree less.

      1. Porque Pig|4.16.15 @ 1:37PM|#
        “Perhaps, but nobody disagrees as much or as hard as I do.”

        Bullshit. Don’t flatter yourself; you’re an insufferable twit and a liar besides.

  21. Tulpa, if you ever want to be treated with any kind of respect again, here is what you must do:

    1. Change your handle back to Tulpa and post only under that handle

    2. Apologize for your dishonesty

    3. Only argue in good faith from now on

    Until then,

    TV pitch: Quantum Derp

    Intro:
    Theorizing that one could derp travel within his own handle, Dr. Tulpa Rollo stepped into the Quantum Derp accelerator and vanished… He woke to find himself trapped in the H and R forum, using handles that were not his own and driven by an unknown force to change things for the dumber. His only guide on this journey is Episiarch, an observer from his own time, who appears in the form of a hologram that only Tulpa can see and hear. And so Dr. Tulpa finds himself leaping from handle to handle, striving to put right what once went wrong and hoping each time that his next leap will be the leap home.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYmn3Gwn3oI

    1. Epi isn’t fit to unzip Dean Stockwell’s adult diaper. He should play Ziggy. I would enjoy him whining every time Stockwell slapped him.

      1. The only thing more pathetic than you is your attempts at insults. And that sounds suspiciously close to a threat of physical violence there, chump. Why don’t you just say what you want to say?

        1. It’s not a threat, merely a request. As in, please Epi would you allow yourself to be slapped by Dean Stockwell and send me the video. If you have any feelings toward me you’ll do it.

          1. This at least the 10th time you’ve been outed. Why keep coming up with new handles? It never fools anyone here for more than a few hours.

  22. Hypothetical:

    I (US citizen) have a Thai bank account, opened using Thai baht. The bank is regulated/supported by the Thai government. The USA has nothing to do with this bank, the political or economic system, nor the currency.

    Q1: Why does the US think it has an interest in this money? Why does the USA think it deserves a cut of any interest earned in this account?

    Q2: Given the USA’s claim that it has some “right” to the money or proceeds in this account, if this bank fails, will the USA protect my assets (FDIC, etc.)? If not, why not?

    1. Q3: Do all USA banks send reports to the Thai government on the US bank accounts held by Thai citizens? If not, why not? Why does the US use extortion to force foreign banks to perform this costly reporting and yet not require the same from its own banks?

      1. Nope — Last I checked, there is no such reciprocity or transparency. Which is berry berry good for Miami-based banks.

      2. Because the US is the only country in the world, except Eritrea, that wants to tax its citizens on their worldwide income. All other countries tax you only on what you earn within their borders. So if a Thai citizen has an account in the US or anywhere else, the Thai government doesn’t give a hoot about it.

    2. A1: Because terrorism
      A2: No. The US loves seizing assets, they’ll gladly seize domestic assets. See “War On Drugs”.
      A3: No, the Thai government hasn’t asked.

      Why does the US use extortion to force foreign banks to perform this costly reporting and yet not require the same from its own banks?

      WTF? Do you know many millions of “suspicious activity” reports US banks have to file? The government has made them fill monthly QUOTAS on the damn things.

      1. A3: No, the Thai government hasn’t asked.

        To be fair, the Thai government does claim universal jurisdiction for its l?se-majest? laws.

  23. Why does the US think it has an interest in this money?

    American Exceptionalism, duh.

  24. Ruth,

    I am embarrassed that my government is oppressing you to the extent of getting you to renounce your American citizenship.

    It’s bad enough that my government tries to reduce freedom within U.S. borders, but to extend its tentacles into other nations, blackening our name abroad and tainting me by implication.

    I’m proud to be an American, and because of that I’m against my government. You should know that there are plenty of people who think like I do – we can only hope we pick up enough support to elect a better class of politician to office.

    Until then, you have my sympathies.

    1. And the guy attacking you is a well-known troll who also likes to criticize the other commenters on this forum. He speaks only for himself.

      1. Eddie, I hate to undermine you, but Tulpa’s crime isn’t attacking everyone else; it’s that he argues in bad faith.

        Poor Ruth is struggling due to a vicious law that atrociously violates her right to engage in commerce, and because Tulpa wants deny her existence he viciously bullies her.

        And that’s what Tulpa is, a bully.

        Pity he has utterly erased from his nature, and joy he has never known. He has an ambition, bitter and burning. It is to rise to such an eminence that no one can ever again humiliate him. Not to rule but to be the secret ruler, pulling the strings of puppets created by his brains. Already some of them are talking his language?though they have never met him.

        1. I am content to describe Tulpa as a jerk, not as a Nazi. Seriously, don’t make me defend Tulpa.

  25. Lets take the case of Patricia Moon as reported in The Wall Street Journal. Now having given up her US citizenship.

    * Lived in Canada for decades
    * Received $0 in US government services over this time such as food stamps, unemployment assistance, roads, hospitals, police etc while living in Canada.
    * Made no more than $11,000 in any year
    * Never held more than $102,000 in joint accounts with her Canadian only breadwinner husband.
    * Accounts not intentionally hidden
    * Paid all her Canadian taxes.
    * Did not owe any US tax.
    *Did not file US tax returns over the period because she did not think that she had to as she did not make that much and it did not make sense to her and no one told her before that she had to.

    #Found out that with the US FATCA law that she would have to file US tax returns and report joint financial account information of her husband to the US IRS.

    #She figured that she could owe $455,000 in penalties to the IRS (but no tax, just penalties), mostly on unreported accounts. This is no joke. Actual figures as reported in The Wall Street Journal. She was financially terrorized as she thought that the US IRS would bankrupt her.

    If she lived in the US as a Canadian citizen she would owe $0 to the US and $0 to Canada – as Canada like all developed countries practice residence based taxation.

    Any US persons living overseas caught up in all this should visit the message boards of The Isaac Brock Society.

  26. While Americans in America think they enjoy great freedom, my previous comment illustrates how Canadians enjoy a superior level of freedom compared to Americans; and this is the freedom to move to and live in another country and the freedom to leave Canada. This freedom gives Canadians, Australians, Europeans etc. a tremendous advantage over Americans in an increasingly global economy.

    This is the freedom that was fought for in the American Revolution, the freedom to be free from the constraints of an overseas country. Yet the American government over the years has forgotten what was fought for so long ago, and have increasingly built up regulation and a virtual financial Berlin Wall around its citizens to keep them in by punishing harshly those who have happened to live overseas.

    Any US persons living overseas caught up in all this should visit the message boards of The Isaac Brock Society.

  27. what Ruth actually says.....Is he from Freeborn?

  28. Videos by “US persons” living in Canada explaining how they are being treated:
    https://vimeo.com/citizenshiptaxation

    Canadian organizations, The Alliance for the Defence of Canadian Sovereignty and the Issac Brock Society, are challenging FATCA, they are collecting money for a lawsuit.

    http://isaacbrocksociety.ca/

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.