Once upon a time, before #FATCA people wanted US citizenship

Interesting article by Patrick Cain of Global News – How To Get Rid Of An Unwanted U.S. Citizenship. This article is significant for two reasons:

1. The very fact that it was written at all – America’s practice of taxing residents of other countries is starting to get out;

2. Non-U.S. citizens may be starting to get interested in this issue.

The article includes:

Is a second citizenship in the United States an asset? It depends.

Many Canadians have built careers in the U.S. that were simplified by the accident of their birthplace, or of a parent’s. If you want to work in the U.S., it’s useful to not have to worry about visas and green cards. (“Home is the place where, when you go there, they have to let you in,” wrote New England poet Robert Frost.)

But it became a potential liability in February when Canada made a deal with the U.S. on the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or FATCA.

That obliges Canadian banks to look for “U.S. indicia,” such as a U.S. birthplace, connected to account holders who may be Americans – including Canadian-U.S. dual citizens. They’ll then send the details to the IRS, using the Canadian Revenue Agency as an intermediary. The treaty takes effect July 1.

The prospect has made many people uneasy – enough to have some wondering if this second citizenship is more trouble than it’s worth.

 

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2 thoughts on “Once upon a time, before #FATCA people wanted US citizenship

  1. Tim

    Interesting. I personally have always known about the US’ tax practices in addition to other laws such as Helms Burton going as far back as when I was a teenager in the 1990s. This of course was right around the whole Kenneth Dart and John Dorrance period. Even at this point the thought crossed my mind that I would someday give up my US citizenship. For me personally that day hasn’t come but I have to say it surprises me at least in the time of my awareness of the issue which is now what 15 years that their has not been much pushback from US citizens living overseas.

    I think one of the question I will poise to the speakers on May 2nd is quite bluntly whether American citizenship has simply priced itself out of the market vis a vis Canadian citizenship and what does this mean for both Canada and the US.

  2. Tim

    The other issue and perhaps the most cogent justification for US CBT is that for the political left the early 20th century vision of an income tax(and its cousin the US estate tax) are some of the few enduring “progressive” achievements in the US. The political left in Canada has progressive symbols and achievements such as the CBC, Canadian Medicare, and the CPP that I think most people of the political left in Canada see as far more significant than the Canadian income tax especially in a world of multiple tax systems(GST/HST, high alcohol/tobacco/gasoline, healthcare payroll taxes).

    The political left in the US doesn’t have a Medicare or CBC to have as political achievements. Instead they have inferior versions of Medicare, PBS, and the train wreck known as Obamacare.

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