This post is one more of a collection of FBAR posts on this blog. The most recent FBAR posts are here and here.
The “unfiled FBAR” continues to be a problem for certain Homeland Americans with “offshore accounts” and all Americans abroad, who continue to “commit personal finance abroad”.
The above tweet references a recent post which discussed how to “fix past compliance problems“. The introduction included:
So much publicity! So little relevance!
The New York primary was this week. Both Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton extended their leads and moved one step closer to their respective party’s nominations. (Mrs. Clinton with the approval of the Democratic Party and Mr. Trump with the disapproval of the Republican Party.) Interestingly both Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton have higher disapproval ratings than approval ratings. Yet each of them appears likely to represent their respective parties in the upcoming Presidential election. One of them will win the election (this is not the same as having been elected). Will the eventual winner make a positive difference in the life of any individual? Doubtful. Watching the political process contributes to a sense of negativity about human nature.
But, wait! The World Is Full Of Good People!
Starting at the age of 7 or 8, I participated in four seasons of organized sports. To be truly effective, organized sports are highly dependent on adult volunteers. I well remember a guy named “Bob D.” Although I thought of him as old, he was probably somewhere between the age of 20 and 25. Anyway, “Bob D” was helping with baseball. “Bob D.” was helping with basketball. “Bob D.” was helping with football. “Bob D.” was always volunteering his time and coaching. I have a memory of my father noticing “Bob D.” and commenting “There are a lot of good people in this world”. So true. I don’t believe that “Bob D.” received a lot of recognition or a lot of gratitude. Yet year after year, season after season, week after week, day after day. “Bob D.” showed up. He clearly made a positive difference in the lives of others.
The Unsung Heroes of Life
You will find people like “Bob D.” in every facet of life. They do things for people, just because they want to. They contribute to their communities, just because they want to. They provide mentorship for people, just because they want to. They put their kids through university because they want to. They are the true “Unsung Heroes of Life”. I once thought of writing a little book about these “Unsung Heroes of Life”.
Although, I can’t do a book. I can offer this “Bedtime Story” …
The U.S. Treasury has been working overtime to:
1. Persuade the world’s sovereign countries to cede their sovereignty to and “Pledge FATCA obedience” to the U.S.
2. “Make the world believe” that Treasury has been and will continue to be successful.
In order to achieve this, Treasury has created what I call “the pretend IGA”. A “pretend IGA” is where a country has NOT signed an IGA, but it is anticipated (presumably by Treasury) that an IGA will be signed. That is to say, that an IGA is a “done deal”.
The tax compliance complex has (for the most part) joined the Treasury Chorus to sing to the tune of:
“It’s a small (FATCA) world after all“.
The problem is that neither Treasury nor the FATCA Compliance Complex deal in facts. They deal in “myths”.
Facts are stubborn things
An interesting post appears on U.S. tax lawyer Virginia La Torre Jeker‘s blog which considers the “FATCA of the matter”.
I was recently attempting to explain FATCA, FBAR and U.S. taxation practices to a friend. After deciding that I was NOT fabricating a story, she remarked:
“It’s unjust! It’s inhumane! I didn’t choose where I was born!”
(Fortunately she was not born in the U.S.).
The truth is that issues of FATCA, FBAR and citizenship-based taxation are more “citizenship problems” than tax problems.
Incompatible tax systems create problems for people subject to both tax systems.
Incompatible citizenship laws create problems for people who have dual citizenship.
U.S. tax lawyer, Virginia La Torre Jeker has just published a fascinating post where she describes the problems of “incompatibility of citizenship”. Ms. Jeker describes the problems where a country: