FATCA Info Session, Ottawa, 26 March

Ottawa MP Paul Dewar (NDP Foreign Affairs Critic) is hosting a FATCA information session at Tom Brown Arena, 141 Bayview, Ottawa, Monday, 26 March, 7 pm.  Other speakers include the NDP National Revenue Critic, the NDP Finance Critic, an accountant, and a lawyer. Full details on Mr. Dewar’s website.  Thanks to Schubert for bringing this to our attention.


63 thoughts on “FATCA Info Session, Ottawa, 26 March

  1. @All

    I will be there along with a couple of other Ottawa-based Brockers. We’ll report on the event for sure. Could get interesting.

  2. I’ll be there as well, taking notes and maybe ask a question re privacy and banking legislation and legal recourse, if those points aren’t raised in the presentation. As Deckard mentions, no doubt several of us will chime in on this forum about anything we hear, especially if it’s new or difference from what we’ve all heard already.

    Irony of ironies (fans of Carl Levin will just love this), we’ve been advised that there will be representatives of Democrats Abroad in attendance at the meeting. No doubt some of the Ottawa-area members of that organization are also affected by this issue and of course are welcome on that basis, but I’ve been assured by Dewar’s office (in response to my rather angry email to his office when I heard about this on the weekend) that those reps will NOT be speaking at the meeting. They will be there in case anyone wants to speak with them afterwards and privately about voting in the US primaries (waste of time for Democrats, are they even having primaries?) or in November. As if that will make a tinker’s damn of difference to any of this, no matter which party wins.

    And for the record, Democrats Abroad weren’t invited to attend, they contacted Dewar’s office and asked if they could be there with voting information for anyone interested. Dewar’s office said yes. (I very much doubt Dewar himself was aware of any of this, given his focus on the leadership campaign up until Saturday afternoon.)

    To avoid creating public disruption I’ll steer clear of the Democrats Abroad folks after the meeting … I would find it difficult to speak civilly to them (or Republicans if they showed up), given what I’ve read about Gestner, Levin, and that whole crowd, all of them Democrats. I’ll be there for information, not to get into angry debates with anyone. Besides, the US isn’t my country and I can’t vote in their elections anyway …

  3. @shubert1975

    To help dramatize this situation, I wrote up this “FATCA parable” – it may be a useful query to a banker ow lawyer or example for discussion…
    Consider Joe and Sam: brothers, friends and Canadian citizens. They live in Ontario, and bank and invest at the same major Canadian bank.

    However, Sam was born in Michigan while his parents were students. Sam moved to Canada as a kid, became a Canadian Citizen at 18, and has not lived or worked in the US. In fact, he was warned he would lose US citizenship by intentionally becoming a Canadian, but did so anyway. As far as Sam’s concerned, he’s as Canadian as brother Joe.

    Our brothers live, work and invest in Canada. Now they each have similar RRSP’s, TFSAs and Canadian mutual funds. They opened these accounts 20+ years ago, and bank has no record of Sam’s US birthplace or Joe’s Canadian birthplace (why would they).

    Suppose bank now asks “where were you born”? An odd question after a twenty-year relationship – and they say so! Bank says that if Sam is born in one certain foreign country, it will now serve Sam in a very different, adverse and restricted manner then his brother Joe.

    So both Joe and Sam refuse to provide the information, and advise their bank that it’s actions constitute discrimination based on “nationality, origin or place of birth”.

    What happens next?

  4. @Everyone

    If anyone wants to they can go over to the following blog and fight with author over FBAR and FATCA. The woman in question is professor at the Wayne University School of Law in Detroit(under 10 minutes from Canada) and a big fan of FBAR and Carl Levin. She says she has no sympathy for anyone renouncing their citizenship to avoid FBAR and FATCA.


  5. @Col Kurtz

    I say this in no ill will towards the NDP but much of the US Democratic Party is now to the LEFT of most NDP MP’s. I get tired of fighting with her(I have posted comments there in the past but up to now have never suggested to anyone here that they go visit her blog). However, in the past few days certain commenters here such as JustME have expressed a desire to engage US “progressive” voices so I want to bring her blog up.

  6. @tiger

    I kind of like Col Kurtz comment about that tax law blogger from Wayne State University in Detroit I keep fighting with. She is totally unmoved by the idea we might show up right on her doorstep in Windsor. Wayne State University is literally like a five to ten minute drive after going through customs at the Ambassador Bridge.

  7. Well, I am that tax prof at Wayne State in Detroit. I find it almost amusing that my views in support of various taxes–the duties we pay as privileges of citizenship for the good of society–or of specified reporting requirements from citizens to their governments should result in my being labeled (by people who haven’t bothered to read my entire blog or other scholarship) as a “communist.” Just shows how blatantly un-factual such rants are…..

    Now, most progressives do hold that government is neither inherently good or bad–our goal is for it to operate as a means for us to achieve collectively what we cannot do as individuals, such as controlling pollution of major corporations or ensuring quality standards in respect of food products or providing funding to support basic, non-commercial research that may (or may not) significantly contribute to improved quality of life now or in the future.

  8. Hello Professor Beale and welcome to the Isaac Brock Society blog. I note your comment:

    “TimThe reporting requirements pre-exist the current furor over FBAR. It is just now that enforcement is catching up with long-term nonreporters. I don’t see much cause for sympathy for those who are suddenly so pissed off about finally actually having some likelihood of enforcement for their non- reporting of foreign bank accounts that they plan to renounce their US citizenship”

    You are misunderstanding the problem. The problem is NOT the issue of “enforcement of FBAR”. The issue is the threat to use FBAR to levy fines for past non-compliance when:

    1. People did not know about FBAR;
    2. There was no reason for people to even suspect FBAR

    As a tax prof, I imagine that you would bring a lot of value to this conversation. I invite you to read the following and then comment:



    (Particularly the links in the second article)

    I am sure that I speak for all contributors to this blog when I say that we look forward to your continued participation on this board.

    Thanks again,

  9. @Linda I want to thank you for your comment here. I am a former USA citizen who has relinquished his citizenship because he pays enough taxes here in Canada and the extraterritorial taxation of the USA doesn’t make any sense for me since I am no longer part of that collective. Resistance is not futile.

    We do know what we are talking about here because we have to live with the stupid decisions of progressives in the USA. So now that we’ve got that out of the way, let me ask you what a “tax professor” is. Is that part of the law faculty or the political science faculty?

  10. @Petros

    Tax law I believe is part of the School of Law generally in both Canada and the US


    One point I want to make clear there is literally no one in Canadian Politics that supports the application of FBAR or FATCA. If you look at the list of who has come out against FBAR and FATCA you talking about people such as Denise Savoie, Megan Leslie, Hoang Mai, Peter Julian, Don Davies, Paul Dewar, Elizabeth May, and Libby Davies. Many of these people’s views on taxation, economic policy etc would make them totally unelectable in a US Democratic Party Primary for being too “left wing”. The likes of Libby Davies or Megan Leslie are no friends of the rich, big business, or Wall Street.

  11. @Petros

    She is a law professor and I believe a rather distinguished one a that. See here:


    “I am a law professor at Wayne State University Law School who teaches various courses in the area of federal income tax, such as introduction to federal income tax, corporate taxation, partnership taxation, international taxation and perhaps in the future a course in statutory interpretation focussed on tax. I think that the tax system should reflect the values of ordinary Americans and our long-held belief in principles of liberty, equality and community. I fear that we have instead tended to give too much credence to purportedly “objective” ideas about taxation based on the rationales of law and economics and unverified theories about economic growth and too little credence to human needs for community that require allocating the burdens and benefits of the tax system fairly among the people and entities that make up our system.”

    It is encouraging to see her emphasis on the relationship between tax policy and the principles of “liberty, equality and community”.

  12. @Linda Beale

    Would you be willing to elaborate on the following comment on your blog:

    “I don’t doubt that there are a bunch of US citizens living in Canada who would like the best of both worlds—US citizenship for its perceived advantages and otherwise just look at the Canadian residency. But it is eminently reasonable for a country not to allow that kind of rule arbitrage. Again, I don’t see much cause for sympathy.”


    What specifically do you mean when you say: “not allow that kind of rule arbitrage” – perhaps with an example or two?

  13. @Prof Beale: Well, welcome to our humble abode. May I suggest that you equally are misunderstanding the position of all the bloggers here? We are non-resident US citizens with little connection to the US besides our passports, and we pay taxes in the societies where we live to support the efforts of our governments towards the relief of poverty, the education of our neighbours’ children, and the maintenance of the rule of law.

    Some of us are from the left and others are from the right. What we all agree on is that there are only two countries on earth which tax non-resident citizens on their foreign income: the US and Eritrea. (Burma formerly fell into this category as well). I would not describe these countries as “progressive”, especially in comparison to their peer groups. That in itself should suggest to you that not everyone — whether progressive or conservative — agrees that taxes are “duties we pay as privileges of citizenship”. The most common understanding of taxation is that it is the duty of those who live in a civilised society (whether as citizens or non-citizens) or who draw income from one. This is a fairly standard European progressive position. See this quote, for example:

    It is submitted that the residence determination should be approached as a proxy for a membership determination — who are the members of the relevant community or civilized society? In principle, it must be the members of a community that bear the costs and other burdens of the benefits of that membership, based on reasonable cost-sharing and distribution agreements. Moreover, in most cases it is the factual residents who are effectively in a position to, and do in fact, benefit from the relevant public goods and services, such that it is both practical and appropriate as a normative matter to expect membership to be determined along those lines.

    Kind regards and hoping for a productive discussion.

  14. Obviously prof Beale hasn’t read our blog and that is why she has no sympathy. I’m not going to suggest that she is just a heartless progressive, but that is possible too.

  15. @ Lynda
    Thank you for participating. Sorry for any ad hominem comments on this blog – that’s certainly not my style of participation, which is based on research, facts, and logical argument.

    By way of background, here is the situation from a Canadian perspective….

    This is NOT about US residents evading taxes by hiding their assets offshore.

    To Canadians, it’s about a foreign state suddenly asserting an unusual extra-jurisdictional tax and penalty claim on hundreds of thousands of law abiding Canadian resident citizens. This is not based upon US-based assets or earnings, but simply upon birthplace – a kind of indentured serfdom. In fact, a challenge in explaining this to to most other people in Canada is how wrong, illogical and immoral it all sounds

    Canadians affected by this are mostly law-abiding tax paying Canadian citizens who earn, bank and invest their lawful incomes locally in their home country of Canada. Many are long-term Canadian citizens with no US assets or other ties. According to existing US law they relinquished their US citizenship by swearing the Canadian citizenship oath, only to be covertly repatriated ex post facto. Some of these are senior citizens and retirees who see their life savings jeopardized.

    Some are Canadians who never actually worked or lived in the US. They were simply born there; their parents were visiting for travel or education or because of cross-border hospital arrangements (common in our Eastern Provinces).

    Also affected are Canadian-born children of US-born Canadians who were literally “born into sin” and are now US “tax evaders” simply because of their lineage.

    Especially distressing is the application of obscure US money laundering law to effectively criminalize the everyday Canadian banking and investing activities of long-term US-born Canadian citizens. Their local bank accounts are now “undisclosed offshore accounts” and penalties can actually exceed the balance of the account – potentially a Canadian citizen’s entire life savings. This results in widespread distress.

    Yet it is essentially a campaign of fear, because there is no conventional legal mechanism to actually collect these extra-jurisdictional tax and penalty claims from Canadian citizens within Canada. And the Canadian government confirmed repeatedly that it would not collect US taxes or penalties from Canadian citizens – as have other legal experts in Canada.

    However, under FATCA Canada’s banks are being enlisted – under coercion and with much protest – in a extra-jurisdictional program to identify their US-born Canadian citizen customers (and their legal Canadian bank accounts) and to send their private financial information to a foreign state… or withhold their funds… or close their accounts. All in possible violation of Canadian laws governing banking and anti-discrimination provisions of the Human Rights Act and Charter.

    Canada’s banks have no clear legal path to comply with FATCA – the concept of “US person” has no standing in Canadian law (just substitute “African person” or “Chinese person” to dramatize the fundamental issue of discrimination). And our banks don’t know their clients’ birthplace, and have no clear legal reason to ask.

    Meanwhile, thousands of Canadian citizens are suffering panic, distress, confusion and even suicidal despair as forces beyond their control suddenly jeopardize their life savings and personal security. Again, many of these are older Canadian citizens who immigrated from the US decades ago, have no US assets, income or other economic ties, and have paid high Canadian taxes dutifully.

  16. @Professor Beale: Welcome.

    I hope you can understand one of the huge issues here is that many of us were told by US Consulate that we were “permanently and irrevocably” renouncing or relinquishing our US citizenship when we voluntarily became citizens of Canada and other countries three, four, five or even six decades ago.

    Now that we are in or near retirement, the US suddenly wants to reclaim us and our money. Yet, our allegiance is to the country where we have studied, worked, raised families, volunteered, voted, contributed, owned homes, saved, invested and paid taxes for decades. We are at a total loss to understand why we have any obligation–financial or other–to a foreign country (U.S.) which we left long ago.

    The US is now using financial bullying tactics through FATCA to try to force our banks to to report on our savings and assets, which were totally earned, saved and invested in Canada or in other countries. The US says if our banks refuse to determine who are US persons and refuse to report to IRS, our banks must close our long-standing accounts. This is a violation of Canada’s Bank Act and Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In addition to a foreign intrusion into our personal lives, it is an affront to Canadian sovereignty (and to that of other countries around the world).

    If FATCA proceeds, Canadians of American origin will be second class citizens in their country of citizenship and residence.

    In fact, some European, South American and other countries are already closing accounts of residents or citizens of their countries just because those individuals were born in the U.S. Canadian law prohibits banks from gathering information about place of birth.

    To date, Jim Flaherty, our Minister of Finance (a Conservative) has shown no interest in changing Canadian law to meet the demands of a foreign government. In addition, Mr. Flaherty has repeatedly stated that Canada Revenue Agency will not collect FBAR penalties for failure to file a report for any Canadian resident and will not collect tax liability for any tax owing to US by a Canadian citizen, even if that person was also a US citizen at the time the tax liability arose.

    I do not consider you a communist. In fact, I think the example in your article of the plastic surgeon hiding money from his wife, the courts and the IRS is an example of the type of individual the IRS should be pursuing.

    However, as Mr. Flaherty has said repeatedly, “Canada is not a tax haven…People do not flock to Canada to avoid paying taxes.” In fact, we pay high taxes (both income tax and GST and either HST or PST). We believe we should pay taxes to the country where we live.

    Are you able to explain why those of us were told clearly and firmly decades ago we were terminating our American citizenship by becoming Canadian citizens should now have any financial obligation to the U.S.?

  17. If she is a typical American she is of the belief that America is a) god’s gift to the world; b) that the USA is the only nation where you can start a business or have elections, and c) has the right to bomb any other nation into submission. Lewis Lipset spoke of this as American Exceptionalism; I see it as American Neanderthal-ism. Do not waste your breath on her.

  18. @Professor Beale

    I agree with your views about contributing to the society in which you live and from which you benefit. I’m not sure who called you a communist. I doubt it would have been anyone here, and if they did it was tongue in cheek. It is not an epithet I have ever seen used here.

    If you are still here and reading this, your response may be that all of us dual citizens should just renounce our US citizenship and not take advantage of keeping the benefits of US citizenship if we don’t want to contribute to that community.

    I wish it were that simple. I was born here of an American parent, who moved me back to the US when I was a teen. I have lived in Canada since 1977 and have a husband and children here, My husband does not want our joint accounts reported to the IRS. My children are designated US citizens despite never having lived there. I have professional qualifications to work only in Canada. I have looked into “renouncing” several times over the last 20 years. And it has always been presented as a process with potential down side much worse than just not having citizenship. There was the vague threat of not being able to enter the US if someone decided you had renounced for tax purposes. Although I owed no tax, who was to say what someone someday might interpret as “tax avoidance” And the inability to visit my elderly parents (which I can do on a Canadian passport) was not a risk I was prepared to take.

    Then there was the having to complete tax forms for a further 10 years. And there is the “compliance for 5 years with the IRS” which may sound perfectly benign to a US taxpayer, but to someone who lives in Canada, under Canadian financial system, with much more complicated forms which are not set up to deal with our system was not welcome. I owe no tax, but the forms are onerous.

    In the past there was little downside to just ignoring US citizenship. It was not a matter of retaining the benefit. Now I wish I had gone ahead and risked it, but hindsight is 20-20. I am on the path to renouncing as many of us are. If what my accountant thinks may happen in the future is true, I may yet be unable to visit my mother in the US as she ages. It is now a price I have to be prepared to pay. How sad.

  19. @canuckdoc: Unfortunately, it was someone on this thread who used the term communist to describe Professor Beale.

    Professor Beale, As I said above, I don’t think you are a communist and I don’t think most of us here think that. I certainly understand if you are offended at being labeled with that term.

    Likewise, I hope you can understand how distressing it is for those of us who have chosen to live our lives and pay taxes outside of the U.S. to be called “tax cheats,” “tax evaders” or “traitors.” As you can see from the few stories above, we are responsible, law-abiding, contributing and tax paying individuals. These stories are representative of millions around the world–some whose only link to U.S. was to have a parent who was born there.

    In addition to the intrusion of IRS into our lives, spouses and children are also affected. In some cases, so are employers or charitable organizations if we have financial signing authority where we work or volunteer. This puts marriages, careers and volunteer work at risk, along with education and disability savings plans for our Canadian born children.

    I hope you will take many of this comments to heart in understanding the impact this is having on people who have had no ties with US for years, decades or, in some cases, never.

    We all feel like we are in the middle of a nightmare. We just want to wake up and find that it’s over.


  20. @ Professor Beale
    You should not have been referred to as a ‘communist’. Certainly, I do not believe that.

    I think both Wondering and Blaze have expressed my feelings quite well. Almost 40 years ago, I swore the following oath at my Canadian citizenship ceremony: ” I hereby renounce all allegiance and Fidelity to any Foreign sovereign or state of whom or which I may at this time be a subject or citizen.” Never since that time have I asked anything of the US government. I have never voted in an American election, nor applied for or been granted a US Passport. Nor have I ever paid U.S. taxes. Why would I? I considered myself only a Canadian and part of Canadian society with its privledges and obligations.

    I am a widow with very modest income I certainly do not feel that I can afford to hire a cross border lawyer or a cross border tax expert. Nor should I have to do that. My children who have never lived in the U.S. should also not be required to do so.

    Please, Professor Beale, read more of this site. Perhaps you will hear the anguish, hear the stress, hear the tears. What is happening here in my opinion is nothing short of absurd and even evil.

  21. @Professor Beale, I, too, hope that you’ve hung in and continued to read, and managed to get past the expressions of frustrations. Wondering, Blaze & Tiger have shared their stories, and mine, really is an echo. I left the US as a child, became Canadian in 1976 and have never earned a dime of income in the US, nor have I ever owned property there. ‘Knowing’ that I was Canadian, I have never asked for, nor received, anything from the US since 1966. I pay my taxes in Canada and am a law abiding person. I am most certainly not a tax evader or tax cheat. I’m not rich – I pretty much live paycheque to paycheque, and I do not have the money to hire tax specialists and/or attorneys. I certainly don’t have the money to pay fines for not doing something that I was unaware that was required, and something that is, quite simply, incomprehensible .How the US could ever consider taking back my citizenship and then penalizing me for it is something I simply cannot understand. Frankly, I just want them to leave me alone so I can get on my with life in Canada.

  22. @ Linda Beale
    I hope that you will continue to read our stories on this blog and continue to write; and then perhaps your not “showing sympathy to U.S. citizens who renounce” will turn into empathy for us. I was born in the U.S. and lived there for 25 yrs. before marrying a Canadian and moving to Canada. We have three adult Canadian-born children, one with a developmental disabilty, and she is a dependent adult living at home. For 45 years, I have filed U.S. income taxes. I took out Canadian citizenship in 1996. I always intended to keep my U.S. citizenship, but renounced this 2012 along with one other adult child. Drastic changes in IRS tax policies, penalties for not even being sure what you are supposed to file, the privacy invasion of FBar, and FATCA possibly happening in Canada, the threat of taking away the foreign exemption, calling our own bank accounts in Canada “foreign bank accounts,” and “foreign trusts”–this has led to the drastic measure of renouncing our citizenship. On a personal note, I was not able to renounce citizenship for my adult daughter with the disability, as others on Isaac Brock with adult children, were also denied. Even though, this is the country that has supported and cared for them, through free medical, assured income for the severely handicapped (in Alberta), tax-free savings accounts and registered disability savings plans. As parents of these adult children, we know a lot of this is taxable income, if viewed by the U.S. IRS. The inability to renounce for them also jeoparizes their safety, if by chance, they decided to take a bus into the U.S.,for example. As their legal guardians, it is our right to decide where they reside, with whom, where to travel,where to work (if able), etc. The U.S. undermines the legality of our Canadian guardianship. On the other hand, I am sure the IRS will definitely acknowledge the legality of my Canadian trusteeship for this daughter, so that I can continue to file her U.S. income tax. One final thought: we, who have lived for decades in Canada, have long since, embraced Canada as our home, our community, and the place we live, work, and support. The U.S. is, for most of us, just a birthplace (and for my children, it was not even that) and a place that we occasionally go to visit family that are still there. There is something inherently wrong for the U.S. to lay claim to U.S. citizens (and their children) for taxation, when we reside in a new country, pay taxes in the new country, and have citizenship in the new country. The strongest way to show our displeasure is by renouncing.

  23. Joe Rick Mercer used to do a skit called ‘talking to Americans’ It (talking to them) was a waste of time.

  24. Look at what their inability to listen properly has got them. Not a single bank in the world has signed on to FATCA. Our Finance Minister all but said take your citizenship based taxation and shove it.

    If they played fair like the rest of the world does (using a residency based system) they could’ve got the whole world behind them. God knows every country wants to catch tax evaders.

    But instead they’ve united the entire world against themselves. What’s truly amazing is that they don’t see what is obvious to everyone else.

    Just imagine how many US resident tax evaders are getting away with stashing possibly billions of dollars in foreign accounts. The US won’t get their hands on most of it if they don’t change their tactics.

  25. Thanks, Cecilia!!! You explained what we feel very well. I hope Linda Beale is listening. It is an opportunity to give our stories to another US person so intent on bringing all us traitors to justice — one small step at a time in this education of the “homelanders”.

  26. Actually, I don’t think we should bend over backwards to apologize to Ms. Beale. She has made some really insensitive and ugly comments about our situation (see her responses to Tim). I am not inclined to apologize at all, especially for another’s quite mild accusation that she is a communist. Big deal. I guess it was a “rant” because Col. Kurz used the adjective “outright”: “That woman is an outright communist!” Prof. Beale, please point me to your anti-communist essays!

    Personally, I think that, if she is not a marxist/communist, then she should stop promoting Obama’s agenda. Obama himself is an extreme progressive, and in my view, a closet marxist. He wasn’t in the closet at all during his undergraduate days at Occidental College. For the Marxists/Communists went underground many years ago and their views are surfacing in mainstream political organizations, the environmental movement, the legacy media, and last but not least, universities. Especially among the intellectual elite, marxism has a very strong foothold–many intellectuals feel that marxism is much more academic and intellectual than the brutes who run the real economy, and that there is no proper intellectual refutation for their marxist views.

    As a libertarian (small “L”) who believes in free enterprise and individual rights, I am finding it difficult even to support theological seminaries (I am also theologian), so much marxist thought has seeped into the academic world everywhere you go. I don’t know why my money, which is earned in the free market, should go towards education which will undermine my ability to make the funds that I would be donating to support education.

    I note that Ms. Beale appealed to the “collective”. I compared it subtly to the Borg collective because marxism destroys the indivdiual and individual rights in favor of an all powerful state collective. Beale’s complete lack of compassion towards the cases of people who are genuinely suffering from the Obama administration’s policies in countries like Canada is another sign. Marxists don’t usually care how many people they harm in the process of achieving their great objectives. A truly compassionate person may take the stance of primum non nocere (“first, do no harm”). But she has no sympathy for the thousands of people harmed by the hunt for so-called rich tax evaders. She is unmoved by the fact that so many living overseas already pay large tax burdens in their own countries and she thinks that they must pay taxes in the United States to pay for their right of citizenship (this view makes me ill).

    Marxists who are underground will of course deny that they are motivated by communist thinking. Just because Beale comes here and protests not being a marxist is no reason to start bending over backwards and apologizing. The term “progressive” can be (not by any means always) a euphemistic label that socialists and marxists use in order to mask the more radical aspects of their agenda. In any case, on a political spectrum of libertarians on one end and marxists on the other, the “progressives” would be rather closer to the marxists than the libertarians–and some progressives among them have radical views that we should guard against (analogous to the Republican party having to shun the John Birchers).

    Also, note that she expects us to read her entire blog and bunch of other sources before we are smart enough to comment about her views. I’ve seen that line of argumentation from (marxist) radicals before. That’s pretty much a diversion–to get you to feel a lack of confidence in your own knowledge. I am basically immune to such rants–and those of you who are suffering under these policies have first hand knowledge of the damage caused by them. You also should be confident in your knowledge of how bad FBAR, FATCA, extra-territorial taxation etc. are. Next she’ll be saying that if you don’t read some of her 500-page book recommendations that we have no right to talk about the subject. That’s a rant that means she’s run completely out of any kind of adequate argument for her views.

  27. However people may feel about Ms. Beale, I don’t think her comments were rude. Direct, yes.

    I think many of us (me at least) are always looking to see how mainstream Americans or people in our countries view us. I think there’re two camps, with Ms. Beale falling into the 2nd camp:

    1- Those that are absolutely clueless that think we’re sipping margaritas on the French Riviera. This group tends to automatically think that once you leave US soil, you don’t owe taxes.
    Almost every time I call the US or Europe and speak to a 20-30’something attendant, they always make a comment where I live, as if I were sitting on the beach, trekking through the Amazon, or skiing down the mountains. No joke.

    2- Those that think we OWE the US something for being American, or having the “priviledge” of being able to live and work in the USA anytime that we want to. This group thinks that we OWE taxes regarless of how much we pay where we live. US Politicians definitely fall into this category. Seems like Ms. Beale does too with the “best of both worlds” remark. What these people will never “get” is that our ONLY world is where we live. We derive ZERO benefits from the US.

  28. @ Joe Sorry, it is not a rant. It’s based upon the testimony of someone who knew him at Occidental and it is consistent with his political agenda. If the mainstream media had vetted him in the first place, these sorts of things would be common knowledge.

  29. With all due respect to those who commented above, trying to frame this as a left vs. right issue is a bit naive and only serves to divide us here at IBS. Most politicians in Washington (and pretty much everywhere else) are opportunists and self-interested – period. If the republicans were in power instead, I doubt very much they would be doing anything different. The govt would still be broke and trying to find creative ways to raise revenue, including taxing Americans abroad. We have to remain united against this assault on US expats.

  30. @ geeeez Beale wrote:

    I don’t doubt that there are a bunch of US citizens living in Canada who would like the best of both worlds—US citizenship for its perceived advantages and otherwise just look at the Canadian residency. But it is eminently reasonable for a country not to allow that kind of rule arbitrage. Again, I don’t see much cause for sympathy.”

    It is insensitive to say one has no sympathy with regard to those who suffer. It is ugly to accuse someone falsely of trying to milk the system. This is what she has said. It is ugly and insensitive, not “rude”. I agree with you that it is not rude.

  31. @ zucchero I agree to unite against the people who bring forth the agenda that harms expats. However, this woman stands in favor of every thing that harms us: extraterritorial taxation, FBAR, FATCA. Are we supposed to ignore that she is a “progressive” who believes in wealth distribution, namely of the redistribution of the wealth US citizens abroad for the benefit of people on welfare, social security and food stamps in the United States. Ideology plays a role in our suffering. How many countries did the ex-USSR annex? Why is there this extra-territorial aspect to the progressive agenda? Why can’t they be satisfied with redistributing the wealth of the rich in their own country?

    So please, explain to me how we ignore that it is the regime of the most progressive president in history who caused so much suffering to us all? Or are we just supposed to conveniently ignore that fact? I am also ready to criticize Republicans, right-wingers and any else who persecutes us. Bush signed the 2008 HEROES Act that caused me to renounce my citizenship.

    The only politician I have any respect for in the United States is Ron Paul, who wants to abolish the IRS. Show me in his statements where he wants to strip expats of their wealth and I will disown him too.

  32. @ zucchero I should add too that it is not simply a left-wing ideology that result in US extraterritorilism. The right-wing (a.k.a. neo-con) agenda is also extraterritorial–there are US military bases all over the world. There is a convergence of many different ideological systems leading to the level of arrogance and insensitivity that we see from the United States, both left and right.

  33. The most vicious attacks on expatriates comes from Southern conservatives, but it cannot be denied that it is during the Obama administration, with the support of what used to pass for “liberals, that these attacks have been translated into the public policies that have made me into an exile. However I am in good company with Paul Robeson, Joseph Losey, W.E.B. DuBois, and Terry Gilliam.

  34. Petros, I would argue that this extraterritoriality comes from an imperialistic, “American exceptionalism” mindset, not a progressive one. With few exceptions, this concept is ingrained in the whole American psyche. And it is this exceptionalism that colours everything they think about the world. There is nothing progressive about choosing to exact tribute from citizens abroad who don’t use or benefit from the services their taxes would pay for. It simply creates more economic imbalance, which is contrary to a progressive agenda, is it not? Perhaps this woman thinks of herself as a progressive, but I would contend that in this area she is not.

  35. I don’t care whether someone is marxist, communist, nudist, progressive, green party, animal alliance, liberal, whatever. I was looking to this post as an opportunity to inform an educated, intelligent US person on the reality of the situation, and hopefully, swing her onto her side so that she can influence her circle of contacts. I think that education goes a long way to creating understanding which I would hope would lead to compassion.

  36. @All,

    I hope Linda Beale will engage in conversation on this. It is my feeling, though, that she may have summarily dismissed us.

  37. This thread was about the info session in Ottawa. It has derailed. Any reports about what was said in Ottawa?

  38. @calgary 411

    Or maybe she has read a few of the posts here and has become so appauled that the US gov’t would do such things to honest, hard working US citizens abroad that she is busy organizing her forms so that she too can renounce US citizenship. 😉

  39. Why would I want her sympathy? Is it any use to me? Can I eat it? Can I build something with it? Does it smell nice? Why does it matter?

  40. Pingback: Congratulations to France/Canada dual citizen Thomas Mulcair – What if he had been a Canada/U.S. dual citizen? « Renounce U.S. Citizenship – Be Free

  41. Pingback: Congratulations to France/Canada dual citizen Thomas Mulcair – What if he had been a Canada/U.S. dual citizen? | The Isaac Brock Society

  42. @all

    As Calgary411 noted in a previous comment:

    “It’s as though (in general) there are two groups of people: those who are living the nightmare and those who aren’t.”

    Those who are not living the nightmare cannot possibly understand our plight. The only valuable thing we can do is embrace the opportunity to educate one mainlander at a time.

    We will accomplish nothing if we fail to exercise patience. We might accomplish something if we make an honest attempt to engage her (or anybody else).

    I have come to see that many U.S. citizens living in the U.S. are disabled by a kind of “nationalistic narcissism”. They start with a presumption that their world view is correct. They think citizenship-based taxation is correct, therefore it is. Any discussion with a mainlander will start with this presumption. Patience is required. It will take time to dislodge these presumptions.

    We will never succeed unless we try to engage people – particularly somebody like Ms. Beale. If we fail to engage, we will surely lose. So, let’s be patient and try!

  43. I read some of the academic gobbledegook on her blog. She’s too smart for me. So good luck trying to educate her.

  44. I think she just accused 1 million dual citizens in Canada of being blackmailers. You knock yourself out Tim, we’ll keep each other company over here.

  45. I just told that imbecile of a professor the following:

    .As a lawyer I think you “might” be aware of article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which “Your” nation is a signatory: Article 15.

    (1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.
    (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.

    Without any doubt the US is in violation of section 2 as millions of us would love to have nothing to do with the nation that is somehow inscribed in our DNA according to US law.

    The US is the only nation that assumes that anyone who might want to leave “God’s gift to earth” is doing so in order to avoid taxes. They therefore make it almost impossible to leave this “US suit” behind.

    But of course, the USA spurns any involvement with international institutions of law such as the International Court of Justice in the Hague as its human rights record would see virtually all the past 15 US presidents in the dock!

  46. I think the reason she doesn’t respond here is that we would tear her arguments to shreds with logic.

  47. Pingback: U.S. citizenship is second class citizenship the world over, for U.S. citizens living outside the U.S. « Renounce U.S. Citizenship – Be Free

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