United Nations’ human rights complaint procedure

I offered a commentary on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, showing how the United States violates the letter and spirit of nearly every single right through its extra-territorial policiesof citizenship based taxation. For those who are sick of this, we probably have the basis of bringing a legitimate complaint against the United States at the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights.  Now, if we were to succeed in bringing a legitimate complaint, we could create a lot of bad publicity for Schumer, Boehner, Casey, Reed, Geithner, Shulman and Obama.  So I reproduce the complaint procedure here and I open up this question to discussion–What are the pros and cons? How should we go about doing this as a group?

Complaint Procedure

On 18 June 2007, the Human Rights Council adopted the dent text entitled “UN Human Rights Council: Institution Building” (resolution 5/1) by which a new Complaint Procedure is being established to address consistent patterns of gross and reliably attested violations of all human rights and all fundamental freedoms occurring in any part of the world and under any circumstances.

The new Complaint Procedure is established in compliance with the mandate entrusted to the Human Rights Council by General Assembly resolution 60/251 of 15 March 2006, in which the Council was requested to review and, where necessary, improve and rationalize, within one year after the holding of its first session, all mandates, mechanisms, functions and responsibilities of the former Commission on Human Rights, including the 1503 procedure, in order to maintain a system of special procedures, expert advice and a complaint procedure.

Accordingly, ECOSOC resolution 1503 (XLVIII) of 27 May 1970 as revised by resolution 2000/3 of 19 June 2000, served as a working basis for the establishment of a new Complaint Procedure and was improved where necessary to ensure that the complaint procedure be impartial, objective, efficient, victims-oriented and conducted in a timely manner.

Review of the 1503 procedure

In compliance with the mandate entrusted to it by the General Assembly, the Council decided on 30 June 2006 to establish the Working Group on the implementation of operative paragraph 6 of General Assembly resolution 60/251 (decision 1/104), to formulate concrete recommendations on the issue of reviewing and when necessary, improving and rationalizing all mandates, mechanisms, functions and responsibilities of the former Commission on Human Rights, including the 1503 procedure.

The Working Group held three formal open-ended sessions from 13 to 24 November 2006, 5 to 16 February 2007 and 10 to 27 April 2007. The segment on the complaint procedure was chaired by the Permanent Representative of Switzerland , who was appointed by the President of the Council to facilitate the consultations on this mechanism. Discussions in the Working Group and various rounds of informal consultations were conducted on the basis of an initial and subsequently revised framework for discussions prepared by the Facilitator. Following the last session of the Working Group, a final proposal (A/HRC/5/15) was submitted by the Facilitator to the President, taking into account to the greatest extent possible, the positions expressed during several months of consultations, with a view to facilitating the drafting of the section on the Complaint Procedure of a final document on institution building of the Council to be adopted in June 2007.

Summaries of the discussions held in the Working Group on the Complaint Procedure are contained in documents A/HRC/3/CRP.3, A/HRC/4/CRP.6 and A/HRC/5/CRP.6.

How does the complaint procedure work?

Pursuant to Council resolution 5/1, the Complaint Procedure is being established to address consistent patterns of gross and reliably attested violations of all human rights and all fundamental freedoms occurring in any part of the world and under any circumstances.

It retains its confidential nature, with a view to enhancing cooperation with the State concerned. The procedure, inter alia, is to be victims-oriented and conducted in a timely manner.

Two distinct working groups – the Working Group on Communications and the Working Group on Situations – are established with the mandate to examine the communications and to bring to the attention of the Council consistent patterns of gross and reliably attested violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Manifestly ill-founded and anonymous communications are screened out by the Chairperson of the Working Group on Communications, together with the Secretariat, based on the admissibility criteria. Communications not rejected in the initial screening are transmitted to the State concerned to obtain its views on the allegations of violations.

The Working Group on Communications (WGC) is designated by the Human Rights Council Advisory Committee from among its members for a period of three years (mandate renewable once). It consists of five independent and highly qualified experts and is geographically representative of the five regional groups. The Working Group meets twice a year for a period of five working days to assess the admissibility and the merits of a communication, including whether the communication alone or in combination with other communications, appears to reveal a consistent pattern of gross and reliably attested violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms. All admissible communications and recommendations thereon are transmitted to the Working Group on Situations.

The Working Group on Situations (WGS) comprises five members appointed by the regional groups from among the States member of the Council for the period of one year (mandate renewable once). It meets twice a year for a period of five working days in order to examine the communications transferred to it by the Working Group on Communications, including the replies of States thereon, as well as the situations which the Council is already seized of under the complaint procedure. The Working Group on Situations, on the basis of the information and recommendations provided by the Working Group on Communications, presents the Council with a report on consistent patterns of gross and reliably attested violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms and makes recommendations to the Council on the course of action to take.

Subsequently, it is the turn of the Council to take a decision concerning each situation thus brought to its attention.

What are the criteria for a communication to be accepted for examination?

A communication related to a violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms is admissible, unless:

  • It has manifestly political motivations and its object is not consistent with the UN Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other applicable instruments in the field of human rights law; or
  • It does not contain a factual description of the alleged violations, including the rights which are alleged to be violated; or
  • Its language is abusive. However, such communication may be considered if it meets the other criteria for admissibility after deletion of the abusive language; or
  • It is not submitted by a person or a group of persons claiming to be the victim of violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms or by any person or group of persons, including NGOs acting in good faith in accordance with the principles of human rights, not resorting to politically motivated stands contrary to the provisions of the UN Charter and claiming to have direct and reliable knowledge of those violations. Nonetheless, reliably attested communications shall not be inadmissible solely because the knowledge of the individual author is second hand, provided they are accompanied by clear evidence; or
  • It is exclusively based on reports disseminated by mass media; or
  • It refers to a case that appears to reveal a consistent pattern of gross and reliably attested violations of human rights already being dealt with by a special procedure, a treaty body or other United Nations or similar regional complaints procedure in the field of human rights; or
  • The domestic remedies have not been exhausted, unless it appears that such remedies would be ineffective or unreasonably prolonged.

The National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs), when they are established and work under the guidelines of the Principles Relating to Status of National Institutions (the Paris Principles) including in regard to quasi-judicial competence, can serve as effective means in addressing individual human rights violations.

Where to send communications?

Communications intended for handling under the Council Complaint Procedure may be addressed to:

Office of United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Human Rights Council Branch-Complaint Procedure Unit
OHCHR- Palais Wilson
United Nations Office at Geneva
CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Fax: (41 22) 917 90 11
E-mail: CP@ohchr.org

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29 thoughts on “United Nations’ human rights complaint procedure

  1. Well, a lot of the facts of the “case” as it were are heresay, but that does not seem to preclude opening a complaint (empahsis mine [****])

    “…reliably attested communications shall not be inadmissible solely because the knowledge of the individual author is second hand, provided they are accompanied by clear evidence”

    Anecdotal, second hand accounts would thus be admissable as part of the complaint as far as I read this.

    Also, many of the “facts” can be based on IRS published regulations, published laws, and the published constitutional articles that we find that such regulations and laws violate. The Taxpayer Advocate report would be a good piece of evidence.

    “■It is exclusively based on reports disseminated by mass media; or” We can include news articles as long as we have other evidence.

    ” ■It refers to a case that appears to reveal a consistent pattern of gross and reliably attested violations of human rights already being dealt with by a special procedure, a treaty body or other United Nations or similar regional complaints procedure in the field of human rights; or” (do the negotiations between the Canada finance minister and the US count as a regional complaints procedure??)

    “■The domestic remedies have not been exhausted, unless it appears that such remedies would be ineffective or unreasonably prolonged.” The domestic remedies have NOT been exhausted. Noone has taken extraterritorial double taxation to the supreme court since Cook v. Tait (a 1920’s case for which I cannot find complete documentation, but for which I believe that the only opinion was issued by the chief justice only — is that allowed in the Supreme Court?). However, one could argue that domestic remedies would be unreasonably prolonged or ineffective due to the independance of the tax courts, the political situation, and the fact that people are already being shut out of banking and work oppourtunities and that the situation will get worse from 2013 and that the domestic remedies could not be exhausted before then.

    Remember that the US has significant power in the UN, and if a complaint is rejected as inadmissible, it might either hurt our cause to the point of making us look rediculous, or expose our cause along with the totalitarian tendancies of the US (if were to be that the an eventual rejection would look as if it were to be motivated by US government intervention).

  2. I don’t know if I could, personally, take the rejection of a submission on behalf of all of us regarding the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. If we are able to be shot down on that too, what are the uses of any of the documentation existing regarding rights?

    While I am not willing to have my name (and the name of my son) in the media, I would (and have) used my name (but not the name of my son) for correspondence to Government representatives and would for such a submission.

  3. I cannot use my real name, as I fear family members might be adversely affected, harrased, or worse. But I am willing to contribute to the research and writing for such a complaint submission.

  4. Apparently the process protects confidentiality, but cannot be anonymous. What does this mean? Does it mean that Calgary and Jefferson can make complaints, but that the High Commissioner will not inform the US who is making the complaint?

  5. Domestic remedies are not available. That was the point of my post on Article 8. Only a wealthy person can exhaust the domestic remedies. The rest of us have to bear the insult of being told that our complaints based on Constitutional rights are frivolous.

  6. @petros, I certainly agree. Those US citizens who live in countries with foreign currency controls are indeed victems of US tax law which requires that they voiolate the laws of the countries by being required to pay US taxes, in US dollars, on theiir foreign “blocked” currency income. IRS regulations do allow you to defer such tax payments until you can exchange your local currency for dollars or for another currency which can be exchanged for US dollars. But this regulation is totally unworkable beause of you use any of this blocked currency income for “personal expenditures,” such as food, clothing, rent, etc., then the foreign currency is considered unblocked and the tax must be paid immediately in US dollars.

    If you live in a blocked currency country, as I did in 1976, then my choice, in order to continue living in Brazil, was to either buy dollars on the illegal black market and smuggle them out of Brazil to pay my US tax obligation to the IRS, also in violation of Brazil’s money-laundering laws, OR violate US law and not pay myUS tax. A US citizen in this situation is forced to evaluate which prision system he hs most likely to survive because, one way or the other, he must violate the laws of one country in order to comply with the laws of the other. In those days air passengers leaving the country were subject to search prior to boarding, and if they were carrying more than the legal amount of foreign currency they were in serious trouble.

    Brazil today allows free exchange of its currency, but according to Wikipedia some 30 countries of the world today have foreign exchange control laws. They very in severity. Some allow you to purchase dollars on the black market at an exchange rate which generally much less favorable than the official rate, while others regard any black market currency transactions as felony offenses punishable by stiff fines, forfeture of the funds involved, siezue of your assets and prison termas.

    Venezuela today is in the latter category. Dollars for approved transactions must be obtained through an application to the Central Bank. Paying taxes to a foreign government on income received in Venezuela is not an approved purpose so such applications are routinely denied. There are an estimate 200,000 persons with US citizenship resident in Venezuela.

    This to me seems clearly a violation of human rigthts for US citizens resident in controlled currency countries to be required to violate the laws of those contries in order to comply with the extraterritorial tax laws of the US.

  7. A few years ago when the FBAR changed and it got even more intrusive and threatening I contacted our local MP’s office (Conservative Party). I sent a copy of the form to them and had a couple of good chats with a sympathetic woman who worked there but of course nothing happened. They just took my 2 cents worth and that was it. They had no suggestions as to what we should do and made no offer to do anything to help. At least they listened but I still ended up thinking I was totally alone in my concern about what was happening. (Ironically at that time, I was thinking of my husband and his FBAR, never dreaming that I was a “US person” via an old, forgotten, green card.)

    1. Monetary Control – The use of our Bank of Canada in the best interest of all Canadians and to maintain and enhance sovereignty.
    2. Sovereignty – The ability to make laws and decisions for Canadians by Canadians.
    3. Civil and Human Rights – The restoration and fulfillment of our rights as originally intended under our Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Canadian Constitution.
    4. Parliamentary Reform – The changes needed to bring our country to a state of complete interactive democracy, for the people, by the people.
    5. Environment – Water, air and soil are the basis to sustain all life forms. The Canadian Action Party will not sacrifice any of these for the sake of greed or the pursuit of profit.

    Those are the 5 pillars of the Canadian Action Party.
    http://actionparty.ca/
    E-mail: info@actionparty.ca

    Never heard of the Canadian Action Party? That’s quite understandable because it is tiny and pretty much off the radar here but at least it has good positions on many issues. (I’d vote for them if they ever put someone on the ballot in our riding.) FATCA is very much an assault on Canadian sovereignty which is something that the Canadian Action Party obviously cherishes, as do I. I’m going to e-mail them to see what their position is on this (already roughly composed but it needs shortening) however I’m pretty sure they would be on our side. I like the idea of chipping away, from as many angles as possible, at this FATCA fiasco right here on the Canadian home front (US citizen/persons in all nations outside the USA should) as well as continuing to pound on the mighty US political edifice. Sometimes a persistent little trickle can end up bursting a dam. Sometimes you never know which trickle among many will make the break through.

  8. “Expatriation Prevention by Abolishing Tax-Related Incentives for Offshore Tenancy”

    The name alone of the Ex-Patriot Act is inconsistent with the UN Declaration of Human Rights:

    Article 13.
    (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.
    (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.

    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.

    Not to mention the whole issue of taxation without representation or services provided which already has the precedent of being condemned by the UN Resolution for Eritrea.

  9. @FromTheWilderness, Regardless of what they may say,the very fact the the offcicial websites of all US sentators and congressment include email facilities for contacting them which reject all emails from persons whose address is outside of the US (no US state or zip code) is concrete eveidence that US citizens abroad have no representation in the Congress of the United States.

  10. @Roger

    Good point–evidence of ex-pats’ disenfranchisement from representation. I would also add that senators and congressmen only represent people “residing” in their respective states and districts. There is no representation whatsoever for the interests of Americans “residing” abroad. This is what the colonists argued and rebelled against.

    Great Britain had tried to make the claim that King George represented the interests of all British citizens/subjects throughout the entire world, which was referred to as “virtual representation.” I would imagine that the US would try to make the same “vitual” claim for Obama. But as it didn’t cut the mustard for the colonists; it won’t for todays ex-pats either.

  11. Can also follow the procedure in Canada where Eritrean Canadian residents complained about the Diaspora tax.

    http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?DocId=5365493&Language=E&Mode=1&Parl=41&Ses=1

    Ms. Patricia Malikail:
    “We’re aware that some Eritrean Canadians have complained to reporters that they’re being pressured to pay a 2% tax to the country of origin under its laws. People have talked about this as extortion, and others appear to be willing to pay what they consider to be a tax because they feel it’s important to rebuild Eritrea.”

    “As a government we’re concerned about media reports that suggest Eritrea is using coercive methods to collect this tax. Eritrea has the ability to create and levy taxes as it wishes, but foreign taxes can’t be collected on Canadian territory without Canada’s consent. This would violate Canadian sovereignty. It applies to what’s referred to as the diaspora tax, so it’s unenforceable in Canada. Using consular premises such as the Eritrean consulate in Toronto would contravene the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.”

    If nothing else, can write letters to journalists covering the Eritrean Diaspora tax and inform them that the US does the same. Juxtaposition of the Diaspora tax twins in the press should bring some more attention to the issue, particularly since one of the twins has already led the way in globally condemning the other.

    http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorialopinion/article/1178418–eritrean-repression-follows-emigrants-to-canada

    http://news.nationalpost.com/2011/11/29/qa-eritreans-can-have-canadas-protection-from-countrys-diaspora-tax-jason-kenney/

    And check this one out from the Eritrean People’s Party website. Sound familiar?

    1) Foreign citizens of Eritrean origin who do not pay 2% tax to the regime in Eritrea face almost insurmountable difficulties to visit their relatives in Eritrea, while holders of Eritrean passports who fail to pay the 2% tax and other money collections by the regime cannot obtain visas to Eritrea;

    2) Diaspora Eritreans who fail to pay are not entitled to inherit property in Eritrea;

    3) They have no right to invest in Eritrea;

    4) The regime threatens to confiscate properties (houses, land etc.) if persons of Eritrean origin in diaspora fail to pay the 2% tax.

    5) Eritrean passports will not be renewed for those who hold them…..

    http://www.harnnet.org/index.php/articles-corner/english-articles/2961-epdp-sends-memoranda-to-major-un-member-states-urging-for-speedy-implementation-of-un-sanctions-on-pfdj

  12. @Expat4ever, most unfortunately there is a tax treaty between the United States and Canada in which Canada specifically granted the right to the US Government to collect US taxes from US citizens (US persons) resident in Canada. The US tax treaties with slightly less than half of the nations of the world which also acknowledge this same right, But it also collects US taxes from its citizens and green card holders in countries with which there are no tax treaties.

  13. @Peter – I think you have the least amount of risk since you already have a CLN in hand. What if we complain and then they refuse to give us CLNs like they did with that guy that burned his passport? After all, the US *IS* known for spiteful childish behavior. I think it would be rather funny to see your name attached to something like this proposal. Schumer would hate your guts every more, but of course he would act like it doesn’t affect him 🙂

    @Roger – free floating currency in Brazil. Somewhat, but it’s still a very dirty float. Foreign investments coming into Brazil get a tax of 6%. It’s still not THAT easy to wire money out. I sometimes wonder HOW the politicians would react here if an American brought it to their attention that they are sending out Reais to pay the US Government when they live in Brazil. The problem is that there are so few of us – and the US laws are SO counter-intuitive – that they probably have no clue.

  14. @geeez, being a resident of Brazil precisely what do you have to do today to obtain and remit dollars to the IRS to pay your US tax obligation?

    The most recent statistics available from the IRS show that in 2006 there were 2,696 Form 2111 “Foreign Earned Income Exclusion” forms submitted to the IRS with taxpayer mailing addresses in Brazil. The published statistics do not indicate the total number of tax returns per country, so those who are retired or only have non-earned income such as pensions, social security, capital gains, interest, rents, dividends, etc, who do not use this form are not included in this total. These statistics are 6 years old so it is quite likely that the number submitted this year is higher.

    (For comparison purposes the total on this report with Canadian addresses, the highest number of Forms 2111 from any country in the world, is shown as 36,179. From Mexico there were 6,112)

    This report does not include Forms 2111 submitted by persons with US mailing addresses, but there are always some US citrizens living and working abroad who maintain a US address for their US tax returns, using friends, relatives or courier services to forward tax information, etc. to them in the foreign countries where they live.

    It is easy to conclude from this report that only a small percentage of US persons abroad are actually filing US tax returns.

  15. Roger, I haven’t owed anything (I wish I made enough money to owe though…) I really have no IDEA how I would possibly pay if I did owe. If the IRS couldn’t accept wire transfers, then I would have to use an illegal doleiro (dollar-dealer), and then somehow get someone to take my money to IRS for me.

    Answering your questions really shows the IRS absurdity. I know the doleiro is illegal. Probably sending wire transfers to a foreign government are illegal too. They ask very specific questions for wire transfers here… more specific than the US. If they doubt it, they reject the transaction.

  16. @Peter – “Land of the Free”, eh? We all live in fear…. Terrible, isn’t it? They don’t typically use drones against people they consider “fringe” – or that vary from the standard / status-quo like Ron Paul. They just ignore them. They only use the drones when ignoring them will have no effect, or they know they will lose.

    I was suggesting you because we have already seen your real name, even your smiling face, on mainstream media websites, and you already have your CLN.

  17. @geeez, Thank you for your response. Perhaps one of our other contribuors in Brazil who is self-enployed and does have to remit self employment tax to the IRS could shed some light on this procedure.

    Back in the days when we lived in Brazil it was possible for the banks to remit dollars abroad by means of a dollar check sent through the mail for personal payments for magazine subscriptions, professional memberships and for up to a certain limited amount for living expenses of a family member living outside of Brazil. Is that still possible?

    When a resident of Brazil travels abroad can you obtain dollars for expenditures outside of Brazil from your bank? If so what is the current procedure to do this, and are there any limitations on the amount of Reais you can exchagne for this purpose?

    When we lived in Brazil in he 1970s we could purchase up to $1,000 from the bank when traveling abroad, per person. (It was limited to $100 when traveling to a country bordering on Brazil).
    We had to present our air ticket and passports to the bank and the purchase of dollars was recorded in the passport. How is it today?

    According to newspaper reports, here in Miami where we now live Brazilians are very high on the list of purchases of real estate here. Most of them pay cash. How do Brazilians convert their Reais to dollars to purchase aparments and homes in the US? Can this be done legally or is it necessary to obtain dollars for fthis purpose through doleiros?

    When we lived in Brazil in the 1970s it was illegal to purchase dollars on the “mercado parallelo,” which i presume is the same as the doleiros today, and it was also illegal to remove dollars from Brazil to pay taxes to the the IRS. That was treated as an illegal money-laundering crime subject to severe financial penalties and prison. Brazil considered it a violation of its national sovereignty for a foreign government to levy and collect taxes from its citizens resident in Brazil on income earned in Brazil.

    If indeed it is still illegal for residents of B razil to transfer funds to pay income taxes to the Government of the US, then this is a fundamental and solid basis for claiming a human rights violationh under the provisons of the UN Universal Declaration of Human rights, since it obligates the US citizen resident in a foreign country to violate the laws of that country by paying taxes to a foreign government.

    Your additional comments would be much appreciated.

  18. @Roger: IRS doesn’t care about “foreign” laws. They fully expect Canadian banks to violate Canadian laws under FATCA.

    I would be interested in exploring a UN complaint. That should at least get attention of the American media. (or then again, maybe not. They’re too interested in the Kardashians and Lindsey Lohan).

  19. Roger, it depends… most of these Brazilians are probably doing a wire transfer to the seller’s account, or into the escrow account. In some cases, some of them may be using the doleiros as well, doing everything on the black market. There’s one here in this city. I’ve heard he’s been doing it for so long that everyone (the cops) just leave him alone. Since all of this is somewhat shady, I don’t have specifics. I’ll ask some people though.

    It all reminds me of the illegal smuggling of money FROM Vietnamese refugees TO their families back in Vietnam. Since it was prohibited, they had to smuggle Gold through intermediaries. Amazingly, they told me that their families DID receive the money in most cases.

    About the dollar checks and other stuff, I’ve never heard of it, but I’ll look at the bank’s website to see if they have anything. Nowadays when people (all nationalities), they can just use credit cards to buy things overseas and debit cards to take out money. If someone uses a Brazilian credit or debit card to pay a bill in the US, the government will tax the transaction at around 8%. So if an American’s tax rate is 30% – that tax will make it jump to 38%. I bet the US doesn’t consider this sort of thing.

  20. @geeez, thanks for the additional comments.

    When we lived in Brazil all credit cards issued in Brazii; Amex, Visa, MasterCard and all the rest, were marked “Valid only in Brazil.” you could not use them outside of Brazil because there was no way for foreign merchants to receive dollars to pay for purchases made abroad.

    But you had no problem using foreign credit cards in Brazil. Likewise many merchants in Brazil would gladly accept checks in dollars from US tourists. They always asked you to leave the “pay to the order of…” space blank. When they cleared the US issuers bank account that space had been filled in with names you did not recognize. The parallel market worked very efficiently even though it was totally illegal.

    But Jamaica and Guyana used to be much worse. Visitors had to declare all foreign currency when the entered the country and when they left the country. They were not permitted to take more out than they brought in and in Jamaica you were required, when leaving the country, to produce official receipts for the foreign currency you exchanged or used to pay your hotel bill. Only banks were permitted to exchange dollars for local currency. Passengers leaving Jamaica were routinely searched for undeclared dollars. In Guyana you also had to declare all jewelry, watches, etc. as well when entering and leaving. It was much like it used to be in Eastern Europe before the fall of the Wall.

  21. Perhaps a complaint can come from a non-profit or non-governmental organization, like when Privacy International launched one against the Bush administration for illegally spying on swift transfers.

  22. I believe the is no limitation at the present time on the amount of dollars can be transferred from Brazil to the USA. Of course the information goes to Banco Central. If you leave Brazil carrying more than 10,000 Reais you must declare to the IRS but I believe very few people do it. Once a year Brazilians must declare to Banco Central the moneys they have in the USA or other countries.. Most Brazilians Credit Card are International. You can pay US Income Tax with them , for instance through Official Payments Corporation. But you will pay IOF (Imposto de Operacoes Financeiras) which I am not sure how much. And I am not sure if it is lawful to use the Brazilian credit card to pay a foreign government. During a period of time when I was in Brazil and had to pay US Income Tax (mainly Self employment SS Tax), I had to send a Brazilian Certified Check in Reais to the Consulate in Sao Paulo and they would send the dollars to the IRS. Then they stopped doing this. By the way, I am in LA, and I see NO way we will win public support for our distress as Americans Living and Working Abroad. I don’t think I am exaggerating if I say that present day Americans living in the USA are so busy and under so much pressure that they have no time and energy to pay attention to Americans living next door. And the IRS has already wan the public relations battle by portraying us as Tax Cheaters…Smart people.

  23. Mark – my viewpoint with Americans is really the same. The tax is around 8%. It was something like 7,3%, but someone told me it was going up. They remove the CPMF and they came out with that!

  24. A very interesting article on Huff Post by Cato Institute Research Fellow Swaminathan S. Anklesaria Aiyar.

    In his article he points out the Jackson-Vanik amendment of 1974. From the article:

    “Back in the 1970s, the U.S. government passionately pleaded for untrammeled emigration as a fundamental human right. In 1975, the U.S. imposed trade sanctions on the Soviet Union for levying an exit tax on citizens wishing to emigrate (mostly Jews).”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/swaminathan-s-anklesaria-aiyar/eduardo-saverin-us-citizenship_b_1543493.html

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jackson–Vanik_amendment

    Ironically, Schumer (himself Jewish) is now trying to stand the amendment on its head. The hypocrisy of US Congress members is beyond belief.

    Congress has made so many laws that they can’t even remember which one is which and they get all tangled up with each other creating a web of complete madness and tyranny.

  25. I just posted a comment on HuffPo, and see that Eric did too…

    Aiyar is from Cato, so I would be surprised if he had a different opinion. What is interesting that this shows that Ariannna Huffington has sympathies for Libertarian thought, and not just left wing as the Conservative would like to characterize her.

  26. @Petros

    The conflict between the Jackson–Vanik Amendment and Schumer’s Ex-Patriot Bill may be something the American Thinker would find interesting, that is, if you’re up for another article.

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