President Obama opens dialogue with U.S. citizens abroad – Seize the day! Hope you wont’ get fooled again! – UPDATED

Updated with the following additional paragraph June 4/12

I have been following the comments to this thread with great interest. I believe that this Obama social media initiative is a great opportunity for us. This post needs to be linked to the “Just Me” post of April 22/12 where he talks about the stupid form letter that somebody received after writing Obama about OVDI. I reference the following helpful comment from Steven where he says:

30 Year IRS Vet

@All.

I have a slightly different view and perhaps an idea worth pursuing.

The fact that the White House responded at all gives the IBS an opportunity to use the response as a vehicle to further publicize the issues facing expats and the inequity of citizenship based taxation in general. You now have a letter from the President dated April 18, 2012. It is in effect, and invitation to dialogue with him. What if the IBS board were to respond to the WH as follows:

“Dear Mr. President:
Thank you for your letter of April 18, and to respectfully suggest that you that your letter was not at all responsive to Mr. XXX’s letter to you of [date] in which he detailed for you, a glaring inequity affecting seven million voting Americans living abroad who find themselves potential victims of the unintended consequences of a law you approved regarding their tax obligations……

[explain the problem]
[don’t make the IRS the issue]
[offer a solution]
[dont disrespect him or the Office]

Perhaps a closing with the suggestion that it would be nice to hear in his acceptance speech for the nomination of his party at the DNC convention in Charlotte, N.C. in September, one sentence in which he acknowledges the problem and pledges to do something about it if he is elected again in November.

It might also be a good idea to send a copy of the letter to:

Geithner
Shulman
Ms. Olson
Cong. Carol Maloney
Democrats Abroad
Senators Levin, Baucus and a few others.
Mr. Romney and some other top Republicans
Selected Canadian officials.

This the way the game is played in Washington. If he doesn’t respond in a few weeks you can write to him again and cc everyone again to let the world know that you are not going to go away and the problem is going to keep getting worse if it is not addressed.
Thoughts? Comments?

Once again, I see the americansabroadforobama.org (plus twitter and facebook add ons) as a fantastic opportunity to engage Obama and the Democrats. The very existence of americansabroadfromobama.org suggests to me that the Democrats really do NOT understand how they have destroyed the lives of U.S. citizens abroad. If they really understood the problems they have created, I don’t believe that they would have launched this site.

Because they have opened the door to a public discussion, we need to see this as an opportunity to educate them. Furthermore, I believe that we should use this as an opportunity to reach out to Romney and Ron Paul. The americansabroadforobama.org is the best chance yet to open a dialogue.

We need to work on how to do this in an intelligent way. Complaint without more will not do it. We are crediting Obama and his mindless disciples with far too much intelligence and understanding.

Your thoughts? Continue reading

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The conscience of a lawyer and “The FBAR Fundraiser”

Cross posted from RenounceUScitizenship.

Having a license to practise law (bar admission) does not a lawyer make.

Admission to the Bar, gives an individual the legal right to conduct oneself as  a lawyer. A lawyer operates within a specific construct of ethics and morality. The American Bar Association Model Rules of Professional Conduct make it clear that

A lawyer has an obligation to the client that is more important than loyalty to any other person or entity. This principle is made clear in Rule 1.7 of  The American Bar Association Model Rules of Professional Conduct.  Rule 1.7 clarifies that a lawyer should not act for a client if there exists any conflict of interest. It reads as follows: Continue reading

Compliance counseling is like a box of chocolates – “You never know what your gonna get” – Circular 230 vs. the fiduciary duty to the client

Cross posted from RenounceUScitizenship.

The Isaac Brock Society is becoming a interest place to “hang out”. At least this is true for many U.S. citizens living abroad who are desperately attempting to ensure that they are in U.S. tax compliance Many people are grappling with how to be compliant on a “going forward” basis. Others are trying to figure out to deal with “past compliance issues”. There are of course a number of ways to come into compliance. What all these people have in common is a desire to be U.S. tax compliant. Yet, the IRS seems hell bent on continuing on treating U.S. citizens living abroad as though they are tax cheats. For many U.S. citizens living abroad the emotional strain is such that they are driven to renounce U.S. citizenship. This is the price of a good nights sleep.

So, what’s a poor U.S. citizen living abroad to do? Well, they consult a “cross border professional” where they get advice that comes in all shapes, sizes and perspectives. The advice is so varied that it reminds me of the line in Forrest Gump:

Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

When it comes to “compliance counseling” – You never know what you’re gonna get.” Continue reading

Schumer Casey bill removes all doubt about U.S. insanity – may accelerate pace of renunciations!

Cross posted from RenounceUScitizenship

Continue reading

RCMP ‘to ease Canadians into the idea’ of U.S. agents in Canada

Amazing, have a look at this.

Note the following comment to another post:

Don Pomodoro

Whew…I really hope for you guys over there in Canada that the “North American Union” nightmare never comes to pass. I couldn’t see it happening now, but if the US were to fall apart in the next ten years it might view such a union as the only way to compete with the BRICs, Latin American Union, EU (if it still exists…:P), etc in 20 years’ time. They’re too full of themselves in the US currently to push it through or promote it at all.

NAFTA could be the back door to an NAU though. Remember, lots of eurosceptics (that is, mainly British politicians and the far right across Europe) point out that the EU was originally just an Economic Community – When the UK joined in the early 1970s, for example, they thought that they were just joining a free trade zone and not a political union.

Be on your guard over there!

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/blogs/canada-politics/rcmp-ease-canadians-idea-u-agents-canada-201905380.html

Steve Mopsick – On the “coming into compliance dilemma”

Check this out. My question for all is this:

How on the basis of these facts, specifically not knowing about Mr. FBAR in the past, could this be construed to be “willful non-compliance”? Are you saying that the IRS might just make a decision to treat this as willful.? It doesn’t seem to me that in this letter you have:

“now admitted in writing that you are in willful non-compliance with your federal income tax and FBAR filing obligations for the past six years.”

Isn’t the test for willfulness: “The intentional disregard of a known legal duty?” If you don’t know of the duty, how can the disregard be intentional?

This would seem to me to be a very unlikely response from the IRS. If they do respond this way, the outcome is clear:

The word will get out and nobody will ever attempt to bring themselves into compliance again.

Love you hear all your thoughts on this.

Thank you Mr. Mopsick for a very thought provoking post!

Laura Saunders weighs in: Should you renounce your U.S. citizenship

If this has already been posted, sorry for the duplication. This whole issue is starting to get traction. More than 200 comments so far. Looks like a good article.