Yet another reason why I'll never become a US citizen
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  1. #1
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    Yet another reason why I'll never become a US citizen

    I read the comments in "Crack-up boom on the horizon? earlier today the I went for long walk. While I was out on that walk I reflected upon comments such as the one by Mohair Chair which I agree with and I again pondered whether it really might be in my best interest to get out of the US at this point. Then I came back from my walk and I came upon this article... how timely it seems to be.



    http://www.mainstreet.com/theres-law...us-citizenship

    There's A Law That Takes Away Money If You Leave U.S. Citizenship?
    By Terry Savage (06/30/08)

    A lot of people probably can't understand why someone would voluntarily give up American citizenship -- but if someone wanted to do that, they'd now incur financial penalties for it.

    Congress just passed a new law that will stop your capital -- or at least a good portion of it -- at the border, should you decide not to be a U.S. citizen anymore. Is it, perhaps, in preparation for the possibility that Americans might rebel at the debt and taxes incurred by their government by leaving for lower-tax locales?

    You probably didn't notice this little provision inserted into the Heroes Act of 2008, passed by Congress on June 17. The headlines in the press release about the law were about the increased benefits for veterans and families of deceased military.

    But Richard Kohan of Price WaterhouseCoopers drew my attention to one section of the act, which states that anyone voluntarily giving up his or her citizenship will be taxed on all of his assets as if he or she had sold them -- paying capital gains on assets that have increased in value, even though they have not been sold.

    That's right. While everyone in the media is focused on keeping aliens out of America, Congress has voted to lock its citizens - or at least a good portion of their assets -- into America! Maybe they're thinking that patriotism won't be enough to keep the smart money from recognizing the coming increases in the tax burden.

    Patriotism and Debt

    We expect our elected leaders to be patriotic, to wear flap pins on their lapels? But how patriotic is it for our elected officials of both parties to drag our country into debt?

    This year the Federal budget deficit will be a record $400 billion. That astonishing number will be added to our existing $9 trillion national debt. It's money that our government spends in excess of what it collects in taxes.

    [For an instant update on our National Debt go to the moving numbers at www.Truthin2008.org -- a nonpartisan watchdog group on the national debt.]

    Government officials say they're shocked at the record number of American consumers who are filing for bankruptcy. Yet those same politicians are spending America into an effective bankruptcy -- building a burden of current debt and promises of future debt that can never be repaid. Now, how patriotic is that?

    Patriotism and Taxes

    Do you consider it your patriotic duty to pay your taxes? Do you feel unpatriotic because you spend some time trying to figure out how to reduce your tax burden, by maximizing deductions whenever possible?

    If that's not unpatriotic for you, is it unpatriotic for wealthy people, or corporations, to try to reduce their tax burden? Where do you draw the line? Perhaps it's most unpatriotic for our elected officials to construct a tax system that doles out benefits to special interest groups, pitting one group of Americans against another.

    What's really unpatriotic, in my opinion, is trying to divide Americans through the politics of envy. Our country has moved forward because of our optimism and our belief that any American can build a better financial future. It has been our nature to honor those who have been successful, and seek to emulate them, not to destroy them because they have more assets or income.

    Of course, that presupposes that the successful people accept their patriotic responsibility to give back to the society that made their success possible. And the facts show that Americans are the most charitable and generous people on the planet.

    Think of Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, literally giving away their fortunes to help humanity. Or think of the people who filled sandbags along the Mississippi this month to save the homes of strangers.

    When a government encourages the best in its citizens, by its policies and its example, patriotic citizens rise to the occasion. And when a government burdens its citizens, it inspires dissent and departures.

    The Beatles famously left Britain, and Bjorn Borg left Sweden, when their governments raised taxes to such high levels that even these national icons departed. Are American lawmakers preparing for that kind of scenario with this new law?

    Now in America, you can love it, or leave it -- but you can't take it all with you. And that's the Savage Truth!
    Last edited by rocco; 07-01-2008 at 01:33 PM.

  2. #2
    Ricardo Cabeza
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    Didn't the Insurance Portability Act have a similar clause inserted into it, except one that provided for the confiscation of ALL assets? Just more government sanctioned theft of private property. This is where government becomes little more than a criminal enterprise.

    There is a simple way around it. Just ship all your assets overseas first, THEN leave the country. Last time I checked, the Swiss were still pretty tight lipped about who has what assets.
    Whenever the legislators endeavour to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience, and are left to the common refuge which God hath provided for all men against force and violence - John Locke

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy69
    There is a simple way around it. Just ship all your assets overseas first, THEN leave the country. Last time I checked, the Swiss were still pretty tight lipped about who has what assets.

    That was my thought exactly. It would seem that this "law" would only impact the retarded.


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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by KenB
    That was my thought exactly. It would seem that this "law" would only impact the retarded.
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  5. #5
    toomanybikes
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    the Swiss are not tight lipped at all. don't kid yourself.

    this provision simply makes the US like most other countries that tax you on exit.

    no big surprise.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy69
    Didn't the Insurance Portability Act have a similar clause inserted into it, except one that provided for the confiscation of ALL assets? Just more government sanctioned theft of private property. This is where government becomes little more than a criminal enterprise.

    There is a simple way around it. Just ship all your assets overseas first, THEN leave the country. Last time I checked, the Swiss were still pretty tight lipped about who has what assets.

    I have to say on this I definitely agree with you. There's a work around but I find this sort legislation and the F-U message it send to be absolutely infuriating. I'm not one to begrudge paying my share of taxes but this shakedown IS little more than a criminal enterprise and it makes my BLOOD BOIL!

  7. #7
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    Maybe the law is to stop douchebags who have enjoyed the fruits of US citizenship from avoiding what those who remain citizens will pay in tax.

    It would be easy for someone on their deathbed to renounce their citizenship just to avoid estate and/or final income tax.

    I sat by a guy on an airplane 20 years ago who was giving up his citizenship just for tax purposes. It made me mad then and it does now.

    Maybe it's too close to July 4th.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by MerlinAma
    Maybe the law is to stop douchebags who have enjoyed the fruits of US citizenship from avoiding what those who remain citizens will pay in tax.

    It would be easy for someone on their deathbed to renounce their citizenship just to avoid estate and/or final income tax.

    I sat by a guy on an airplane 20 years ago who was giving up his citizenship just for tax purposes. It made me mad then and it does now.

    Maybe it's too close to July 4th.

    As a legal permanent resident of this country I've paid taxes per the requirements of the law. If I were to choose to become a US citizen but then later chose to leave why should I have to continue to pay?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by toomanybikes
    this provision simply makes the US like most other countries that tax you on exit.

    no big surprise.

    All true but so what? Just because others do it doesn't make it right.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocco
    All true but so what? Just because others do it doesn't make it right.
    You know, you probably make a good living working here but you have a lot of complaints about a system you have nothing to do with. Nobody is really crushed if you don't want to be a citizen here and if you think it is so much better in your native land, by all means, don't let the door hit ya in the butt. We'll try to struggle on, tough as it might be.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocco
    As a legal permanent resident of this country I've paid taxes per the requirements of the law. If I were to choose to become a US citizen but then later chose to leave why should I have to continue to pay?
    My hunch is there would be 600 pages of regulations that would have computations to "help you out" if you weren't a citizen originally.

    I'm a CPA and I can assure you the lawyers writing these laws will leave enough loopholes (real or imagined) that someone, somewhere will interpret the law so you wouldn't have to pay very much.

  12. #12
    Ricardo Cabeza
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    Quote Originally Posted by toomanybikes
    the Swiss are not tight lipped at all. don't kid yourself.

    this provision simply makes the US like most other countries that tax you on exit.

    no big surprise.
    They are in this case. The Swiss don't consider tax evasion to be a reason to divulge account holder information.

    Now, this pertains to Switzerland only banks. If it's a multinational, like Credit Suisse, all bets are off.
    Whenever the legislators endeavour to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience, and are left to the common refuge which God hath provided for all men against force and violence - John Locke

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snakebit
    You know, you probably make a good living working here but you have a lot of complaints about a system you have nothing to do with. Nobody is really crushed if you don't want to be a citizen here and if you think it is so much better in your native land, by all means, don't let the door hit ya in the butt. We'll try to struggle on, tough as it might be.

    So then I'll take as your agreement that taxation of all my assets if I were to leave (assuming I were to become a citizen) wouldn't be necessary.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocco
    So then I'll take as your agreement that taxation of all my assets if I were to leave (assuming I were to become a citizen) wouldn't be necessary.
    Why would you want to become a citizen? There is no anchor on your assets the way things stand.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snakebit
    Why would you want to become a citizen? There is no anchor on your assets the way things stand.

    Precisely.

    Plus I don't think there should be any on yours either if you were to choose to leave, whether it for political reasons of professional/career ones.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocco
    Precisely.

    Plus I don't think there should be any on yours either if you were to choose to leave, whether it for political reasons of professional/career ones.
    You aren't on the team, what you think doesn't matter. Why don't you go to Canada, open up a fishing lodge with your assets and invite me to visit?

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