Thursday, September 11, 2014

Washington Wants You

Not even she can save the ordinary Americans overseas.

Washington Post reports on how the US government has swung into action by revising the laws that are making people give up their citizenship in record numbers. No, hahaha. What earth do we live on? Now it will cost you $70,000 NT to give up your US citizenship -- I suppose we should be thankful they aren't simply drone bombing US citizens who want to revoke their citizenship:
"Beginning Sept. 12, the State Department is increasing fivefold the fee it charges Americans to cut ties with the (overtaxed?) land of the free. It used to cost $450 to go through the lengthy process of permanently leaving the United States. It will now cost $2,350 to officially hand over your U.S. passport.

In announcing the fee change last week, State described the process as “extremely costly,” including two “intensive interviews” where the consular officer ensures that the American “fully understands the consequences of renunciation.” (No more apple pie and baseball games.)

There’s been a surge in expatriations in recent years. “Through the first half of this year 1,577 Americans worldwide renounced their citizenship or gave up their green cards. In 2013, a record 3,000 of Americans renounced, up from just a few hundred a year in the mid-1990s and early 2000s...”"
My friend Drew at the awesome blog Taiwan in Cycles wrote to remind me that as a result of the agreement on Visa Free Entry into the US for Taiwanese citizens, Taiwan banks have to ask US citizen customers to provide written declarations that they are US citizens. Anyone encountered that yet? Recall that FATCA provides that the US can seize up to one-third of the assets of foreign banks in the US if they are in violation of this, which is why in many countries US citizens are having difficulty doing their banking as banks refuse to do business with them.

Now recall how many Taiwanese really are dual citizens, so many who are and never thought about it because parents had them in US while in grad school, and returned to Taiwan.... are the banks chasing them down and waving those forms at them? Or is it only the non-Taiwanese who actually get asked this? I think we all know the answer to that question.

I think everyone should respond to this law by incorporating as a corporate person. Then the US government would treat us really really well.....
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Mike Fagan said...

The U.S. is a proto-totalitarian State, it really is.

Jenna Cody said...

Nobody's asked me to do this yet, nor would I personally know how to proactively go about it. I do wonder about people I know who are US citizens but never thought much about it.

Interestingly not long ago my husband found out he was a Canadian citizen and always had been - he'd never even really thought about it before. Unlike being a US citizen, this hasn't caused him any difficulty. Now he has two passports, just because he can, and that's it.

It's great for me - it means we can move to Canada without any trouble and I could easily become Canadian.

And maybe expatriate, who knows...

B.BarNavi said...

FWIW, my dad, who is a dual citizen, was recently hunted down by the IRS in Taiwan. So...