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Old 02-07-2008, 19:13   #16
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Sean, thanks for the suggestion. Looks interesting, I'll check it out.

Cliffs notes: A People's History of the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 02-07-2008, 21:54   #17
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Taxes are a terrible thing in the US primarily because the less-haves always believe the have-mores pay less tax. And it's true.

Singapore has basically a flat earnings tax system around 10%. There are deductions for only a couple of things.

For Goods and Services it is 7% on new items and imported items. Used items changing hands within Singapore are not taxed. We paid zero tax on our used boat.

If you are non-resident and leave the country with the goods you get the GST refunded immediately at the airport.

Singapore has a huge Gov't surplus. Having lived under both types of systems I have to say this one works. As a US tax slave, however, I still pay US taxes regardless of where I live - grrr.....
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Old 03-07-2008, 03:45   #18
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Even if you gave up your citizenship (not suggestion that you do) the US has a tax for those folks as well and they will put a permanent flag out to make sure you have paid them so that if you ever enter the country under your other passport they will seize you for those taxes as well (this includes trying to go after you bank accounts in foreign countries and using the statement that they believe your income is from drugs or organized crime to get other country to freeze your accounts).

I served the US (16 years USAR)and it makes me sick to see how it is going. Than again that is one of the reasons why we left (don't get me wrong every place has its problems [My Father was very right on that one]). It is just for us the problems in the US are beyond the ability of myself or my family to directly effect and as such we moved. Still deal with the IRS and they don't like me as have dual citizenship and show them where their own laws limit them and get out from some of their pain in my back side, but not all. I don't work for a US firm over here and when I working for myself they want their share from the first $400 US even though it is not earned in the US (that is with the tax agreements)

Use tax I have never understood beyond that of road tax and those have been doubled and added in multiple places so it makes you wonder (we have this problem in the UK as well) Luckily buying a USED boat that you can show VAT already PAID on gets you out of having to pay alot of taxes that get put on new boats over here. It is one of the reasons that some EU countries are trying to find ways to tax boat ownership as it was owning a house (whether or not you live onboard). This all comes from to much and to big of a government.

Zinn is and interesting read and need to reread him even though large section of his book I don't agree with his spin (Everyone has an agenda when they write a view of history). Being that he seems to be a very left leaning individual in the writtings I have read. Other than that he presents a view on history that is not often seen. Though his use of statics brings a favorite quote to mind.

I am wandering badly and will stop now. There is always starting another tea party and seeing where it runs...

Michael
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Old 03-07-2008, 04:40   #19
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Even if you gave up your citizenship (not suggestion that you do) the US has a tax for those folks as well and they will put a permanent flag out to make sure you have paid them so that if you ever enter the country under your other passport they will seize you for those taxes as well (this includes trying to go after you bank accounts in foreign countries and using the statement that they believe your income is from drugs or organized crime to get other country to freeze your accounts).

I served the US (16 years USAR)and it makes me sick to see how it is going. Than again that is one of the reasons why we left (don't get me wrong every place has its problems [My Father was very right on that one]). It is just for us the problems in the US are beyond the ability of myself or my family to directly effect and as such we moved. Still deal with the IRS and they don't like me as have dual citizenship and show them where their own laws limit them and get out from some of their pain in my back side, but not all. I don't work for a US firm over here and when I working for myself they want their share from the first $400 US even though it is not earned in the US (that is with the tax agreements)

Use tax I have never understood beyond that of road tax and those have been doubled and added in multiple places so it makes you wonder (we have this problem in the UK as well) Luckily buying a USED boat that you can show VAT already PAID on gets you out of having to pay alot of taxes that get put on new boats over here. It is one of the reasons that some EU countries are trying to find ways to tax boat ownership as it was owning a house (whether or not you live onboard). This all comes from to much and to big of a government.

Zinn is and interesting read and need to reread him even though large section of his book I don't agree with his spin (Everyone has an agenda when they write a view of history). Being that he seems to be a very left leaning individual in the writtings I have read. Other than that he presents a view on history that is not often seen. Though his use of statics brings a favorite quote to mind.

I am wandering badly and will stop now. There is always starting another tea party and seeing where it runs...

Michael
And that's why we're moving too (aside from the fact that the culture in the US makes us sick). Did you know the US has (according to them) 10 years of that tax pick-pocketing they can do even if you renounce your citizenship? We're out too. Thank GOD for dual citizenships. I hear you regarding Zinn. He is a little too far in the left. Since everything people are taught in schools in the US is so slanted toward, "this is the greatest country on Earth", it's a good balance to help you decide for yourself what to think. It gives you another half to the story so you can distill some kind of whole story.
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Old 03-07-2008, 05:47   #20
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Lot's of tax rant thread drift here! Has anyone got any more advice for DefJef?
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Old 03-07-2008, 06:07   #21
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Hire a tax lawyer and make sure every penny is legally able to be charged you. Also make sure you understand the why for it is legal. Seen too many government agencies try and get away with very illegal activity if they think you won't check up on them and you don't have the resources to make them play by the rules (good reason to have friends in the media, politicians hate being in the spot light for bad reasons). Also seen a lot of lazy lawyers who will do the minimum work to make sure they get their fees and leave you to the sharks.

Michael
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Old 03-07-2008, 12:45   #22
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Michael-
"Even if you gave up your citizenship...the US has a tax for those folks as well "

Can you document or substantiate that with any source reference? My understanding is that the US only has a tax basis on citizens and residents. Give up both--and the one has nothing to do with the other--and you are no longer subject to US laws of any kind, except as any other guest passing through here.
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Old 03-07-2008, 13:01   #23
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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Michael-
"Even if you gave up your citizenship...the US has a tax for those folks as well "

Can you document or substantiate that with any source reference? My understanding is that the US only has a tax basis on citizens and residents. Give up both--and the one has nothing to do with the other--and you are no longer subject to US laws of any kind, except as any other guest passing through here.
Check this:

There's A Law That Takes Away Money If You Leave U.S. Citizenship? | MainStreet

And yes, if you renounce your citizenship, the US still requires that you file a return, even if you don't owe any tax, for ten years. Is it enforceable? Well, they aren't very good at catching all of the people who still live here and don't file a return, so . . .

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Old 03-07-2008, 14:52   #24
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Tao, that's very different from what was being said. The artcile discusses a ONE TIME FEE which is levied on a US citizen's assets, when they renounce citizenship and depart the country. The fee is (?)levied while you are still a citizen and your assets are still taxable in this venue.

I question even that, since one of the footnotes to the article also says:
"Posted By zilla Jul 2 2:24 PM

One more thing in the law that nobody is mentioning...if you have filed taxes for the previous 5 years you are EXEMPT. The law only applies to crim...


One more thing in the law that nobody is mentioning...if you have filed taxes for the previous 5 years you are EXEMPT. The law only applies to criminals, not ordinary citizens. Congratulations to the media for adding another link to a very long chain of irresponsible and unethical reporting. This is nothing more than the closing of a tax loophole."

Now, that's very different indeed, isn't it?

You do not face any kind of taxation--at least not from that discussion--on what you earn or acquire AFTER YOU HAVE LEFT and become subject to some other sovereign.

Perhaps you have heard of US corporations that reincorporate out of the country in order to remove their assets from taxation? Was it Stanley Tool Works that moved to Bermuda a few year ago to do that? Sounds like this legislation might cover all persons, corporate entities as well as real persons, who try to pull that move.

Do I like it? No, but I can see it as a reaction to folks trying to pull a Stanley. I certainly hope it applies to corporate entities!

I suppose I'll have to drudge through the "Heroes Act" to find out the real rules. But, some faint knowledge of taxmen I have. No venue, no locus? No jurisdiction and no taxation! That much they all draw the line at, at least in THIS country. The taxmen remember--their predecessors GOT SHOT for going too far.
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Old 03-07-2008, 16:39   #25
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HelloSailor,

Unfortunately yes and here is the link:

Expatriation Tax

From what I understand it was meant to be applied to the business world but has been used against real people as well as legal persons that are paper only.

Michael
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Old 03-07-2008, 17:02   #26
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And yes, if you renounce your citizenship, the US still requires that you file a return, even if you don't owe any tax, for ten years. Is it enforceable?
That's what I thought too, but I'm not a US citizen or resident (thank god ). Interestingly, I've noticed a number of North Americans that come down here tend to apply for citizenship as soon as the minimum time is up (4yrs now, used to be 2yrs). I'm thinking that using one of these passports at foreign banks would be less of a problem than a North American passport

Quote:
Well, they aren't very good at catching all of the people who still live here and don't file a return, so . . .
Back in NZ they've got a system whereby all court judgments (incl back taxes) are placed into the passport control system. If you travel in/out on an NZ passport, then you'll be prevented from leaving until you've made a payment plan with the court. I'm thinking there's probably a number of dual citizens only visiting NZ on their foreign passport

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Perhaps you have heard of US corporations that reincorporate out of the country in order to remove their assets from taxation? Was it Stanley Tool Works that moved to Bermuda a few year ago to do that?
CFC's (controlled foreign corporation tax laws), we have 'em in OZ. If > 50% of the board members (not sure if it also applies to non-executive directors) or shareholders (with voter rights) resides in OZ, then the corp is subject to OZ tax (but any foreign tax paid is taken into account). The tax ruling down here is very vague, reading it - it appears the best way is to personally re-domicile for no less than 2 years at the same foreign residence & also have as little financial connection (no direct mortgages or share holdings) back to OZ.
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Old 03-07-2008, 17:36   #27
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Thanks, Michael. That's a very interesting document and I'd like to see how our courts handle it--because I know it will go to court.

Either they are saying a citizen cannot resign his citizenship without ten years notice--which would fly against both domestic and international law--or they are attempting to extend a tax basis outside their jurisdiction, which is against all US law. SOmehow I cannot see our Supreme Court endorsing the concept that a citizen cannot renounce their citizenship on less than ten years notice. Unlike the USSR, we don't sell or require exit visas for folks who want to leave. Regardless of what some foolish piece of legislation may claim.
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Old 04-07-2008, 02:05   #28
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HelloSailor,

You are unfortunately welcome. I don't like having to take that position with a country I am a citizen of and served in the forces of.

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Thanks, Michael. That's a very interesting document and I'd like to see how our courts handle it--because I know it will go to court.

Either they are saying a citizen cannot resign his citizenship without ten years notice--which would fly against both domestic and international law--or they are attempting to extend a tax basis outside their jurisdiction, which is against all US law. SOmehow I cannot see our Supreme Court endorsing the concept that a citizen cannot renounce their citizenship on less than ten years notice. Unlike the USSR, we don't sell or require exit visas for folks who want to leave. Regardless of what some foolish piece of legislation may claim.
I very much hope it goes to court, as the US is the only G8 member that extends taxes against income earned outside of US borders by non US firms and taxes self employed persons who are self employed outside the US. It smacks of the US owning their citizens instead of the government being a service to the citizens. Considering the less than help State Department and Consulate system that I have dealt with outside the US; one does wonder where the money is going (I have also had a few very helpful persons, they seem to be the exception and not the rule).

If you wish to discuss this further than IM me as we have gotten very far afield from the original question asked. Though I still strongly support the member to get a tax lawyer with good credentials and fight it.

Michael
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Old 05-07-2008, 19:50   #29
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Isn't the US tax statute of limits 7 years. A "friend" lived and worked overseas as a dual citizen for 20+ years and never filed a US return.

He returned and filed 7 back years of returns in which due to foreign earned income exclusions on his "reported" income there was no tax owed. He expected to hear about penalties for late filing but nothing came back. 15 years on as resident of the US duly filing every year he has heard noting from the IRS.

I think there are lots of Americans in similar circumstance. I know dozens of long term Asia residents that receive income from non-US sources and don't report or file. Of course they are breaking the law but their response is, "How will the US know what I earn."
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Old 05-07-2008, 20:07   #30
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Dan-
As I understand it, if someone owes no taxes they are not required to file a return. However, as any enrolled agent (EA) or tax attorney will probabaly tell you, it is a good idea to file a return regardless of whether you owe anything. First, because that counts in your favor as showing your good intent, if you are ever questioned. And second, because it prevents them from doing something petty like fining you for not filing a return if they *think* you should have filed one. For the price of a postage stamp--it's cheap insurance to file a "zero due" return, need it or not.

I know a US citizen who has earned taxable income every year, and supposedly not filed a return for the past decade, and somehow the IRS has still never gone after him. Of course, one of these days, he may get a massive load of bad news about that. They get real PO'd about tax evaders, and someone always gets used as "an example" when things are slow.

Ten years...the folks who wrote and signed that bill, need to be run out of town on a rail. And then, charged for the wood and the mileage!
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