Showing posts with label USA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label USA. Show all posts

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Americans Give Up Citizenship


It’s a highly coveted passport that represents freedom and opportunity to millions of people worldwide, yet more Americans than ever are renouncing their U.S. citizenship. A record number of Americans — 1,337 — relinquished their passports in the first three months of 2015, according to the U.S. government. That’s up 18 percent from last year at this time, according to an analysis by Bloomberg News, and nearly 40 percent of the total 3,415 Americans who gave up their passports in 2014. “It was a gut wrenching experience that I do not think I will ever be over,” former American Ruth Freeborn told reason.com. Freeborn says she is an average, stay-at-home mother who married a Canadian man and moved to Canada to help care for his elderly parents. She blames the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) for forcing her into a decision she didn’t want to make. FATCA, which was enacted by Congress in 2010, was designed to target rich Americans who use foreign accounts to avoid paying U.S. taxes, but it impacts ex-patriots at all income levels. FATCA requires that foreign financial institutions report financial accounts held by U.S. taxpayers to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the U.S. government agency responsible for tax collection. 
The United States taxes its citizens on all income, regardless of where is is earned or where a person lives. This can lead to complicated and time-consuming paperwork that some ex-patriots complain has been made even more burdensome by FATCA. “The cost of compliance with the complex tax treatment of non-resident U.S. citizens and the potential penalties I face for incorrect filings and for holding non-U.S. securities forces me to consider whether it would be more advantageous to give up my U.S. citizenship,” Stephanos Orestis, a American living in Norway, wrote in a March 23 letter to the Senate Finance Committee. “The thought of doing so is highly distressing for me since I am a born and bred American with a love for my country.” Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, who relinquished his U.S. citizenship in 2012, speaks at a conference in Singapore February 21, 2013. (Reuters Photo) Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, who relinquished his U.S. citizenship in 2012, speaks at a conference in Singapore on February 21, 2013. (Reuters) More than 7 million Americans live abroad, according to the IRS. Many of those who have chosen to renounce their citizenship have limited ties to the United States. 


Some were born here but have lived elsewhere their entire lives. Anyone born in the U.S. automatically receives citizenship, as do people born abroad to American parents. Eduardo Saverin, the Brazilian-born billionaire co-founder of Facebook, trimmed his tax bill when he relinquished his U.S. citizenship in 2012. “I am obligated to, and will pay hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes to the U.S. government,” said Saverin in a statement at the time. “I have paid and will continue to pay any taxes due on everything I earned while a U.S. citizen.” As Saverin learned, giving up U.S. citizenship doesn’t come cheap. There’s the $2,350 renunciation fee and an exit tax that can climb into the millions of dollars. But some who have renounced have found there’s an emotional cost to giving up U.S. citizenship, which often goes to the core of Americans’ identity. 



American-born Patricia Moon, who lives in Canada, renounced her citizenship not long after FATCA was enacted. “I was terrified we’d lose all our money,” Moon, who became a Canadian citizen in 2008, told the Guardian. But the decision to give up her American passport wasn’t an easy one. “It was like cutting off my right arm.”

Americans Give Up Citizenship


It’s a highly coveted passport that represents freedom and opportunity to millions of people worldwide, yet more Americans than ever are renouncing their U.S. citizenship. A record number of Americans — 1,337 — relinquished their passports in the first three months of 2015, according to the U.S. government. That’s up 18 percent from last year at this time, according to an analysis by Bloomberg News, and nearly 40 percent of the total 3,415 Americans who gave up their passports in 2014. “It was a gut wrenching experience that I do not think I will ever be over,” former American Ruth Freeborn told reason.com. Freeborn says she is an average, stay-at-home mother who married a Canadian man and moved to Canada to help care for his elderly parents. She blames the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) for forcing her into a decision she didn’t want to make. FATCA, which was enacted by Congress in 2010, was designed to target rich Americans who use foreign accounts to avoid paying U.S. taxes, but it impacts ex-patriots at all income levels. FATCA requires that foreign financial institutions report financial accounts held by U.S. taxpayers to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the U.S. government agency responsible for tax collection. 
The United States taxes its citizens on all income, regardless of where is is earned or where a person lives. This can lead to complicated and time-consuming paperwork that some ex-patriots complain has been made even more burdensome by FATCA. “The cost of compliance with the complex tax treatment of non-resident U.S. citizens and the potential penalties I face for incorrect filings and for holding non-U.S. securities forces me to consider whether it would be more advantageous to give up my U.S. citizenship,” Stephanos Orestis, a American living in Norway, wrote in a March 23 letter to the Senate Finance Committee. “The thought of doing so is highly distressing for me since I am a born and bred American with a love for my country.” Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, who relinquished his U.S. citizenship in 2012, speaks at a conference in Singapore February 21, 2013. (Reuters Photo) Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, who relinquished his U.S. citizenship in 2012, speaks at a conference in Singapore on February 21, 2013. (Reuters) More than 7 million Americans live abroad, according to the IRS. Many of those who have chosen to renounce their citizenship have limited ties to the United States. 


Some were born here but have lived elsewhere their entire lives. Anyone born in the U.S. automatically receives citizenship, as do people born abroad to American parents. Eduardo Saverin, the Brazilian-born billionaire co-founder of Facebook, trimmed his tax bill when he relinquished his U.S. citizenship in 2012. “I am obligated to, and will pay hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes to the U.S. government,” said Saverin in a statement at the time. “I have paid and will continue to pay any taxes due on everything I earned while a U.S. citizen.” As Saverin learned, giving up U.S. citizenship doesn’t come cheap. There’s the $2,350 renunciation fee and an exit tax that can climb into the millions of dollars. But some who have renounced have found there’s an emotional cost to giving up U.S. citizenship, which often goes to the core of Americans’ identity. 



American-born Patricia Moon, who lives in Canada, renounced her citizenship not long after FATCA was enacted. “I was terrified we’d lose all our money,” Moon, who became a Canadian citizen in 2008, told the Guardian. But the decision to give up her American passport wasn’t an easy one. “It was like cutting off my right arm.”

Obama: US Has 'Ironclad' Commitment to Gulf Security

President Barack Obama said Thursday that the United States had an "ironclad" commitment to the security of its Gulf allies and would consider using military force if they were threatened. Obama hosted a summit of leaders and senior ministers from the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council at the Camp David presidential retreat north of Washington. They included Saudi Arabia's crown prince and deputy crown prince, the emirs of Kuwait and Qatar and senior officials from Bahrain,

Oman and the United Arab Emirates. The president said after the meeting that he had been “very explicit” during the talks that the United States would stand by its GCC partners “against external attack,” and would consider "using the means at our collective disposal, including the potential use of military force." He said the region is going thorough "extraordinary changes" and "great challenges." The Gulf leaders came to the summit looking for reassurances from the president that the U.S. is fully committed to their security. What they received fell short of the formal defense agreement that some Gulf countries wanted, but they got the message they wanted at a time when they feel threatened by Iran’s role in the region and by the rise of extremist groups. Obama said the U.S. would increase its effort to help the Gulf states meet the full range of threats.


This would include more military exercises and assistance in developing missile defense and rapid response capabilities. The Gulf states have been concerned that a nuclear agreement between their archrival Iran and major world powers would ease Western sanctions and turn Iran into a more aggressive regional power. A number of the Gulf leaders “did express the concern that with additional resources, through the reduction in sanctions, that was it possible that Iran would siphon off a lot of these resources into more destabilizing activities,” Obama said. But the president said he was glad that the Gulf leaders were now giving their broad support for a comprehensive and verifiable deal to keep Iran from building a nuclear weapon, understanding that this also would be in their interest.


Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said late Thursday that his government would wait and follow the nuclear negotiations witih Iran before judging them. Obama and the GCC also promised to strengthen the moderate opposition in Syria, back the humanitarian truce in Yemen, and work for a two-state solution in Israel — although the president said the chances of a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians appear "distant" right now.

Obama: US Has 'Ironclad' Commitment to Gulf Security

President Barack Obama said Thursday that the United States had an "ironclad" commitment to the security of its Gulf allies and would consider using military force if they were threatened. Obama hosted a summit of leaders and senior ministers from the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council at the Camp David presidential retreat north of Washington. They included Saudi Arabia's crown prince and deputy crown prince, the emirs of Kuwait and Qatar and senior officials from Bahrain,

Oman and the United Arab Emirates. The president said after the meeting that he had been “very explicit” during the talks that the United States would stand by its GCC partners “against external attack,” and would consider "using the means at our collective disposal, including the potential use of military force." He said the region is going thorough "extraordinary changes" and "great challenges." The Gulf leaders came to the summit looking for reassurances from the president that the U.S. is fully committed to their security. What they received fell short of the formal defense agreement that some Gulf countries wanted, but they got the message they wanted at a time when they feel threatened by Iran’s role in the region and by the rise of extremist groups. Obama said the U.S. would increase its effort to help the Gulf states meet the full range of threats.


This would include more military exercises and assistance in developing missile defense and rapid response capabilities. The Gulf states have been concerned that a nuclear agreement between their archrival Iran and major world powers would ease Western sanctions and turn Iran into a more aggressive regional power. A number of the Gulf leaders “did express the concern that with additional resources, through the reduction in sanctions, that was it possible that Iran would siphon off a lot of these resources into more destabilizing activities,” Obama said. But the president said he was glad that the Gulf leaders were now giving their broad support for a comprehensive and verifiable deal to keep Iran from building a nuclear weapon, understanding that this also would be in their interest.


Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said late Thursday that his government would wait and follow the nuclear negotiations witih Iran before judging them. Obama and the GCC also promised to strengthen the moderate opposition in Syria, back the humanitarian truce in Yemen, and work for a two-state solution in Israel — although the president said the chances of a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians appear "distant" right now.