For years I have seen the slogan “It’s better in the Bahamas”. It’s a great place to vacation. It’s a short flight from Toronto. It’s relatively inexpensive to visit. It’s was the home of one Sir John Templeton (one of the most famous renunciants of U.S. citizenship). And when it comes to “renouncing U.S. citizenship”, it might be “Better in the Bahamas“, because you can schedule a renunciation appointment on a predictable date!
What follows are some recent reports about the renunciation process in Nassau, Bahamas.
"On the road to renunciation" (well maybe it's closer to the beach) Just received and have permission to share. Tomorrow is renunciation day pic.twitter.com/BZRrAE37S1
I suspect that history will show that that the growth in renunciations of U.S. citizenship (and abandonment of Green Cards) continued in 2016. Absent a change in the way that the United States treats its “U.S. Persons Abroad”, I suspect that the growth in renunciations of U.S. citizenship will continue. The purpose of this post and a short summary …
This blog post will hopefully encourage those with U.S. tax issues to consider whether they can deal with minor/unintentional FBAR violations as a “stand alone single problem”. There may be no need to escalate and expand one single problem into a multi-dimensional full blown tax problem that may end up with unintended and unanticipated costly professional fees as well as undue time spent! Read on and learn why. Keeping a calm head is most important, even if it is most difficult to do in the face of the scary situation of not being in compliance with the U.S. tax and regulatory regime.
This post consists of the following six parts: Part 1 – Problems, more problems and the expansion of problems Part 2 – Looking For Mr. FBAR Part 3 – It often begins with a chance meeting with Mr. FBAR Part 4 – How the compliance problems of “Homeland Americans” (particularly Green Card holders) differ from the compliance problems of “Americans Abroad” Part 5 – Focusing specifically on the problem of FBAR non-compliance Part 6 – Dealing with the tax professionals: Beware of how they can expand the number of problems
— John Richardson – lawyer for "U.S. persons" abroad (@ExpatriationLaw) December 21, 2016
Let’s begin with the law as stated in the Income Tax Act of Canada …
Taxation in Canada is governed by the Income Tax Act of Canada. Sections 1 and 2 of the Act read in part as follows:
1 This Act may be cited as the Income Tax Act.
PART I Income Tax
DIVISION A Liability for Tax
2 (1) An income tax shall be paid, as required by this Act, on the taxable income for each taxation year of every person resident in Canada at any time in the year.
(This does NOT say that ONLY those “resident in Canada” are required to pay Canadian tax. In fact there are circumstances under which nonresidents of Canada are also required to pay different kinds of Canadian tax.) Searching for the meaning of “resident in Canada” …
“Tax Residency” is becoming an increasingly important topic. Every country has its own rules for determining who is and who is not a “tax resident” of that country. The advent of the OCED CRS (“Common Reporting Standard”) has made the determination of “tax residence” increasingly important.
At the risk of oversimplification, a determination of “tax residency” can be based on a “deeming provision” or decided by a determination “based on the facts”. Some countries base “tax residency” on both “deeming provisions” and a “facts and circumstances” test. Tax Residency in Canada – “Deemed residence” or “ordinary residence based on the facts” … Continue reading →
An introduction to “tax residency” …
Most people equate residency with physical presence. They assume that where you are physically presence determines where you live. They further assume that where you live is where you pay your taxes. Conclusion: The country where you live is the country where you must be “tax resident”. Not necessarily!
There is no necessary correlation between where one lives and where one is a “tax resident”. In fact, “residency for tax purposes” may be only minimally related to “residency for immigration (where you live) purposes”. It is possible for people to live in only one country and be a tax resident of multiple countries. The most obvious example is “U.S. citizens residing outside the United States”.
The concept of “tax residency” is fundamental to all systems of taxation. The fundamental question, at the root of all tax systems is:
“what kind of connection to a country is required to assume tax jurisdiction over an “individual”, over “property” or over an “entity”?” Continue reading →
Has it become too much work to remain a U.S. citizen? Has the time come to renounce U.S. citizenship? Would you be a "covered expatriate" if you renounced? Subject to the "Exit Tax"? https://t.co/1sSX7ZQeX9 via @ExpatriationLaw
— John Richardson – lawyer for "U.S. persons" abroad (@ExpatriationLaw) March 11, 2018
Click here if you need help with the process of renouncing U.S. citizenship.
Why do some Canadians wish to have a U.S. Social Security number?
— John Richardson – lawyer for "U.S. persons" abroad (@ExpatriationLaw) December 13, 2016
Many Canadians are in the process of coming into U.S. tax compliance. One might ask:
Why would a Canadian citizen residing in Canada wish to come into U.S tax compliance?
There are two reasons why Canadian citizen/residents file U.S. tax returns:
1. They have learned that they are U.S. citizens or learned about U.S. “citizenship taxation” (perhaps encouraged by a FATCA letter or their local CPA) and they wish to file U.S. taxes; and/or
2. They have learned that they are U.S. citizens and wish to come into U.S tax compliance to “renounce U.S. citizenship” and avoid “covered expatriate” status (particularly important if they wish to take advantage of the “dual citizenship” exemption to the S. 877A Exit Tax).
Regardless of the motivation, one must do considerable work for the privilege of filing U.S. taxes. Continue reading →