Monthly Archives: February 2019

Under the Starry Flag by @SalyerLucy shows how the history of citizenship struggles repeat themselves: The USA of the 21st Century is like Britain in the 19th Century

Under the Starry Flag – exploring the historical context of the 1867 Expatriation Act


In 2018 Professor Lucy Salyer of the University of New Hampshire published “Under the Starry Flag” – a book largely about the 1868 Expatriation Act. The book describes a period in American history where Britain treated its “subjects” as having perpetual loyalty to the British Crown. To put it simply: One could NOT emigrate to America and expatriate. No matter what one did, those who were born British Subjects were destined to die British Subjects.
The above tweet links to an interview of Professor Lucy Salyer conducted on February 9, 2019. The interview is about Professor Salyer’s new book “Under the Starry Flag”. It is a fascinating (brilliantly researched) work. The publisher describes the book as:

The riveting story of forty Irish Americans who set off to fight for Irish independence, only to be arrested by Queen Victoria’s authorities and accused of treason: a tale of idealism and justice with profound implications for future conceptions of citizenship and immigration.
In 1867 forty Irish American freedom fighters, outfitted with guns and ammunition, sailed to Ireland to join the effort to end British rule. Yet they never got a chance to fight. British authorities arrested them for treason as soon as they landed, sparking an international conflict that dragged the United States and Britain to the brink of war. Under the Starry Flag recounts this gripping legal saga, a prelude to today’s immigration battles.
The Fenians, as the freedom fighters were called, claimed American citizenship. British authorities disagreed, insisting that naturalized Irish Americans remained British subjects. Following in the wake of the Civil War, the Fenian crisis dramatized anew the idea of citizenship as an inalienable right, as natural as freedom of speech and religion. The captivating trial of these men illustrated the stakes of extending those rights to arrivals from far-flung lands. The case of the Fenians, Lucy E. Salyer shows, led to landmark treaties and laws acknowledging the right of exit. The U.S. Congress passed the Expatriation Act of 1868, which guarantees the right to renounce one’s citizenship, in the same month it granted citizenship to former American slaves.
The small ruckus created by these impassioned Irish Americans provoked a human rights revolution that is not, even now, fully realized. Placing Reconstruction-era debates over citizenship within a global context, Under the Starry Flag raises important questions about citizenship and immigration.

In the 19th Century Britain regarded its subjects as subjects for life. Many Americans abroad will appreciate how the book applies to their lives in the 21st century. To put it simply: Americans abroad are treated as primarily Americans citizens – even though they are often citizens and residents of other countries. The FATCA IGAs are the most obvious example of this reality. (Shades of the British – History does have a way of repeating itself.) Renunciation is desirable, difficult, expensive (and for those who are in the U.S. tax system – inevitable). For many Americans abroad:

All Roads Lead To Renunciation.”

Furthermore, dual citizens (for example the accidental Americans in France) are beginning to request that their countries of citizenship/residence intervene and assist their citizens in breaking ties with the United States. History does repeat itself.
Continue reading

Thoughts on the @ADCSovereignty #FATCA Trial 1: 2015 interview with @AliBrunet underscores which people are primarily affected by FATCA in Canada

What the Canada U.S. FATCA IGA is NOT about

Canada’s FATCA IGA is NOT about information exchange. The United States does NOT exchange information under the FATCA IGAs.

Canada’s FATCA IGA is not about residency. After all the purpose of FATCA is to transfer information from a country where the person DOES actually reside (and is a tax resident) to a country where the person does NOT actually reside (but is deemed to be a tax resident).

What the Canada U.S. FATCA IGA IS about

Canada’s FATCA IGA IS about the Government of Canada surrendering its citizens to the United States (effectively stripping them of their rights as Canadian citizens).

Canada’s FATCA IGA is about assisting the United States in imposing worldwide taxation on Canadian citizens who actually live in Canada, are tax residents of Canada and pay full taxes in Canada. Transition Tax anyone? Do you feel GILTI today? What were you thinking by buying that Canadian mutual fund in Canada?
Canada’s FATCA IGA is NOTHING like the OECD Common Reporting Standard. In simple terms, under the CRS information is transferred from a country where the person does NOT live to a country where he does live.

Yes, Canada’s lawyers spent the week of January 28, 2019 to February 1, 2019:

1. Denying each of these obvious points; and
2. Arguing that Canada that Canada has a constitutional right to betray its citizens by turning them over to the United States.

Post 1 – February 17, 2019:

The U.S. claim of lifetime tax jurisdiction based ONLY on the fact of having been born in the United States

This is based on a post from March of 2015 which was about the number of so called “Accidental Americans” in the Eastern Townships of Quebec.

Let’s start by listening to the CBC interview with Ali Brunette.

Question:

Do these life long residents of the Quebec Eastern Townships (great ski country) seem like U.S. tax evaders to you?

Considering renouncing citizenship? #citizide: Non-citizens can be be inadmissible to the United States by statute

Only U.S. Citizens The right to enter the United States


U.S. citizenship has its privileges and its obligations
Privileges:
As the message in the above tweet indicates, ONLY U.S. citizens have the right to enter the United States.
Obligations:
Because U.S. citizens have the right to enter the United States, U.S. citizens are required to enter the United States on a U.S. passport. (The U.S. passport tells the border guard that the individual has the right to enter the United States.) The Immigration and Nationality Act states:

(b)Citizens
Except as otherwise provided by the President and subject to such limitations and exceptions as the President may authorize and prescribe, it shall be unlawful for any citizen of the United States to depart from or enter, or attempt to depart from or enter, the United States unless he bears a valid United States passport.

The border guard does not have the authority to deny entry to a U.S. citizen.
Non-citizens and admission to the United States – Tell me who you are and I will tell you whether you can enter
Non-citizens do NOT have the right to enter the United States. For non-citizens, entry into the United States is governed by the Immigration and Nationality Act and an apparatus of rules and regulations. Different rules and regulations apply to citizens of different countries. When you cease to be a U.S. citizen, you will be treated according to your citizenship/nationality.
Let’s consider four categories of individuals.
Continue reading

When a US citizen marries a non-citizen – AKA The #FBAR Marriage: Filing status, joint ownership of assets, income, gift and estate tax issues


Marriage is complicated. Marriage between U.S. citizens is complicated. But, a marriage between a U.S. citizen and a non-citizen is (for tax compliant Americans) is the most complex marriage of all.