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Us Government Shaking Down Dual National Foreigners

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Does this only apply to places like Panama and not the UK because we have more favourable tax rules? So no rush of Americans selling property in the UK to pay their new tax bills?

Panamanians who were born in the US were required to file tax returns and disclosure forms annually with the IRS, as well pay the US government its “fair share” of their income. And now, with so much stink being raised about offshore tax compliance for US citizens, these dual nationals find themselves caught in a tough situation.

Most were completely unaware and were recently tipped off by their local banker here in Panama, a conversation that went something like:

“Hey don’t you have US nationality as well as Panamanian? The US government is breathing down our necks to make sure customers are in compliance. You should see these stupid regulations they expect us to follow.”

“Um… compliance for what?”

After a few uncomfortable phone calls, they find out that they’re obliged to file 10+ years’ worth of 1040′s, 5471′s, and FBARs, as well as pay steep tax bills with penalties and interest.

I have no doubt that a great many of these dual nationals are going to march down to the US embassy to renounce their citizenship. Unfortunately for them, they won’t even be ‘allowed’ to do so until they become tax compliant.

It’s amazing– many of these folks have never lived in the US, have never earned a penny of US-source income, and have never even heard of an FBAR… yet literally by accident of birth, they are now obligated under penalty of imprisonment to pay a huge portion of their assets to another government despite never having been made aware of such obligations.

What’s more, they can’t get out of it. They can’t even renounce this obligation without first paying off the debts that they never signed up for.


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Does this only apply to places like Panama and not the UK because we have more favourable tax rules? So no rush of Americans selling property in the UK to pay their new tax bills?

All US citizens have to pay US tax each year regardless of where they live.

However, there is a large (several tens of thousands) minimum income upon which no US tax is charged to non residents.

It is unlikely that any ordinary Panamanian earns enough to be liable for any US tax.

Edited by tim123

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Monday, March 23, 2009

IRS lets rich off audit hook!

That's the assessment of the Transactional Record Access Clearinghouse (TRAC). Using IRS data, the Syracuse, N.Y.-based group calculated a drop of at least 19 percent in the audit rate of people with incomes of $1 million or more between 2008 and 2007.

The IRS says TRAC is wrong.

It's not the numbers that the IRS has an issue with; they are, after all, from the agency itself. But the IRS says that TRAC misinterpreted them.

Let's go to the "he said/she said."

TRAC's tracking: In the face of growing federal deficits and public calls to lower the tax gap (the amount of taxes due but not reported and paid), the drop in millionaire audits is surprising, says report author Susan Long.

TRAC notes that in January 2008, the IRS "was boasting that its drive to focus increased attention on those reporting at least a million dollars in income was in high gear." But when the agency's Data Book was recently released, its figures confirmed that both 2006 and 2007 IRS audit numbers had to be revised sharply downward because of "misreporting" discovered in the agency's books.

"As it turns out, it now appears that the 2006 audit numbers had been inflated by 20 percent while the 2007 audit number that the IRS had boasted about had been inflated by 35 percent over actual levels," says TRAC, referring to the "millionaire audits" table (below) that it created to compare the examination numbers from 2004 through 2008.

A mirrored occurrence going on in the UK!

Similar Millionaire tax evasion encouraged en-masse going on in UK allowed by our bent Govt/Elites

"Nearly a third of the richest 700 companies in Britain pay no tax whatsoever."

Tax Research UK puts the figure from tax evasion and avoidance at £95bn a year – the bill for most of the cuts and tax increases by the government. None of it would have to happen if the rich paid their legal share.

In public, the government insists, as Nick Clegg puts it: “We will crack down on the super-rich who hide away money overseas.” But the reality is the exact opposite. These people are now being asked to pay even less by the new government.

The Financial Times put it plainly on its front page after the Conservatives won: “Tax office to soften stance on tax avoidance.” In the story, Dave Hartnett, head of tax at the Inland Revenue, apologized to the rich for being “too black and white about the law.” Osborne is sacking great swathes of the tax inspectors who monitor the rich – even though they make their wages back many times over. A senior tax inspector costs us £50,000 a year, and brings in £1.5m. A lower-level tax inspector costs is £25,000 a year, and brings in £300,000. It is ten times more profitable for us to set these inspectors on the wealthy than on benefit fraudsters. But Osborne is firing 25 percent of them, meaning you will have to pay more.


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The obligations on US citizens are longstanding and anyone who claims not to know is either stupid, or lying. Basically, the yanks are saying - if you want the benefits of being a US citizen (many hold a dual passport as a safety net in case their adopted country goes all yemen on them), you have to contribute.

I agree with that myself - and the answer is simple - give up one of your passports.

Noting that if they tried it in the UK, I would give up my british passport in a minute; the UK gvt does sweet FA for it's honest citizens now.

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