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August 17, 2010 - Phil Hodgen

Commentary from a correspondent about the FBAR program

From a correspondent today via email (and with permission):

I’ve just returned to [Country where I live now] from [New Country I am moving to].

I am amazed however, at the number of normal Americans with normal jobs abroad who have never heard of the FBAR witch hunt and have no intention of participating.  In addition, the fairly consistent message by Americans who have spent more than a few years abroad is that the benefits of holding the little blue book are hard to quantify and pale in comparison to the nightmare of compliance with the oppressive American tax regime.  Over 12 days in [New Country], I heard the words “renouncing my citizenship” over 20 times.

I am aghast that our government would continue to force intelligent Americans, who otherwise fully intend to move back to the US for their retirement – if not before – to this conclusion.  Clearly, the benefits of repatriating a group of internationally adept, high net worth citizens is preferable to losing them to “competing” economies.  [New Country welcomes people like that] whilst our government seems to be focused on forcing them away.

I appreciate you drawing to my attention the lengthy letter of objection from the Geneva-based American Citizens Abroad regarding the new legislation and penalties.  I plan to get involved with a similar interest group as soon as I settle in [New Country].  However, I’m beginning to think there really is little reason to fight the multi-headed IRS hydra when there are many other safe, beautiful, and tax-benign, places to live in the world than the US.

I too, may be having a blue book burning party soon.

best regards

[Name]

Clickable link: American Citizens Abroad

Expatriation Voluntary Disclosure