Holiday season reminds us that #Americansabroad have the essentials of happiness in a #FATCA world

December 25, 2014

“The three grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, someone to love, and something to hope for.” – Alexander Chalmers

I would like to wish you a “Happy Holiday” season. This has been an incredible year for those of you who oppose FATCA, U.S. extra-territorial taxation and the the acquiescement of the Government of Canada (and other governments) in both.

I am amazed at how much has been accomplished in 2014. With your support, the “Alliance For The Defence of Canadian Sovereignty” has successfully launched and is financing the only “Anti-FATCA” lawsuit in the world. In addition, your blog posts, tireless commenting and educational campaigns have been relentless, targeted and effective.

The simple FATCA of the matter is that:

One year ago an awareness of FATCA and citizenship-based taxation were not in the public domain. They were not topics of general concern. They were buried in the “dark recesses” of regulations and “omnibus bills”. One year later, the discussion of FATCA, U.S. extra-territorial taxation and the abuse of those with a “U.S. place of birth” are seeing the “light of day”. The discussion has become mainstream. This is a major, major achievement. We are beginning to see the results of “your efforts”. Who are you? What do I mean by “your efforts”?

Who you are:

People with a “U.S. place of birth” live all around the world and are found in every profession and activity. You have supported us from every continent.

What you have done:

You have provided us with motivational, educational, inspirational and financial support.

We have come a long way, but we still have a long way to go. If your past performance is an indicator of your future results, then we certainly have “something to hope for”.

It would be impossible to compile a specific and detailed list that included all of the specific accomplishments. It would be impossible to compile a list that includes all the participants. As President Truman was known to have said:

“It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.”

The participants (from all around the world) include individuals, academics, organizations (in Canada and Europe), various lawyers, journalists, and of course the “unsung heros” who spent hours helping to guide and educate via Twitter and blog comments.  Nevertheless, I do want to offer some specific “shout outs”:

In Canada to:

– the Isaac Brock Society (which deserves special recognition for having celebrated it’s third birthday)

– Lynne Swanson (the voice of one million Canadians)and the Maple Sandbox blog

In Europe to:

American Citizens Abroad for its tireless research and advocacy in the promotion of switching from citizenship-based taxation to residence based taxation

Some specific achievements of 2014 (by various people and organizations) include:

– written submissions to various Government Committees

– oral presentations before Government Committees

– the first ever conference on citizenship-based taxation held in Toronto (hosted by American Citizens Abroad)

– the launching of the FATCA lawsuit against the Government of Canada

These achievements have received “further traction” in the mainstream media including a number of articles in the Wall Street Journal.

U.S. extra-territorial taxation and FATCA are now under scrutiny!

In the  month of December 2014 alone we have seen:

– Robert Wood identifying citizenship-based taxation as one of the 20 most stupid things in the U.S. tax code

– Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee recognizing that the way that Americans abroad are “taxed” should be reconsidered

– at least three articles in the Wall Street Journal  (here, here and here) commenting  on the comments of the Senate Finance Committee.

The major achievement of 2014 has been the generation of  public discussion and awareness of FATCA and citizenship-based taxation. 2014 has marked the “End of the beginning”. Much much more work is required. Clearly we he have “something to do”.

2014 has been a year of “Good Times” and a year of “Bad Times”. The progress on changing “FATCA and extra-territorial” has been “Good Times”.  But, it’s “Bad Times” for those who were born in America and are trying to live outside America. You had no choice where you were born. Many of you are attempting the expensive and painful process of “relinquishing U.S. citizenship”. (The U.S. has increased the fee to renounce U.S. citizenship – making it more difficult for people to leave America.) To choose to relinquish U.S. citizenship is to choose how you want to live. Governments come and go. Friends and family will take you through both the “Good Times” and the “Bad Times”. Too often we simply “assume” our friends and family. The holiday season provides the “down time” to appreciate “Friends and family”. After all, they give us what is most important – “someone to love”.

Yes, it’s true.

1. “The three grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, someone to love, and something to hope for.”

2. You have all three “grand essentials”.

Happy Holidays on behalf of the Board of Directors of the “Alliance For The Defence of Canadian Sovereignty”.

Thanks again, and we look forward to your support in the coming years.

John Richardson

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One comment on “Holiday season reminds us that #Americansabroad have the essentials of happiness in a #FATCA world

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