Why Are Americans Giving Up Citizenship? | CNBC International

Why Are Americans Giving Up Citizenship? | CNBC International


Last week I had a woman in here who came in here completely gung-ho
about relinquishing her citizenship and she came in with her young daughter.
By the end of it you know there were tears
rolling down her cheeks because her 10-year-old daughter is an American
but who’s never lived in the United States. you know and trying to explain,
you know, what that means to be an American was really quite moving but she’s so emotionally tied to that being part of her identity, yet
for tax reasons it so completely made sense to her. Sad that she felt that she had to be in
this position to relinquish her citizenship. If you have a US passport, if you have US citizenship you’re taxed on all your income worldwide
regardless of where you live regardless of your domicile. As if
wherever you’re living is like the 51st state. The consensus is that there are three countries that base tax purely
on citizenship: the United States, Eritrea and North Korea. This is something we jokingly refer to as the Tax Axis of evil. FATCA is very complicated
legislation. FATCA is a piece of legislation that
was put in place by the US it’s legislation it’s actually aimed at
banks and financial institutions. If you want to continue to do business
with the US then you essentially have to name names, you have
to name who your American clients are. So it was a pretty easy decision I think for
a lot of financial institutions because if they wanted to deal with the US they had to become compliant. Every bank in the world had to report
their American citizens to the United States, and this created an
enormous amount of headache and cost for banks, and so many
European banks decided that they weren’t going to have any American clients. There are a number of banks now, say in the UK, who are actually writing to their client base asking if they’re
an American. Because the onus is on them, is on the
banks and financial institutions to provide this information and if they
don’t provide this information they can be heavily fined. So it’s really a way that the IRS is strong-arming non US institutions into double checking for them who the Americans are, so they can match
those up with tax records they have on file. And there are seven and a half million
Americans living abroad, it would be the 13th biggest state. That’s bigger than Louisiana, Nebraska. We don’t have anybody
particularly in Congress who looks after our interests as Americans abroad. We don’t have anybody in in the senate. I would love to know how
many people in congress speak other languages, how many have passports and how many
actually ever lived abroad because the way rules are written right now Americans abroad are treated like second-class citizens in terms of the onerous legislation that affects them and so the more burdensome it gets, the more complex it is, the more people are going to renounce, it’s that simple. Individuals who give up US citizenship
or expatriate from the US are reported in a document that congress produces, it’s called the Federal Register. You can see that the
number of expatriates is at the highest level that it’s ever been. So many people renouncing American citizenship, they’re not doing it to avoid taxes they’re paying higher taxes in Sweden, or Britain… it’s more to get rid of the headache and the fear
that they might be violating one of the hundreds of thousands of pages of the US tax code. I mean I’ve had clients where their parents were graduate students, they were born in the United States and then they moved back here, never
completely fully understood of course because they didn’t grow up in
a US household. They didn’t understand what it meant to be an American in terms of tax. I have a deep appreciation and love for America, I grew up thinking I was American, but the truth is I’ve lived almost all
my life abroad and if America wants to make it extremely expensive and
difficult for me to be American, then sadly I’ll be British. I had to pay two thousand three hundred
fifty dollars for the pleasure of renouncing my US citizenship, and it
used to be four hundred dollars a year ago. but I paid it and there are other people renouncing as well yesterday, and the numbers have
gone up and they will continue to go up. When you get caught between two systems you don’t get the benefit of either system, and that becomes where the problem is for Americans living abroad. No one renounces, that I know of, because they don’t love America, or they in any way dislike America, I think the
great hope is that somehow congress can fix this.

Comments

  1. Post
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    M3nac3r

    End #CBT  Citizen-based Taxation. Become a modern nation and fight crime with tools that make sense, not some Draconian mace that kills everything it it's path.

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    Atticus inCanada

    This is a very good impartial report. FATCA has caused U.S. citizens abroad to be in some very difficult and onerous situations. If you have a foreign spouse as I do who makes all the family income living abroad it can be even worse. A Canadian married to an American may find the U.S. calling their local checking account up the street from where they live a "foreign account" which is ridiculous. It also puts foreign persons married to or working with an American under the same tax reporting burden on their private banking information as IF they were American too. This puts pressure on the American to renounce to solve the situation. Most I have known renouncing don't want to do it but, can no longer function and have a normal bank account where they reside, have had trouble with foreign family who never lived or worked in the U.S. or have had a threat of bank account closure including losing their mortgage. Is congress EVER going to represent these people and solve any of these problems? Upwards of 60 percent would never owe any taxes to the U.S. this is not about taxes. This report is accurate and lets the people involved tell the real story. Very good!! Sadly, I had to relinquish my U.S. citizenship when my spouse who has supported me here in Canada refused to have his bank account information going to a foreign nation with zero suspicion of any wrong doing. Banks here are treating us like suspected criminals. One credit union told us when they learned there was an American in the household that they couldn't give us a mortgage. Fix this mess and make a pathway back to citizenship for those who have been harmed by it. Get your citizens living in the U.S. who off shore but, you can do it without harming expat families who are low to middle income and the working class abroad!!

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    Jak Dac

    American teacher here / back in the seventies it was HARD to get a teaching position. Australia interviewed for teachers in the US I was successful  since then  I have lived more than two thirds of my life overseas and continue to do so. Why is my house, retirement fund ,death taxes  etc taxed by America ? NO ONE wants to say good bye to the USA. Remember the Boston Tea Party'"taxation without representation" Please let us also settle unencumbered by taxes and continue to be proud  American ambassadors. Most of us are your regular workers UNDER the foreign threshold  amount we are exempt from on salary BUT still taxed from our RETIREMENT FUND not recognized by the US. PLEASE IMMEDIATELY address with your 2006 Tax Model treaty with Australia NOW Please

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    Joe Citizen

    @Bob on The Atlantic article.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2015/02/boris-Johnson-renounces-us-citizenship-tax-bill-mayor-london/385554/

    American tax law is incompatible with tax law in our adopted countries. For Americans abroad, US tax law restricts how we can invest for retirement on income that we earned entirely abroad, considers normal tax-free instruments in our adopted countries as foreign trusts, prevents us from saving for our children’s education, causes enormous everyday banking problems, and is so complex that it requires expensive cross-border tax experts that cost us thousands per year. It criminalizes us with penalties that are far in excess of what homeland Americans face. As a nation of immigrants, America was founded on the principle that those who came to the US seeking a better life should not have to pay taxes to the nations they left behind. Citizen-based taxation goes against the very foundations on which the Republic was formed. It is discriminatory, un-American and amoral. Sure, we can vote, but it is meaningless. France has elected members of its National Assembly that represent the interests of French citizens abroad. France values its expats more than America. This is shameful.

    Any US persons living overseas caught up in all this must visit the message boards of The Isaac Brock Society: http://isaacbrocksociety.ca/  and consider contributing to ADCS: http://www.adcs-adsc.ca/  and https://fatcalegalaction.com/

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    Richard Weber

    There is a petition "Tax US citizens by residency and not citizenship. Remove the FATCA requirements. We already pay taxes abroad".: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/tax-us-citizens-residency-and-not-citizenship-remove-fatca-requirements-we-already-pay-taxes-abroad/dwZ1c5wL 

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    Mike Breen

    For those living their lives outside of the USA but with a " US person" label, what is the advantage of having US citizenship? None, the nationality is toxic.

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    John Campos

    For those of you relating this to social welfare for the poor, I suggest focusing on the act (the focus of this video). Otherwise, if you want to relate it to the money levied by gov't and what it is spent on I suggest further research.

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    Adventures in the Free World

    Why people would want to expatriate… where to begin?
    1) the atrocity that is U.S. foreign policy
    2) ask Edward Snowden, why don't you?
    3) the DARK Act and the fact that Monsanto owns American food in spite of 99% of people polled saying they DON'T want GMOs in their bodies
    4) the atrocity that is the U.S. school system, now moreso with Common Core
    5) the U.S. is the only developed country that does not have universal health care
    6) the U.S. is the only developed country with no paid family leave
    7) the neverending attack on women's reproductive rights
    8) the inevitable collapse of the U.S. dollar as anyone who knows how fractional reserve lending works will tell you
    9) the absurd cost of higher education and its overall diminishing returns
    10) the lack of real employment and advancement opportunity in what is rapidly becoming a "gig economy"
    11) the Patriot Act
    12) House Joint Resolution 192 (dated June 5, 1933), STRAWMAN, and the Uniform Commercial Code, section 1 and its maritime law implications
    13) the fact that we attacked a country unprovoked based on completely fabricated evidence and have been in an ever-expanding war with that country and a majority of the Middle East which will not end in our life time due to oil, war profiteers, and the military industrial complex
    14) the fabricated "war on terror" used to keep Americans in a state of fear and compliance giving up more and more rights to an ever-expanding government
    15) the fact that incomes have remained flat while cost of living has continually increased since 1971- as well as the fact that this will not change
    16) based on poll numbers and the popularity of Donald Trump, it can be reasonably assumed that 1 in 3 Americans is a racist, mysogynistic bigot- and who wants to live next to that?
    17) social Darwinism, the Eugenics movement, and it's continuance through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, vaccine propaganda and other means
    18) the U.S. has the highest rate of cancer in the entire world, currently at 1 in 3 women and 1 in 2 American men projected to get cancer in their lifetime
    19) the U.S. has the highest rate of incarceration in the world, with 93% of the privatized prison population incarcerated for nonviolent crimes
    20) Citizens United
    21) some people realize the egregious cost of American empire and that being the "#1 world power" doesn't actually do anything for quality of life, in fact in many ways it makes it worse
    22) FATCA: only 3 countries tax people due to citizenship rather than residency (ie. tax you even when you live AND work outside the country)- the U.S., Eritrea, and NORTH KOREA. As if the very minimal representation we get with our tax burden while living inside the country isn't bad enough, when you live abroad as an American you get NO benefits and NO representation
    …Well, I would say that's a good start. Add your own as you see fit.

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    KC CHEONG

    It is absolutely true. I am not a US citizen but I graduated in the US in 1987 and has returned to Malaysia since 1987. I did work in the university's library which was totally legal as a foreign student and the wage was just for pocket money. But when I opened an account in a local bank in Malaysia, I was told to fill up a form to declare that I have not owed any US income tax after 29 years? How on earth the local Malaysian bank knows that I was in the US from 1983 to 1987 ?

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    AARM-USRA

    I'm a vet, served three tours to Iraq and Afghanistan in the US Army. The USA is a war organization. I don't want to fight for it because we got nothing out of going to Iraq and Afghanistan, except for more policies, more debt, more enemies, more meth and heroin, more riots, more homeless, rising prices, more police State oppression, and the USA has no moral high ground as a culture. So, this vet has taken the freer course in life, and the safer one at that, and therefore, has renounced his US citizenship too.

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    Philip Mclaughlin

    Ironic isn't it that the exit fee more then trippled. It's as if when they made up the legislation for FATCA they took into count the number of citizens abroad who would exit. Pure greed.

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    BowHunter77

    USA is a prison. You have to pay $2500 in fees to renounce. You also have to pay a flat tax on any properties you own before you can renounce. If you have student loan debt, consider yourself an American slave.

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    Accidental Anarchist

    People are renouncing their US citizenship for more than just tax reasons.
    It's now the 14/01/2018, and those numbers quoted aren't even close to the real numbers who're leaving the USA, I'd multiply those figures by at least ten. Those who can afford to get out and settle elsewhere, are doing so because of the glaring issues they have with American policy, not least because of it's negative impact in their country of birth, but how it's also negatively affecting people in other parts of the world.
    America has funded illegal, war mongering states like Israel by the TRILLIONS over the years, while back home on US soil, people are starving, losing their homes,violence is on the rise, Veterans are treated like garbage after coming home from fighting Israeli false flag wars,and corporations, which America actually is, is destroying the entire fabric of the US society.
    I feel for the people of the USA, they're being destroyed, their kids/soldiers used as cannon fodder for others proxy wars, and people wonder why they're trying to get out?
    My heart goes to them, it truly does.

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    MAX BROCKNER

    The family Courts are nothing but a destructive mafia that destroys families and turns innocent men into slaves and criminals.

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    witchking Johnson

    Kendall Geiger request to have his citizenship took behind 1976 terrisom can it be done Mr Trump administration?

  26. Post
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    Peng Fu

    1st: I am an U.S. Citizen living in Dubai. I asked my colleague's sister, who is an accountant, to take care of my taxes. Response: I would not touch his taxes with a 10-foot pole. 2nd: if I can choose where my tax money is going, they would go purely to fixing U.S.' infrastructure, revamp health care system, knock-off the blood-sucking higher educational system, taking care of the vets, and stay the fuck out of other countries' business, unless it is for CDC to help get rid of ebola. This is just to name a few.

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    Vlasta Molak

    Anybody who thinks that life if better in some other country or thinks taht other countreis are better then America should leave! Good riddance!

  30. Post
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    AncientGearBoy

    If your American looking for uk citizenship inexchange for yours, let's get married!, am in my mid 20's male, I seek to relocate to the us sometimes , you can come to the uk it's nice here!.

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    jds hempfarm

    Listen to these cone heads. I only had a problem with the Infernal Revenue Service, after I got patriotic and filed a return. "All must file" is bullshit, thrown around by those that live off the lie.

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    UltimateBargains

    It's not just onerous tax laws. Those taxes are used to finance immoral unjust wars.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Ckd3orvDeE

  33. Post
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    Shawn Williams

    I pay child support and I love my children very much…I was forced. .but I never denied my children. .I never met my daughter. ..but I pay for her…my son was four months he's ten now…I haven't seen him..I call his mother she ignores my cry for my children. .but I pay for them. .I'm going to find a way to leave America I refuse to be bullied and treated like a damn slave. ..

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    DCFunBud

    It could be worse. You could live in the U.S. and pay Federal taxes. And you are right, the U.S. government does not care about its citizens abroad; it does not care about its citizens at home either. Pay up and shut up. This is the new U.S.A., owned and controlled by the corporations.

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    The Lone Wolf

    I am planning to renounce my US citizenship and then move to Canada for a better life and apply a Canadian citizenship.

  38. Post
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    Sergio Roman

    Maybe because they realized America doesn't care about them and really just wants to enslave them and dumb them down enough to keep taxing them without rebellion.
    1 in 3 Americans want to leave the USA.
    America is just one big Titanic.
    I suggest South America or lower Asia in case of WW3.

  39. Post
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    Blue Phoenix

    American employeers arent greedy of giving salaries and benifits to their employees

    But some in asian countries are so much greedy

    United states is one of the bests for your info you biased united states haters

  40. Post
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    Liou David

    Just curious, what happens when you renounce your citizenship? Will they host country just accept them as citizens? Won't they be stateless?

  41. Post
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    RunningFromABear

    My husband renounced his citizenship in 2012. He was tired of carrying a Canadian passport and an American passport. I wasn't around when he did that, I had no idea how expensive it was for Americans to renounce citizenship.

  42. Post
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    Percy elliott

    Don't most countries have double tax agreements to avoid this happening? They never even touched on that aspect

  43. Post
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    Hoff The Great

    This is a good example of how there's plenty of work for our politicians to do. Yet, nothing ever gets done.

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    John LaPaglia

    I want to expatriate. I do not want to be a "United States Citizen". I want to revoke my United States Citizenship.

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    Dee Cee

    They are foolish.

    I've lived in 4 other countries and nothing would ever encourage me to give up my citizenship.

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    uknowleeminho

    I will be also giving up my citizenship I hate that we have to go and invade other countries that we have no business in being there. Let them solve their own problems. Americans need to wake up and pay attention because they are slaves for the gvmnt they work and work and work to pay the congress to live their luxurious lives

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    Funtertainment

    @3:14 no. of expatriates graph was like a joke… I mean all the americans are byproducts of french&uk colonies and the only legit citizens should be native americans who are now being ignored.

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    sunchi cheng

    First nazi now American! Ww3 soon be prepare! We are human we refuse being tax slave! We will pay tax for country but not for war! Or not for military to bully other!act like a boss you have todo whatever they said!

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    rwcwalter 86

    The US government spends a lot of money protecting citizens overseas. Whenever there is a major crisis or violence, everyone wants to be a US citizen so they can be rescued.

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    UnKnOwN Mini

    I would say I want to renounce my US Citizenship to Laos, Thailand, Singapore, Taiwan, or Cambodia. Should I go for Laos or Cambodia though?

  57. Post
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    Gigi Schuster

    Same here if my fiance relocates to Canada where many friends and a few damily family live, I will renounce my citizenship and move with him once we married. There is no other option, there is no hope for wages, work force of middle-lower class and in terms of taxes and living the U.S government has made the decision for us who leave its not us.

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    Black American

    Wait a minute I can move to another country and just drop my citizenship to get the citizenship in the country of my choosing??

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    Belinda's Wingward

    Try to understand if you will not pay taxes how our government fix our roads, bridges, airports, and when disasters comes government gives help.without taxes how the peace keeper will get paid.

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    ralph krzyzanski

    As a citizen , Voting in 1972 for the first time I felt PROUD that I could possibly have a minimal effect on what I felt our Gov. should be doing.! Every (Selection ) since then has been a trip down the yellow brick road. Our Democracy, & OUR country has been on a deceptive, twisted , crooked form of a so called < ELECTION ???> If the American People can't see that we are being manipulated by THIS GOV. , We are in BIG Trouble!! DO YOU really think trump is an example of WHAT our Country stands for ????? Wake UP. This moron is an imposter trying to make a " name " for himself at the expense of AMERICA !!!!!!! . When all the POLITICAL games are played, & The citizens of OUR Co. are left with the clean up of another political folly, NO ONE will be held responsible. But the American Citizens. When will the people EVER stand up & say Enough is ENOUGH.!! R I P. R J K. Small town America.

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    Jerry Dunham

    I don't want to give up U.S. citizenship, but I would,like to gain Mexican citizenship.
    I love the people,of,Mexico. In there small towns they still have that Mayberry R.F.D. feel and they know,no strangers. Man hugs everywhere. Love it.
    The other reason is,my health. I feel so much better way south.

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    E.C. Alexander

    The first Corporation to set up a secure, non IRS compliant, tax free, high interest savings, multi-currency, Offshore Bank, will become the richest, most sought out bank on Earth. As most US citizens abandon their screwed up system, their government will be forced to comply to the international standards or become worthless.

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    Seph Callaway

    Also, it’s a misconception that Americans renounce their citizenship only for tax reasons. It could easily be for social reasons, having absolutely nothing to do with taxes. It could also be for real employment opportunities and the ease for which a man can make his dreams manifest.

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    Jabari James

    when you live america up north then move to the south – it’s to much harresment fighting accusing to much not everybody in america gets along constant fight each state

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    dlukton

    The tax burden in the US isn't so bad right now. But, for one reason or another, the tax burden may increase substantially; if that happens, more people will find it in their interest to renounce…. and to move to a lower tax country.

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    Coverage Awareness Studio

    Like right now, umm… I hereby do not participate in corporate countries, I am denouncing my US Citizenship… fuck yeah

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    harley woolford

    So much for America being a beacon of individual freedom. Would much rather go live in Australia, Ireland or Switzerland if I was looking for that

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    Herman Christian

    Ignorant Americans. Learn the difference being a bankruptcy debt slave citizen of Corporate UNITED STATES with NO Constitutional rights and a national of the United States of America with full Constitutional rights.. Congress created the UNITED STATES post bankruptcy 1930's as a corporation. they manage the plantation population and use the foreign Corp IRS to collect the bankruptcy debt.

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    Jay Arrington

    I came to Canada from the states when I was 7. I haven't lived in the US for 47 years and only visited three times (twice in the seventies and once in 1991), for a total of 21 days, and my bank threatened to report me, a month ago, after I used my American Passport, which I had only gotten two years ago, so I could get photo ID in Canada, so I could get my Canadian Citizenship. I've been trying to get everything in, to comply by next week, but I have had to do alot in that time and get my SSN number for the first time, (which I'm still trying to do), and it may cost me a ton of money to do so….we'll see. I'm very frustrated. It's not that I don't like America, but Canada is my home, they helped me when I was homeless in my teens, helped me afford college and Teacher's college, and helped me after that for a few months when I couldn't find work, couldn't afford rent or food. They got me through, and I had a career in teaching, and a family now. It's not that I don't appreciate America, it's that I owe a great debt to Canada and my heart is here. I just hope I"m not going to be punished for that fact.

  81. Post
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    Jeffrey Spradley

    Okay. Propaganda. If your a citizen of the U.S. Corporation than you are subject to Taxes, all Statutes, Codes, Regulations, Ordnances. If you are a Citizen of one of the several states of the united states of America than you are not. If you will look on your driver's license, your registration, your Birth Certificate, your, SS Card, you will find your mis-spelled name spelled in all CAPITAL letters. The U.S. Corporation, and it's Franchise, whatever state you live in has turned you into a Corporation to and as a Corporation you must follow The Corporate rules, Statutes Codes, Regulations, and Ordnances. Take out one of your Paper Cheques/checks. Used or unused. Now get your Magnifying glass and look at what you think is your Signature line. Now what do you see. Fraud is the reason no one wants to a citizen. Slavery is why no one want to be a citizen.

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    Genghis Khanye

    Germany also requires taxes from the citizens who do business in countries in Africa, Asia and South America.

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    getsnoopy5f

    If you care about fixing this idiocy, support HR 7358:
    https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/7358

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    Chuck Brown

    This is so sad. America sure is great at creating legislation that makes life miserable and complicated. What a shame. This has stopped being a government for the people decades ago. It's all about big business corporate greed and corrupt politicians.

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