Maple Sandbox Rules

Maple Sandbox is a gathering place for “US persons” to come together to share, learn and explore. Together, we will stand up to IRS bullies as we work our way through the swamp of U.S. citizenship-based taxation.  We won’t allow their quicksand to  suck responsible, honest tax-paying people living in other countries into IRS pit..

WHY MAPLE SANDBOX
A sandbox is a gathering place for playing, learning, chatting, laughing, exploring, sharing, growing, creating, building and even fighting together. It also is a spot to stand up to bullies and to chase away monsters together.
The maple leaf is an internationally recognized symbol of Canada and of Canadian values and endurance. Canadian soldiers have worn maple lapels as they fought for freedom and served as peacekeepers in conflicts around the world.
The maple leaf proclaims a welcome to all from around the world to an inclusive, diverse and respectful country.
Maple syrup is a tasty treat exported from Canada to the world, poured on pancakes, on popcorn, baked into cookies, and turned into delicious candies .
Maple wood is so strong and hardy it is used for play in baseball bats, bowling pins and bowling alley lanes, as well as for ballroom dancing and gymnasium floors. Maple is often the core material in the limbs of the bow for archery because of its stiffness and strength.
Maple wood makes beautiful music through many musical instruments, including violin, viola, cello, double bass, electric guitar, drum, bassoon and other woodwind instruments. As a tonewood, maple carries sound waves, thus making it the perfect wood for both playing and listening.
Maple wood has a long history in furniture making and hardwood flooring because of its beauty and endurance.
There could be no other choice for construction of our sandbox.
CREATIONS:
We hope to build many creations together as we Blaze a new Outraged Canadian Trail to freedom from IRS.
Our first creation is the classic sandcastle built of sand from Atlantic to Pacific to Arctic shores of Canada and from the multitude of lakes in between. The sandcastle will offer refuge from IRS. The moat will protect our castle and those who dwell here, but bridges in all directions will welcome visitors, guests and members from around the world.
REFEREES:
To ensure Rules of Play are followed, Maple Sandbox has referees, who are also team members.

©Luce Morin/123RF.com

Referees encourage play to be free-flowing, independent and active.   When someone steps out of bounds, a referee may blow a warning whistle.  If the warning is not accepted, the referee may issue a time-out or a suspension from play.  In extreme circumstances, players may be expelled.
Referees are not perfect and sometimes will make errors. If a challenge or a replay confirms a decision was wrong, the referee is expected to admit to this and reverse the decision.
Players are encouraged to work with referees for fair play.   Players can best do this playing by the rules and trying to resolve disputes among themselves before involving the referees.
Players should feel free to step up to the referee box when needed and especially when referees are not available or not doing their job.
RULES OF PLAY:
All are welcome here. We do have some basic DO and DON’T Rules:
DO
DO Learn With Enthusiasm
DO Explore By Digging Deep
DO Share Through Show and Tell
DO Laugh and Giggle Together
DO Play With Imagination
DO Fight Fair
DO Build A New Vision
DO Bring New Ideas
DO Respect Others
DO Hold Hands
DO Help Others
DO Express Yourself
DO Stand Up To Bullies
DO Chase Away IRS Monsters
DO Sleep At Night—Or Even At Naptime
DO Bury Your Toes In The Sand (But NOT Your Head!)
DO Be A Shoulder For Others To Lean On
DO Respect Opinions Of Others—And Their Rights To Express Them
DO Help Create a Better World
DON’T
DON’T Be A Bully
DON’T Throw Sand At Each Other
DON’T Hit
DON’T Be Afraid To Cry
DON’T Be Scared Of Monsters
DON’T Call People Names
DON’T Stop Fighting For Freedom From The IRS

54 thoughts on “Maple Sandbox Rules

  1. That’s an excellent point. I do NOT NOT NOT consider myself a US person, but I guess we were thinking of the IRS perspective not our own, implied by the “” but maybe not successfully. Perhaps it shouldn’t even be that, but just simply persons fighting US citizenship-based taxation. Doesn’t matter if you’re Greek or Canadian or British and never had US citizenship at all, if you want to fight the IRS/USA on this, we want this to be a gathering place. Thank you!!!

  2. @monalisa, recalcitrant: Welcome to our sandbox. Thanks for your comments.
    Outraged and I never went far. We were just busy building Maple Sandbox the last 12 days.

  3. Hi Blaze, and Outraged;
    Had been missing you and others that haven’t been on for a time. There is a big space where you and other regulars have been. Glad you decided to make this space available.

  4. Thanks, Bader! we’ve been working like mad trying to get enough up to make it worthwhile to visit. I’m glad you popped into our sandbox!

  5. Congrats you two. Is the sand for grit? I’ll be checking in for info, and most importantly TRUTH! Good luck on your endeavour, and I look forward to participating.

  6. @Blaze & Outraged
    Is your new forum open to issues regarding USPs resident elsewhere than Canada or are you focusing on Canada?
    I put a link to your site on my blog in the footer under “Useful Sites Related to the Issues” with the caption “Maple Sandbox – A gathering place for people fighting US citizenship-based taxation”. Is this suitable?

  7. @Jefferson, most definitely we are open to people from, and discussions about, other countries. We had to start with what we, personally know, but we do hope that this grows beyond the issues just faced by Canadians. Issues are similar, but not the same, and we want to include everyone fighting this unjust law. Entirely suitable! Thank you for linking to our site, I appreciate it (and Blaze will too, once she gets back online and reads about it).

  8. @Sally, most definitely. We’ve started out Canadian-centric, but hope to not remain so, as more people from other countries bring their experiences and their information to the sandbox. The more information we have, the better we can fight.

  9. Belated thanks and congrats to Blaze and Outraged for starting this new site, for reasons that I think many of us from Brock understand and sympathize with. I look forward to some sane and less hyperbolic discussions about our common concerns on this great new site!

  10. @Schubert: Thanks. Petros and I sealed a treaty for Brock and Maple Sandbox to be allies and trading partners.
    Outraged and I hope to offer a calm and casual gathering place for standing up to IRS bullies. Our objective is to arm ourselves and others with resources, respect and advocacy.
    Welcome to the Sandbox.

  11. @blaze I support the IBS-Maple “Treaty”. Although I often lean towards what Petros and other very adamant folks at IBS have to say, I understand the desire that people at Maple have for less (“contraversial”?) discussions, and I will try to keep my comments here in line with that idea, but I will continue my harder line while writing at IBS.
    This having been said, Maple, IBS, ACA, Middle Class Working Abroad, Renounce, and all the other organizations, sites and blogs have many common issues and goals and we should continue to work together as allies and share articles and other information.
    It takes many different types of people to accomplish a complex project, and I hope that the Maple site will not be the last new forum created to deal with USP- (and former USP-) abroad issues. Our issues need to go “viral”. Ideally there should be a site in every country to unite USPs in that country and help them deal with the specifics in their country (as local country tax regimes and other legislation differ widely), with links and information sharing to all of the sites and blogs that we are allies with.
    Our “movement”, if we dare call it that, can certainly be multifaceted. We are not just a bunch of USPs/ Former USPs in Canada, nor in Switzerland, nor elsewhere. We are 5-7 million USCs + the green cards in probably every country on Earth. By being multifaceted, I think we can avoid being stereotyped or put in the same sack as homeland tax-protestors.
    By exposing as many of the unique cases around the world, we will bring light to the mess that Citizenship Based Taxation and reporting requirements creates.

    1. Jefferson D., I like the multi-faceted approach you describe, because no social movement was ever without variation – and even movement over time, of individuals and groups choosing where they felt they could make their commitment, along a continuum of beliefs and actions. Some continuums were wider than others, and probably means that broader coalitions find themselves increasingly uneasy with some of their fellows – if all that unites them is a particular issue, but they’ve come to that point from different worldviews, paths, values, experiences, etc.
      It’s like coalition governments – sometimes the alliances are between groups that otherwise, on all other issues are in opposition.

  12. @Jefferson: Thanks for your input. We’re delighted to have you here. I agree a world wide viral uprising against the US on this issue is needed.
    We certainly hope to have more input from others like yourself and Sally from around the world. So far, we’ve had mainly Canadian contributors, but we hope to see that grow as Maple Sandbox–just like Canada–welcomes visitors and immigrants from around the globe.
    Less than 24 hours after we announced Maple Sandbox, we appeared in China (or at least on Chinese Wikipedia) http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Blove_maple/sandbox
    When I am on my tablet, the information appears in Chinese. When I’m on my laptop or another computer, I get little boxes with letters and numbers. I’m not sure why there is a difference.
    If anyone has the Chinese version and reads Chinese, it would be great to know what it says. Even better would be if the author would like to join us here.
    Of course, because I don’t read or speak Chinese, I may be way off base and this may not even be about us.
    Jefferson, do you think it would help if people like you, Sally, Victoria, etc. posted information in German, French or other languages? I know how horrendous things are right now for US persons in Switzerland and some other countries.
    Most importantly, we need to reach those who can make a difference. I sent an e-mail to Canadian Bankers Association on Friday inviting them to join us. Would it help if people in other countries were able to contact similar organizations there?

  13. @blaze I hate to disappoint you as it looks like the Wikipedia article to which you provided the URL above has to do with computer software, not with USPs and the taxation and other issues we all face.
    Do not despair, I am certain that Maple, with time, will pop up on the search engines just as IBS did, and probably the synergy and cross-posts between the two as well as with other blogs and more formal organization sites will increase the search engine hits for Maple and all sites related to our issues. We have 5-7 million USCs abroad + green card holders + their families, friends, as well as their local politicians that we need to get involved. If all sites work towards presenting the issues and their individual slants and arguments and all link to each other, we can only expand the membership base of participants in the broader movement. I do not personally fear any dilution at this stage of our movement.
    To the contrary, I feel that there were a lot of people lurking around the Internet looking for answers and afraid to speak out until sometime last year when there was a general “prise de conscience” and many said “merde” and started to speak out with increasing frequency and self-confidence. We have to keep the momentum going.
    As to posts in other languages about other countries other than Canada where USPs are at risk of getting a “raw deal”: As I have already very frequently done at IBS, I would be willing to post German and French articles of interest from time to time, with as much translation as I have time to provide at any given time.
    What is your feeling as to the language(s) of the actual discussion here at Maple? I would presume that you would want the discussion language here at Maple to be primarily English, however there must be some people out there who are USPs and do not speak English, or speak English but don’t know what terms to search for. I could see some discussion in French or other languages as being important, but I don’t think we have enough participants to get started quickly. Victoria and I, for example, could write posts and responses back and forth in French, but such discussion would be a burden to some of the other current Maple participants, at least until still others who speak mainly French would find Maple via search engines and come on board, at which time we could translate the main points from the new member’s comments for the non-French-speakers.
    As for German, I think that Schubert might be able to help (correct me if I am wrong @Schubert but you speak German?), but we might need some of the others who seem to blog primarily at IBS and are in tune with the Germanophone news in Europe. I don’t want to incite anyone to “defect” from IBS to Maple either, as I still believe wholeheartedly in the mission of IBS, but there may be plenty of German speakers there who would be willing to frequent both blogs (such as I) and respect the rules of engagement of each.
    I would still put the first priority on French for the moment because I am sure that plenty of Maple participants from Canada who are Canadians and have been so for a long time are at least a bit bilingual; if we have French content we might pull in more people from France, Belgium, West Switzerland, perhaps some border regions of Italy, as well as Francophone Africa, and of course the Quebeckers and other Francophones from Francophone regions outside of Quebec proper.

  14. @Jefferson, welcome! You bring in a much needed international perspective. Since reading the comments above, I’ve been looking at some online french to english translation sites, but I’m not fluent in French and I really do not know which ones provide the best translations. Any hints? We could post one (or more) links so that we monolingual people can understand. I do think that having people post or comment in their dominant language would help both to make the site more approachable, and allow people to speak fluently and passionately, which can be difficult in a 2nd or 3rd language.

  15. @Outraged I have yet to find an internet site that provides good quality translation free of charge. Most of the results are often good enough for someone to edit afterwards and make the result more readable, but the danger of mistranslation and getting wrong ideas or loss of finer nuances and shades of meaning is omnipresent. I favor human translation. But it takes time and it is a hair-pulling exercise for people that only do it occasionally and are not professional translators. I can translate between English and French with relative ease, although I get frustrated sometimes with the translation of some nuances and euphemisms. German is for me more difficult to translate because of the word order and the more complex declensions and nebensaetze (and the inversions of word order depending upon the context), as well as the confusion I have between High German and the dialects that I hear here in the CH.
    For a quick and dirty solution, if you want to try to make out a text in a language that you don’t know just go to translate.google.com, and if you get something unreadable, attack the dictionaries and try to work it out, then if you are still confused ask somebody who actually lives in the source language if quick and dirty needs to be cleaner.
    @OutragedCanadian as to response above August 26, 2012 at 9:07 am — Thanks very much. I’ve already put a link to Maple at the bottom of my blog under “Useful Sites Related to the Issues”.

  16. @outraged and All. Yo, here my first off-of-subject post at Maple, probably not my last. I’d like to have a mini debate about breakfast condiments (please feel free to move the discussion to another thread). I can get Maple Syrup in some of the major supermarket outlets in CH. I suspect that some of the Syrup that is sold in the US is US made (and maybe some of the syrup that we find in European stores as well). I seem to remember (my mind is fading but I think with Cream of Wheat, Quacker Oats and my mother’s sauerdough pancakes, Log Cabin brand syrup was de rigeur in the late 70s and early 80s, I think that there was a Smuckers product that was even better). How much of maple juice is really produced in Canada vs. US and which is the best? There will be no discussion about whose pancakes are the best, my moms are greatest, and mine are greatest too (my mother likes mine, I like hers, we each say the others are greatest, but no batch is the same— to heck with IHOP and other chains, homemade is good).

    1. @Jefferson, Quebec is far and away the highest producer in the world. It’s hard to say exactly the percentage, since website info seems to vary, but it seems to hover at about 80% of the world’s supply. According to Agriculture Canada, the US is by far the biggest market for Canadian maple syrup. Hmmm, could that be a bargaining tool for FATCA? From 2007 to 2010 the market in Switzerland increased by over 27%, so you could be eating Canadian syrup. As to which is best, of course I’m going to say Canadian, of course, but I’ve never tasted any from the US, so I’m talking through my hat here, really.

  17. @Jefferson welcome to this forum! I have good feelings about CH, having traveled and hiked in the Alps twice and having a sister of a brother-in-law who lives in Geneva and has done for at least 30 years (I don’t want to think about what FATCA has done to her life, I’m afraid to ask and I don’t have her coordinates anyway). Great country for a tourist; the CH train and bus system puts the Canadian and US counterparts to utter shame on any dimension you care to name; Swiss and Lufthansa (which I gather now owns Swiss) airlines are both in my experience the most reliable and helpful international airlines (though I’ve actually had good experiences with Air Canada, which Canadians are always grousing about, unfairly in my view, any I believe they’re all Star Alliance partners — don’t get me started on Air France and what it’s done to my luggage transfers every single time I’ve changed flights at CDG airport … I absolutely refuse to fly them any more).
    To answer your question about my German, I won’t say I speak German. I did study it for two years in high school and one year at university, and recently I went through much of the Rosetta Stone program in preparation for my first solo trip to CH. (Not much help there; I couldn’t understand a word of CH German, something I gather a lot of native Germans also have trouble with, and though most Swiss I met could sort of comprehend my awkward Hoch Deutsch, if they didn’t speak English well we usually switched to French. I find when two people are speaking a language that is second for both of them, it usually works because the mis-pronunciations, gender, tense and other grammatical errors are usually the same or at least comprehensible, and one feels less awkward about them when speaking to another non-native-speaker. I had to learn French in the Canadian public service when I worked there, and while my idiomatic use and accent are terrible I can read French fairly easily, and as an adult in Canada I’ve had a lot more exposure to hearing and reading French than German, so I’m generally more comfortable in French. For German I need a dictionary most of the time if it’s more complex than train or bus schedules or basic street or store signs.) I’m not comfortable enough in German or French to want to translate articles from either language into English, especially on topics as sensitive and disturbing to the readers as would be anything related to FATCA and citizenship. Sorry.

  18. Blaze and Outraged, I’m a little late to the party but I’ve been dipping my toes in the sandbox from time to time and appreciate your focus and spirit. Congratulations on a great new site! I’ll be checking in regularly to see which way the sand is shifting.

  19. Note to Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan
    Suggest you mention repealing FATCA and citizenship based taxation on the rubber chicken circuit and you’ll probably score a few million votes you didn’t know were there.

  20. Hi all,
    Thank you so very much for this website. After discovering it last week (via IBS) I have begun to sleep at night after months of not … That’s a truly wonderful gift!
    The tone you are taking seems as if it will find us allies. Having resources, scholarship, fun and emotional support, insider knowledge, and really stunning first-hand accounts all in one place, without the commercial “scare them into hiring us” angle, – this must surely make it a magnet for the media and for decent people to learn what is really happening, and the moderate approach lets people visit without feeling they are being disloyal.
    My non-affected friends, both here in the UK and stateside, seem unable to really believe what is happening; it is so far removed from those pre-9/11 days of hope and confidence, so different from their beliefs, that it’s easier to think that the “old lady is a bit off her rocker”. What grieves me most is the realization that being “non-affected” may be for some of them not as certain as it seems.
    Perhaps there are “none so blind as those who will not see”, but your approach of moderation and fun and assembling of resources and data and anecdotes and hopes and fears seems as if it may reach through to many who would otherwise put their hands over their ears.
    The tragedy is that some of them may learn that they are indeed personally affected…. It felt like watching a runaway train heading toward a level crossing – and being powerless to stop it. But thanks to this site, I think the balance of power is being changed.
    (TECH NOTE: There may be other users of the Opera browser out there right now trying to participate in this discussion, who are pleading – as I did for hours today – with your Login screen to please let them in, so they can work in the sand too, but who are being barred by a “406 not acceptable” after entering their password. What finally worked for me was to disable “Opera Turbo”. [Opera 11.11 on Linux.] Hope that lets you join in too!)

  21. Welcome, Sad. We’re glad to have you with us, and we hope that you can find both comfort and maybe some ideas or help in how to keep clear of the train wreck, or maybe (dare we dream) help stop or even derail the bloody train (a hefty bucket or ten of sand in its engine might help). Sadly, my sense is we have more leverage with our politicians and legal system here in Canada on these matters than you have in the UK; I hope I’m wrong in your case and not wrong in ours. As you probably know, the UK is at the moment, I believe, one of only four countries that has actually signed an agreement with the US over FATCA. I hope there won’t be any more, and I hope that Canada will, by continuing to dig in its heels and drag its feet as it has so far, encourager les autres (and I pray I’m not tempting fate or the gods by saying that). I’m glad you found us, and I hope you can find some ideas and support here.
    Expanding momentarily on the Sir Isaac Brock metaphor, in 1812 Brits, Canadians (including Canadiens and First Nations people) and American refugees from the revolution banded together successfully to repel the American invasion from Canadian soil. We can and will do that again, and I hope we can help others elsewhere as Sir Isaac and others from abroad helped our ancestors and forebearers.

  22. @Sad-in-the-UK It is always good to see new people joining these forums such as Maple and Isaac Brock Society. The more people become involved, the more pushback we can obtain against Double Taxation, FATCA, and FBAR.

  23. Thank you Sad In the UK for your comments. That is exactly the type of gathering place we are trying to offer. We are glad you feel welcome here and hope you will continue to post.
    Because we are so far mostly Canadians, we tend to be a bit Canada-centric at times, but we really do want others around the world to join in.
    Thanks for the info about the problems you had accessing the site. I will leave that to our resident Geek, Outraged Canadian to try to fix.
    For your information and that of others, Outraged is also trying to increase the speed of the site. It is frustratingly slow.
    Again, welcome. We hope you enjoy building castles in the sand with us–with moats to keep IRS and US out, but with bridges to welcome others from around the world.

  24. @Sad-in-the-UK, thanks for your kind comments, it’s nice to have validation that we are building the kind of forum that we wanted – supportive, friendly and yet determined to continue the fight. I believe you are right in thinking that more people are affected than are willing to admit to that possibility. Even if just economically, from the sheer excessive cost of banks having to change all of their systems to implement a foreign country’s law.
    I have to admit I haven’t tested with the Opera browser, I will work on that, I have no idea why it would be different from Chrome, Firefox or IE.
    And as Blaze said, I truly am trying to figure out why the heck this site is so slow to respond. I suspect it’s our host provider, but I’m not getting a lot of support there…

  25. @ Sad-in-the-UK
    Here’s a suggestion for friends in the UK…
    When the US spent years trying to extradite UK citizen and autistic computer Gary McKinnon’s, the Daily Mail’s “An Affront to British Justice” waged an outstanding job of dogged advocacy against the encroachment of American’s extra-jurisdictional bullying.
    The Daily Mail journalists behind that were: Mark Seamark, James Black, and Rebecca Evans.
    So far, the UK popular press is silent on FATCA, probably because they never connected the dots to understand how it will discriminate against any UK citizen who was born in the US – and I understand there are untold thousands of them.
    London Mayor Boris Johnson is about to discover he’s now a second class UK citizen. Although he is a UK citizen – and the Mayor of London – under the agreement between Her Majesties Revenue Agency and the US, Mr Johnson’s banking and investment suppliers will be required to surrender the most intimate details of his financial affairs to a foreign state. Because he was born in the United States, he is now, under the proposed “intergovernmental agreement a distinctly second class British Citizen.
    The UK FATCA IGA is NOT a done deal. It has not passed Parliament.
    Alert the popular press.
    And invoke the anti-discrimination aspects of 2010 Equality Act against nationality.

  26. As to the UK, I think that somebody should stick their neck out. Instead of going through OVDI (not recommended, use at your own risk) or trying to become compliant through quiet disclosure / normal audit process, somebody needs to file a preemptive lawsuit against the UK government. Something along the lines of treason and conspiracy with a foreign power to commit theft and civil rights violations. One needs to attack before the ink on the IGA gets very dry. $
    Perhaps the Crown could intervene? Has Elizabeth II given her assent to the IGA, or was the IGA even a treaty? Does she have to give assent?

  27. Sandboxers! Our permit to protest FATCA on Parliament Hill Oct. 16th has been approved between the hours of 9.am. and 3 p.m. by Heritage Canada! Score!

  28. Our protest today went very well! There were about 13 of us all together plus a few people who stopped by who have been reading about this and had heard about the protest from around the area. We had people there from Toronto, Ottawa, Kingston, Brockville, Beckwith! We spoke with Murray Rankin, another NDP member and Ted Hsu! Several other people stopped by from Idle No More and spoke with me about this and once they heard about the issue were completely against FATCA.
    There was quite a bit of excitement with the scare today on the hill as the offices across the street *The PM’S office* were evacuated.
    There were lots of opportunities to speak with other Canadians and once again our RCMP officer was very interested and took a flyer as well as a card. She was not thrilled with the idea of the U.S. passing laws over our border at all.
    All in all it was a successful day and I was so pleased to see so many come by. Especially the lady from Brockville who had sent her story to the Ways and Means committee. Thank you so much for coming. Thank you to everyone who made it there from Toronto and to those who took time out of their work day to stop by. Thanks especially to everyone who printed fact sheets, brought information cards and to all who were out there today. As the NDP member said to us “You are a small group but, you are getting noticed and having an impact.”

  29. Hello all, I hope I can get some advice from the good people of this forum before I take some fairly drastic measures to protect my children from any further draconian measures… I was born in the US to US parents, but moved to Canada when I was three years old. I have never had a Social Insurance Number, have never worked, schooled, or lived in the states since moving here at 3 years. When they brought out Permanent Resident cards, I had to get a passport, and because I had not applied for Canadian Citizenship, I had to get a US passport, due to being born there. I then decided to apply for Canadian Citizenship so I didn’t have to go through renewing the PR card every 5 years. Once I had my Canadian Citizenship and passport, I just let my US passport expire, as I didn’t see the sense in having two (and have always felt more Canadian than American in the first place). We are a simple, middle income family, in fact, I only work part time as I have concentrated more on child raising while my Canadian husband brings in most of the income. With all of this craziness, I am not sure whether my husband or Canadian born sons would be affected, however, I am prepared to divorce my spouse and surrender any parental rights in order to protect them from any financial hardships down the road. Thoughts? Help? I have tried following this situation, but it’s so complicated and the rules seem to change… I have no idea what to do. As an aside, my son is in Cadets, and I have applied to become a Certified Instructor, which means I have applied for work with the Department of National Defense… would this be enough to have my US Citizenship revoked? (I only wish it could be that easy, would have done it a long time ago)… Thank you for any advice anyone may have… Chris

  30. @Chris, please don’t rush into any decisions until you’ve thoroughly researched your situation and your options. For one thing, please keep in the forefront of your mind that our Canadian govt has said that the CRA will not help the IRS in any way to collect taxes or fines related to taxes if the liability was incurred when the person was a Canadian citizen. We do have some protection. I also believe that your sons are safe from the US trying to claim them as citizens, because of the rules around passing on citizenship to children.
    You’ll need to research what the US citizenship laws were for the year you became Canadian. It doesn’t sound like you’re old enough to have gotten Cdn citizenship at a time when that automatically revoked US citizenship, so you’ll need to do some research.
    In your situation, it might be a good idea to actually get some good legal advice from a lawyer who is well-versed in this situation. Not all lawyers are, so be careful of that if you choose to go that route.
    I would highly recommend you also read on a couple of other blogs, which have some really great and pertinent information. The Isaac Brock Society has some really good information around relinquishment and renunciation, and John Richardson’s site also has really good information.
    isaacbrocksociety.ca
    citizenshipsolutions.ca
    I am sure there will be some others who will give you some good information, as well, here. Summer’s a bit slower, what with vacations and all, but I’m sure some of the others will chime in when they get a chance. Pacifica, in particular, is a fount of knowledge around relinquishment.
    Take heart, there are people who understand and sympathize and I know collectively we’ll do all we can to help you to understand what your options might be. Every situation is different, and often it depends upon the year of Cdn citizenship, etc.

  31. Welcome, Chris.
    If you did nothing “US” after becoming a Canadian citizen, you should be able to claim that as relinquishment of your US citizenship, that being what you intended to do.
    What year was that? Some details will revolve around that date, like compliance with US tax returns and Foreign Bank Account Reports which would involve joint accounts held with your husband. We need more detail from you to try to give you some options to think about regarding decisions for yourself and your family.
    Please put the drastic thoughts of divorce and surrendering any of your parental rights! How dare the US do this to individuals and families?
    You cannot pass along US citizenship to your children as you would have had to reside in the US for a requisite number of years after the age of 14 to do so. (I presume you are talking about your possession of a US social security number (SSN), not the Canadian social insurance number (SIN)?)
    Start here by reading the posts in the upper right-hand corner, “Building Blocks”. Read and research and ask questions that you have as you go along.

  32. How old were you when you became Canadian? It might make a difference. Your family has nothing to worry about.

  33. Hi Chris,
    Were you 18 years old or older when you became a Canadian citizen? If so, and you had the intention of relinquishing your US citizenship by so doing, then you relinquished your US citizenship at that time.
    Immigration and Nationality Act, s. 349(a)
    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/8/1481
    A CLN is useful because it provides clear proof of a relinquishment. It makes the situation unambiguous because it shows that the US also agrees that you terminated your citizenship on a certain date. However, some people, particularly if they’re not on the US govt radar, choose not to apply for one or are taking a wait-and-see approach.
    Regarding CLNs and intent, as the US can’t know what was in a person’s mind, the US basically infers your intent by what you did (and didn’t do) after you performed your relinquishing act. Eg, no use of US passport, no US voting, etc. Take a look at form DS-4079. This form is required in applying for a CLN based on a previous relinquishing act. A person’s answers to the questions on it illustrate their connections to each country, and – from what you posted (eg, you didn’t mention exercising any rights of US citizenship, etc, after your relinquishing act) — it sounds like your answers would infer that your intention was to be a Canadian and only a Canadian.
    DS-4079 http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/97025.pdf
    Depending on when you performed your relinquishing act, it may have been before the current exit tax law requirements existed. Important information at this link: http://isaacbrocksociety.ca/relinquishing-acts-performed-prior-to-2004/
    Don’t rush to do anything. Take your time, learn more and mull it over before you act. As Calgary wrote “Start here by reading the posts in the upper right-hand corner, ‘Building Blocks’. Read and research and ask questions that you have as you go along.” It starts to become more and more clear as you do.
    Don’t even think about divorce and try not to be too stressed. It’s really scary at first (terrifying), and isolating because it doesn’t affect people we know in our everyday lives. I found it got less scary as I learned more and felt I was getting a handle on things, and I felt less isolated because of Maple Sandbox and Isaac Brock Society. You’ll find a lot of support here because we’re in the situation too, getting things straightened out or have gotten things straightened out.

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