A couple of familiar names are featured prominently in the Associated Press story More Renounce US Citizenship But Defy The Stereotype.
Carol Tapanila (aka Calgary411):
“You know, we are not rich people and we are not tax evaders and we are not traitors and I’m more than tired of being labeled that way,” Tapanila says.
Decisions to renounce “are driven by a whole range of emotional considerations. … You’ve got anger, you’ve got fear, you’ve got a strong sense of indignation,” said John Richardson, a Toronto lawyer who advises people on expatriation. “For many of these people, this is not a tax issue at all.”
Peter Dunn (aka Petros at Brock) also tells his story. Many of the other names are not familiar to us, but their stories are.
I understand this Associated Press story will be in many more American newspapers tomorrow.
14 thoughts on “More Renounce US Citizenship But Defy The Stereotype”
Here is the article published as Cast as Tax Evaders, but deciding to give up US citizenship as much for life as wealth.
It’s a relief to read an article about real people and real stories that show how the majority of people are affected. Kudos to all who agreed to be named and quoted in the article – I know that puts you all in a position to be harassed – I applaud your bravery!
The link I have put there is to the Yahoo.com version, now approaching 10,000 comments. You don’t even want to read most of the comments.
I appreciate the thoughtful ones who took time to at least try to understand and comment.
I tell myself we can’t take it personally, but the ignorance, hate, out and out racism makes me so very, very grateful I left that country so many decades ago. I tried to answer a few of them, but too many more comments bury what I’ve put on.
Adam Geller, the AP journalist, I think, did a pretty decent job on this. He would actually have to read it to people if he could get them to sit still long enough.
@Calgary411, please do not take the vitriol personally. The haters love to hate. It doesn’t matter what the facts are, or what the story said or was about, they just want an opportunity to spew hatred and ignorance.
OTH, I love being called a ‘maple sucker’. I think I’ll use that!
I have a question for the forum:
I am dual Canada-US citizen by birth. I lived in the US for less than 2 years directly after birth, and have lived and worked and paid my taxes in Canada ever since (about 48 years). Having never filed US tax forms in the past, last year I took advantage of the streamlined process and filed my 3 years of tax forms and 6 years of FBARS. In October of 2013 I renounced my US Citizenship in order to escape this reporting nightmare. My renunciation has now been accepted.
I am now preparing to fill out my form 8854, and my question relates to Part IV of the form. On question 1 I have zero tax liability for the 5 years preceding expatriation. On question 2, my net worth is less than 400,000 CDN (a tax minnow in other words). On question 3 I answered YES, as I was born a dual citizen (born in the US of Canadian parents). On Question 4 I answered YES, as I have lived exclusively in Canada for the last 48 years. On question 5 I answered NO.
My question relates specifically to question 6. I have only filled out tax forms for the 3 years preceding my date of expatriation. I actually asked someone at the IRS whether I should submit 5 years of forms through the streamlined process, but they said no, submit only 3 years. That now looks like very bad advice, since I may be considered a covered expatriate. So my question is this: can I submit the missing 2 years of tax forms with my form 8854 (note: my tax liability for both of those years is zero) and still avoid being considered a covered expatriate? Some people seem to suggest that once you have expatriated it is too late to submit missing tax forms, but others seem to suggest that this is okay, as long the missing tax forms have been submitted prior to form 8854 being submitted.
Any help at all would be greatly appreciated.
@Mann’ix Welcome. I’m sorry you are caught up in this nightmare. I’m sure someone will be able to respond to your question. I don’t feel qualified to even try.
The requisite number of years tax return filings does not have to have been completed before expatriation, but must be completed before your last 1040 / 1040NR. Form 8854 is an attachment to your 1040 or 1040NR, with a second copy sent to Treasury. I would file the remaining two years tax returns before the final 1040/1040NR.
This will be helpful: http://hodgen.com/chapter-4-are-you-a-covered-expatriate/; as well as: IRS instructions: http://www.irs.gov/instructions/i8854/ar01.html.
Mannix the first thing you need to realize is that they are not going to bother you. It’s not worth their time and trouble.
Since you have already filed 3 yrs, why not go ahead and file 2 more. Then file 8854 if you feel you must. Since you are a dual citizen from birth, you will not be a so called covered expatriate no matter what .
You can certainly file the missing 2 yrs. after renouncing. There are no penalties since there was no tax owing. It would interest many if you would share with us what number you used for your taxpayer I.D. number. Many have been coerced into the time and effort to obtain and use a U.S. Social security no. which is not easy to do.
What would be more interesting would be if you said the hell with it and didn’t do anything more. Then you could come back in 2 yrs. and reassure the rest of us that nothing bad has happened. After all, ask yourself- ‘ what exactly can they do about it?’
My situation is similar to yours. I came to Canada as a baby in arms in 1949 after being born in the States to Canadian parents. My parents secured my “Certificate of Birth Abroad” shortly after my birth. The only life I have ever known is Canadian life.
I expatriated on September 16, 2013 on which date I also filed 5 years of tax returns and 6 years of FBAR’s. I have already filed my 2013 FBAR, and have filed and received the assessment notice on my 2013 Canadian taxes. I will be filing my 2013 1040 before the end of this month, and that will be my final return.
I haven’t received my COLN yet, and frankly I don’t care. I will never forgive Obama and his poodles for putting me to so much trouble.
Thanks for your reply. I just filed my 2008 and 2009 returns, and I am working on the 2013 return. I know I have to fill out the 1040 and the 8854, but do you know whether its necessary to file a 1040nr as well? There is a lot of conflicting advice floating around on this issue…
This is helpful, thank you. I have filed the 2 outstanding returns and am working on the 2013 submission, including form 8854. I will apply for an extension on filing so that they can be submitted as late as October. I am still wondering whether I need to file the 1040nr in addition to the 1040. My only US income from the date of renunciation to the end of 2013 is about $30 in dividends. Any thoughts?
Good question – IRS would not issue a tax number because I was eligible for a SSN, so I had to drive to a social security office in the US and apply for one. Nine months later it arrived. This entire process has been such a time consuming farce…
Nine Months????? Is that for real???
Mannix. You’ve gone to a great deal of trouble over nothing- obtained a SS number, filed streamlined plus 2 more yrs, filed 8854 and on and on and on. Whether or not you file a 1040nr is immaterial. you will never hear from them again