A Guy Walks Into a Bar Around the World, Different Treatment, Different Results

The U.S. is the only industrialized country which practices citizen based taxation (CBT). This equates to paying taxes in the country of residency as well as the country of citizenship.
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

A guy walks into a bar,

...and wants to apply for a job. The bartender in America asks, "Where are you from?" He responds, "Hailasia". But if you are from the country of Hailasia, we don't want you. There is too much liability and tax reporting in doing business with you. The guy goes to the next bar down the street, gets the same treatment. He thinks, "But aren't there laws that protect me in this land, discrimination based on national origin, what's up?"

Same guy, "Then just give me a drink." American Bartender quips, "We won't serve anyone from Hailasia, be gone. You are too much of a liability... I will have to report earned income from you on my income taxes. Wait, what? Right or wrong, as we have seen lately concerning the refusal to provide service to customers, there has been public outcry for government control and intervention. He would have a pretty legitimate claim.

Farfetched? Think again. While we expect American freedoms in the good ole USA, but Americans expect their freedoms to go far, wide, and timeless.

But an American overseas walks into his/her local bank to open a checking account and is turned away, "We don't want to do business with your kind, American kind that is. " They are denied employment opportunities because if they touch financials of any type at an overseas company, bells and whistles require reporting their existence to the IRS including potential fines and penalties.

This is the reality for our Americans working and living overseas. On American shores, we cherish and expect freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution but simple tasks of Americans working and living overseas are impossible due to the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). They are unable to perform the simplest of tasks: services including checking accounts and mortgages because financial institutions must perform costly reporting to the IRS and they don't want to take on that liability.

"FATCA targets US citizens living and working overseas and holds foreign financial institutions (FFI) responsible for reporting accounts to the IRS for taxation purposes. The FFIs, in attempts to avoid costly reporting are closing and refusing American overseas' local bank accounts, retirement accounts, mortgages, etc.

Finally, same guy from Hailasia finally gets a green card in America, gets his job at the bar and earns wages that are taxable as income. He complies with IRS law and works and lives safely along. That is until he plans to return to Hailasia when according to the IRS, he would be responsible for paying an exit taxes on his worldwide assets not only acquired from the point of obtaining the green card but prior to that time. He cannot afford to leave the United States due to untenable IRS law. He is stuck in the limbo state of damned if you do, damned if you don't.

As predicted, we have now reached a record amount of Americans abroad renouncing their citizenship.
According to the IRS, in the FIRST QUARTER of 2015,

The 1,335 expatriations topped the previous record by 18 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Those Americans are driven to turn in their passports in part because of laws that have expanded bank reporting and tax compliance requirements for expatriates

This followed 3,415 Americans that renounced in 2014. Why this is occurring has a simple explanation: double taxation. Americans overseas cannot afford to keep their American citizenship. Let me be clear, it is not un-American; it is out of financial necessity. (However, these numbers do not reflect the total number of Americans renouncing, it is just the tip of the iceberg.)

Remember the U.S. is the only industrialized country which practices citizen based taxation (CBT). This equates to paying taxes in the country of residency as well as the country of citizenship.

But do American laws reach into the business of Americans working and living oversees?
In America, it's conversation, overseas, it matters whether they can and will do business as Americans


To the media, this is not about a well-publicized singer announcing her hate for Americans while licking/contaminating a business' donuts, this is about Americans that need our attention and publicity due to serious financial difficulties going about their day-to-day lives.

What about the IRS sponsored treatment of Americans overseas?
Liberty and justice for all is at stake


This week, July 14, the US FATCA lawsuit was filed on behalf of 8.7M Americans overseas in US Federal Court in Southern Ohio. Please become informed of this largely bi-partisan effort and support Americans struggling with FATCA and the IRS.

Thank you for the assistance of Keith Redmond, an American living in Paris, France for the past 20 years, works globally with Americans overseas and the associated affected populations adversely affected by these US government policies. He is on the front lines working with Americans overseas who are suffering the serious consequences of these policies. Mr. Redmond states: "FATCA is nothing more than a global 'Stop & Frisk' of all Americans overseas. We are deemed guilty until proven innocent. All we ask is to have the same rights afforded to us like Americans and permanent residents in the United States. This is why I, along with many of my fellow Americans overseas and the associated affected populations, fully support the FATCA Lawsuit. We are Republican, Democrat, Independent, and non-affiliated with any political party. In other words this is not a political issue, it is a matter of our survival as we are treated differently from other nationalities in our respective countries of residence."

Popular in the Community