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Zeb

If you're an Expat -- The IRS Wants Your Blook

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And, yes, there are several, onerous and completely outrageous penalties for not reporting foreign accounts which is totally different situation.

And those penalties can be avoided by spending half an hour e-filing the required the forms.

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I love it that the IRS is FINALLY trying to get the "cheaters". We would not have these problems if it were not for the "cheaters". I put the blame where it belongs, on those "cheaters". :D

I think maybe you haven't read enough of what damage this has caused. This is not caused by cheaters. All of these onerous unfair and outrageous penalties are unacceptable. People have lost entire life savings because of these horrible regulations. The IRS has absolute power over people and it's wrong. It has not proven to catch so called cheaters. It has ruined lives of many innocent people.

The problems ,as you call them, are caused by an out of control, desperate government.

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And those penalties can be avoided by spending half an hour e-filing the required the forms.

I just e-filed my FINCEN Form 114 FBAR information with the Treasury Dept. It took me 17 minutes to fill out the .pdf form and click "Save" and "Send" .

We had 4 accounts to file on.

It cost nothing.

I really don't mind telling the US government about foreign $$ assets, especially when it's a part of catching cheaters, rich tax dodgers, and drug thugs.

.

Zeb,

What was your experience with filing?

Did you owe any $$ from either FATCA or FBAR?

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I just e-filed my FINCEN Form 114 FBAR information with the Treasury Dept. It took me 17 minutes to fill out the .pdf form and click "Save" and "Send" .

We had 4 accounts to file on.

It cost nothing.

I really don't mind telling the US government about foreign $$ assets, especially when it's a part of catching cheaters, rich tax dodgers, and drug thugs.

.

Zeb,

What was your experience with filing?

Did you owe any $$ from either FATCA or FBAR?

I don't owe. It's the boiling frog method. A little more regulation here and there and people adapt and comply. They make it easier for you so you get used to it and it doesn't seem so bad until one day you wake up and realize what has happened to you.

There is more and more regulation and less and less freedom and no privacy left. The reasons for the rules are repeated to you over and over again until you begin to believe it. I just know the propaganda machine and it's not what you have been told. I don't drink the cool aid anymore as I have researched this topic.

Invading everyone's privacy is wrong. I disagree with having to expose every penny to a government agency. They are not entitled to this information. Only animals in a cage don't get any privacy. The problem is across the board, from having to reveal where every penny is, reading everyone's e-mail, and the major surveillance going on. People's bank accounts have been seized although they have done nothing wrong. If you are a US citizen and familiar with the constitution, then you know It's all unconstitutional and all of this is invasion of privacy illegal.

“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

Ben Franklin

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I don't drink the cool aid anymore as I have researched this topic.

Thanks for the confirmation. :)

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I don't owe. It's the boiling frog method. A little more regulation here and there and people adapt and comply. They make it easier for you so you get used to it and it doesn't seem so bad until one day you wake up and realize what has happened to you.

There is more and more regulation and less and less freedom and no privacy left. ...

. I don't drink the cool aid anymore as I have researched this topic.

Invading everyone's privacy is wrong.

I disagree with having to expose every penny to a government agency. They are not entitled to this information.

Only animals in a cage don't get any privacy. The problem is across the board, from having to reveal where every penny is, reading everyone's e-mail, and the major surveillance going on. People's bank accounts have been seized although they have done nothing wrong. If you are a US citizen and familiar with the constitution, then you know It's all unconstitutional and all of this is invasion of privacy illegal.

“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

Ben Franklin

I agree with your complaints about them reading our emails and monitoring phone calls without a warrant.

I don't understand two things you describe:

" I don't drink the cool aid anymore as I have researched this topic."

and

" I disagree with having to expose every penny to a government agency. "

Your research results on this topic of FATCA and FBAR filings seem to be very different from what I read on IRS websites:

As bona fide residents of Mexico, we do not have to file anything under IRS - FATCA unless my wife and I have over $600,000 total in our foreign financial accounts.

The Treasury Dept. FBAR rules do require us to report accounts with over $10,000 in their efforts to track corporate money-laundering, and catch rich people trying to hide $$ in foreign accounts, like Switzerland etc. This was not ju st "propaganda" or "drinking the Kool Aid" - because FBAR actions have found $$ billions of dollars hidden by rich Americans in Swiss banks, and the US government has collected the biggest fines in history on cheating banks.*

Think HSBC*

Did you not meet the IRS's physical presence test for being a resident of Mexico?

Just stay out of the USA for an entire year, or stay out for 330 days during a tax year, and a couple gets a $600,000 exemption from filing FATCA 8939 with the IRS.

Living as permanent residents in Mexico, with a $600,000 exemption for our household for FATCA 8939 reporting, it hardly seems like the IRS is requiring us "to expose every penny to a government agency. "

I just recently did our taxes, using H&R Block's tax program, and their interview questions explained that because we are residents of Mexico, we don't have to report our foreign accounts to IRS and FATCA, unless we exceeded $600,000 total in our foreign accounts.

How does your research on this topic, FATCA, differ , to explain how a $600,000 exemption from filing is exposing "every penny to a government agency." ?

Maybe you think there might be a domino effect, like what was supposed to happen if we did not jump into the Vietnam War ?

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*Some people claim that FBAR and tracking foreign accounts is propaganda, and that those of us who support catching tax cheaters are "drinking the Kool Aid", but anyone can Google " HSBC fines" and "UBS fines" and get lots of real results of FBAR enforcement and find $$ millions and $$ billions in fines collected from cheaters by the USA multiple times each in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015

Most recent in 2015:
UBS http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-01-15/sec-fines-ubs-dark-pool-more-than-14-million-for-breaking-rules

HSBC http://www.bbc.com/news/business-31248913

HSBC US Reopens HSBC investigations again in 2015
http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/02/20/us-hsbc-tax-results-iduskbn0lo1vt20150220

and

http://www.sec.gov/news/pressrelease/2015-7.html

and then other fines back in 2014:

UBS http://www.thelocal.ch/20141112/ubs-slapped-with-massive-fine-for-fx-rigging

and back in 2013:

"HSBC's $1.9 Billion Money Laundering Fine"

http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2013/08/08/hsbcs-1-9-billion-money-laundering-fine-and-the-somalian-cost-of-bank-regulation/

and back in 2012:
UBS " On December 19, 2012, UBS was fined $1.5 billion ($1.2 billion to the US ...)"

&

HSBC - HSBC Holdings Plc agreed to pay a record $1.92 billion in fines to U.S. authorities for allowing itself to be used to launder a river of drug money flowing out of Mexico and other banking lapses.

- http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/12/11/us-hsbc-probe-idUSBRE8BA05M20121211

It's hard to believe that multiple years of the biggest government fines in history from forced reporting under FBAR are just propaganda.

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Sidelight about the factual misconceptions posted above in this thread - misconceptions about the realities of IRS rules and the fines:

Are the misconceptions coming from watching sources like Fox News? Independent studies have found Fox News reports to be inaccurate 71% of the time on hot-button issues and controversial issues (translates to big consistent biases). When watching Fox, how does a viewer sort out which are the 2 wrong things, from the one thing Fox got right?

When we listen to a poor quality source for our personal research, how do we forget the 2 wrong things?*

I stopped listening to Fox et al, because it was contaminating my memory with false-seeds, and instead switched to FT, Bloomberg, Reuters, Forbes, and IRS & US Treasury websites for financial and tax news - since these sources seem to be accurate, consistent with other good sources, and are reliable.

Those good sources supplied pretty much all the information and references for the google "research" reported above.

*I mention Fox News, because my Fox News-watching-friends keep repeating the "frogs in a boiling pot" metaphor as a blanket excuse to generically criticize any & all regulations, and the "boiling frogs" metaphor was cited above as research-logic, repeated from Fox, again, above.

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I agree with your complaints about them reading our emails and monitoring phone calls without a warrant.

I don't understand two things you describe:

" I don't drink the cool aid anymore as I have researched this topic."

and

" I disagree with having to expose every penny to a government agency. "

Your research results on this topic of FATCA and FBAR filings seem to be very different from what I read on IRS websites:

As bona fide residents of Mexico, we do not have to file anything under IRS - FATCA unless my wife and I have over $600,000 total in our foreign financial accounts.

The Treasury Dept. FBAR rules do require us to report accounts with over $10,000 in their efforts to track corporate money-laundering, and catch rich people trying to hide $$ in foreign accounts, like Switzerland etc. This was not ju st "propaganda" or "drinking the Kool Aid" - because FBAR actions have found $$ billions of dollars hidden by rich Americans in Swiss banks, and the US government has collected the biggest fines in history on cheating banks.*

Think HSBC*

Did you not meet the IRS's physical presence test for being a resident of Mexico?

Just stay out of the USA for an entire year, or stay out for 330 days during a tax year, and a couple gets a $600,000 exemption from filing FATCA 8939 with the IRS.

Living as permanent residents in Mexico, with a $600,000 exemption for our household for FATCA 8939 reporting, it hardly seems like the IRS is requiring us "to expose every penny to a government agency. "

I just recently did our taxes, using H&R Block's tax program, and their interview questions explained that because we are residents of Mexico, we don't have to report our foreign accounts to IRS and FATCA, unless we exceeded $600,000 total in our foreign accounts.

How does your research on this topic, FATCA, differ , to explain how a $600,000 exemption from filing is exposing "every penny to a government agency." ?

Maybe you think there might be a domino effect, like what was supposed to happen if we did not jump into the Vietnam War ?

I see how difficult it can be to communicate via this method. My research comments weren't related to FATCA or filings. That comment had to do with the reasons for all the demands for exposing our finances. I am not questioning or disagreeing with what you write about filing requirements.

We rely on a CPA to know all the rules and abide by them, whether or not we agree.

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I would just like to remind people that the cheek of the US government (IRS and TReasury Dept) is not limited to US citizens, but to those non-citizens who have obtained a Green Card and kept it for 8 years or longer. Those of us, even those of us who returned to our home countries or gone elsewhere and no longer reside in the US are held captive FOREVER unless we repatriate officially and get a clearance from the US government.

If, perchance we are married to a US citizen, we cannot own our homes in a foreign country jointly, even if as in my own case it is and always has been my own property, and even though I live in a community property state..why?? because if my husband should die before me, then I can end up paying US death duties in his half OF MY OWN PROPERTY.

Furthermore, the IRS operates on a completely different limitation of residency than does US Immigration, so that Canadians snowbirders in the US should be aware that although they are fully entitled to stay in the US for 180 days of the year according to US Immigration rules, the IRS applies a limit of 31 days after which one potentially becomes a US resident for tax purposes. Foriegners must file a speial release with the IRS annually to escape being captured as a US resident for tax purposes.

I just received my final clearance from the US treasury this week, after filing a repatriation of my green card almost 3 years ago. I feel as if I have had my freedom returned to me. NEVER have I ever felt that way in my own country. It makes me appreciate what true democracy and freedom feels like. End of rant.

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Do not ignore the problem of having signatory power over an account that you don't own. This will trip up many expats. If you have the right to sign a check on the account of your Condo Association, church, or nonprofit account as a Secretary or other officer or trustee, you must consider this account balance as your own for filing purposes. In reality one charity or non-profit may require 5 expats to have to file a FINCEN or FATCA.

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The simple fact is that FATCA is bad law, that causes headaches for people that have not, nor are likely to violate money laundering laws in the first place. If anyone believes that law will slow down or eliminate the practice they are delusional. At best it will just be a added expense to those that are laundering money.

The real issue is the IRS and the Federal government as a whole. FATCA is not the last law, and the next will be more intrusive, and cause more headaches because they are trying to push a string. As long as there is money to be made through illegal activity, there will be those figuring out how to make the money earned legitimate.

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"FATCA is not the last law, and the next will be more intrusive, and cause more headaches"

Uh-oh.
What's the next law?

How is it more intrusive?

What new provisions does it have that us Americans living abroad will have to meet?

I was hoping that with a big part of the Patriot Act being sun-setted this week, the government was slowly moving away from the War on Terror's anti-privacy acts.

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