Monthly Archives: October 2013

Formulating the problem – Thoughts on the compliance dilemma for #Americansabroad – What you need to consider before contacting a lawyer


The Reality of U.S. Citizenship Abroad

Nobody denied that the unintended targets of Congressional legislation aimed at those who supposedly “owe allegiance” to the USA, now assisted by craven foreign governments anxious lest their financial services entities lose access to the US market, are mostly unlikely to do anything at all. But the whole idea of universal self-assessment of taxation is to keep the taxpayer in an anxious condition, to make him overpay if possible, but at least not to underpay. Those now faced with an unprecedented, even retroactive, enforcement campaign and who must, if they wish to become compliant and avoid penalty or even prosecution (should they be identified in the future), sacrifice much of their wealth, even become insolvent.

Comment at the Isaac Brock Society blog – July 29, 2013

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US Social Security eligibility and #Americansabroad

Of course it’s always more complicated  if you are self employed.

The above tweets reference  two nice blog posts by U.S. tax lawyer Virginia La Torre Jeker J.D.

There is a general presumption that U.S. citizens must pay U.S. Social Security, Medicare  and Self-Employment taxes. The presumption is rebutted if one resides in a country that has a “Totalization Agreement” with the U.S. Since 1984 Canada has had such an agreement.

I recommend both of her posts to you.

As she notes:

… old age catches up with everyone, and a savings plan for retirement should be put into place.  Here, the expatriate must be very careful since it is quite easy to be led down a path of investing in offshore products that yield little more than terrible US tax consequences.   Make sure you understand the US tax implications of any offshore product before you sign on the dotted line.

Concluding thought:

Some U.S. citizens abroad, depending on your employment history in the U.S., may have accumulated enough credits to be eligible for U.S. Social Security.

At some point this is  something that needs to be considered.



#FATCA of matter is: Avoid US investments – Life is too short to be about taxes


The post is aimed  primarily at those who are  NOT “U.S. persons” (citizens and green card holders”. I have  noticed that a number  of “free real  estate seminars” directed toward getting Canadians to:

“Buy U.S. Real Estate”

All U.S. investments create tax and compliance problems. Tax and compliance problems cost money, take time, cause anxiety and reduce your quality of life. This is what the  promoters  don’t tell  you. To get a flavor of the kinds of problems, U.S. investments WILL cause read the following articles referenced in these tweets.

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