Remember when Obama was elected how everyone who voted for him was so happy that he was going to restore respect for the United States? Now there are people like me who have had to relinquish our citizenship because of FBAR, FATCA and extra-territorial taxation. There is another group of equally persecuted people, the immigrants living in the United States who did not know about FBAR and unwittingly committed violations, and now the Obama adminstration is criminalizing their behavior. At the American Thinker, an Indian Expat, who is apprently originally from India, lived and worked in the United States for a time, and is now back in India, responded to my article, “FATCA: A ticking time bomb for the economy”:
Mr. Dunn, you are my new hero for saving America from its stupidity. Also in the process defending innocent mistakes of honest hard working expats. We don’t mind taxes, if we owe any taxes. But FATCA and FBAR destroying our lives and businesses. Now we are toxic business partners. Even our own friends and family don’t want to do business with us. How can we subject to them to such harsh US regulations and intense disclosures, since they never even visited the USA in their lives.
In the remote area I live (or even in India), it is impossible to find a tax expert who can guide us away from landmines such as FBAR. Most small businessmen make less than 10K a year. How can they afford a US tax expert? US$ 10K is lot of money in India, where per capital income is under US$ 1000 and if a family makes over US$250 a year, they are above poverty line.
This IRS policy and threat of harsh penalties turned US loving citizens into people who hate the USA. I was strong supporter of Obama in the 2008 and contributed small amount. But Obama administration now treating me like a criminal, just because I transferred US$70K in 2009 I saved in the USA to fund university education of my kids in India.
No administration in history turned biggest supporters of the USA (i.e. US citizens living in foreign lands) into opponents. Obama administration using IRS as tool to achieve its means in many areas such as Health care, Banking. I used to fondly talk about greatness of the USA and fairness of the people and democracy. Now how can I say the same, when the same fair people treat me like a criminal just because I don’t know that I need to file FBAR?
Up to couple of years back, even the US tax experts don’t know about FBARs, how can a person living in a remote part of India know about FBAR? My family with two children don’t need to pay any taxes, if our income is below US$20K. In fact, I learned that I can gat tax credit. The IRS actively discouraged in late 1990s to not file taxes, if income is below some amount and don’t own any taxes. Now they are criminalizing for their policy
I can’t understand Obama administration is watching with smiles on their faces calling us (innocent expats) tax cheats for so many years (since 2009 OVDP). I am glad, I was living in remote part of India and didn’t know about FBAR until few days back. If had known in 2009, it would have ruined my life. How sadistic Obama administration can be?
The IRS treatment of immigrants to the US, particularly those from the Indian expat community, has indeed been a tragedy. As you said, you were pro-American until the IRS unjustly criminalized certain innocent activities–in your case, transferring to your children enough funds for their schooling. What could be more innocent and indeed laudable than to pay for your children’s education? And now the Obama administration has made this into a crime? It’s like a bad dream.
Why should the US, the richest country in the world, go after the savings of Indians, who earn so much less and whose standard of living is only recently begun to improve? It makes the United States look like a pig.
But if it is a consolation, I have decided not to comply with FBAR, and though the IRS may go after my savings, the Canadian government has said that they will not enforce FBAR penalties. So now I live in fear too, because I’ve made a public statement that yes, I know about FBAR, but that I’m not planning to file and thus submit my Canadian wife to the tyranny of the most corrupt government on planet earth.