Welcome everyone, I have been enjoying talking to a few more listeners lately, always enjoy it – one cool chat I had was with Claire Chen over in London! She’s been working with East Meets West club and bridging Chinese and British business people, some similar things Global From Asia is doing so we had a great connection there.
And I’m working closely with the team on on big Cross Border Summit event, already in the works for mid-April 2017 – so if you’re coming for the Spring trade show season to south China, would love to see you there – it’s crossbordersummit.com
If you happen to be on this side of the world in a couple weeks – we still have a few spots for our HK ecommerce trip on Friday Nov 18 – check it out at globalfromasia.com/hktrip
So now for this week’s show – today is USA election day, and there has been talk of friends saying how will America change after this one. It’s always awkward being in the midst of political debate for me, especially when living in China.
Therefore, I thought it would be a time to bring up a show I’ve been meaning to have on for quite some time – renouncing your US citizenship. Olivier Wagner comes on to discuss it, and during the interview I get a little emotional…. I’ll explain after the interview – also this is episode 148, so you can get the show notes at globalfromasia.com episode148
Topics Covered in this Episode
Intro Olivier Wagner
Tell me about yourself and how your business relates with renunciations?
What is a Covered Expatriate?
How bad is it?
Consequences of being a Covered Expatriate
What is FATCA
Renunciations, Surrendering or Relinquishing Citizenship
So, what is the difference between renunciations, surrendering and relinquishing US citizenship?
Can I renounce without having any other citizenship?
How many people do that every year?
How much does it cost?
Tax compliance and Tax liability
So the real cost of tax compliance exceeds the tax liability? What are the situations which cause people to have to file more forms and pay more in tax preparation fees?
How can people contact you?
People / Companies / Resources Mentioned in this Episode
√ Gfa post fatca
√ Form 8938
Episode Length 37:04
Thanks Olivier. He’s a professional at this and will answer all your questions. It is a scary process it seems, and you want to make sure you do it right.
(I cut out the show notes of my talk about why I got emotional on the US passport renouncement, listen to the end of the show to hear my reasoning)
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You might want to interview an expert on obtaining alternate citizenship. Renouncing is the easy and cheap part. Getting a replacement citizenship is the tricky part. There are numerous citizenship via investment programs around the world. As well as citizenship based on ancestry. The U.S. government has made it a huge pain to to do business globally as an American. Forgetting to report a bank account can make you a criminal with penalties equal to 50% of the balance for each year it was not reported. Americans are often turned away from banks and brokerage houses because of the U.S. governments strong armed tactics. Part of the problem is that the millions of expats are not represented in Congress and end up being abused. If the IRS started knocking on doors domestically and demanded to know everyone’s bank account balances and account numbers people would rightfully scream about the unconstitutional invasion of privacy. Few know that the IRS now has the power to revoke your passport if they feel you owe $50k in taxes or more. No hearing required. The average person has no idea these things are going on, but honest expats are in the cross hairs. Most of this is done in the name of fighting terrorism or stopping the laundering of drug money, etc. They don’t see the folly of violating the Constitution while proclaiming to protect it. It is not unpatriotic to push back when the government violates your rights. And while I have no plans to renounce my citizenship I can fully understand why some people do. Ones citizenship is nothing more than geographical coincidence at birth. American citizenship has some major perks. But nobody should feel they are a prisoner of their birthplace, U.S. or otherwise. It is a big world out there. Manufactured guilt should not stop you from choosing what is best for yourself and your family.
Thanks G for this deep reply. While I have been overseas almost 10 years now, not until I started doing this podcast and working with clients on company setup and bank accounts did I see this problem at scale. It is fascinating and scary at the same time. And yes, manufactured guilt that gets me emotional.
Seems others have privately messaged me wanting to hear more about alternate citizenship as well. I have a few candidates and will work on this topic in 2017. Thanks again for listening and leaving an amazing comment back.
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