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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Taxes and citizenship

It will be a few years before I'm eligible for Canadian citizenship. Obtaining it is one of my goals. One of the nice things about the relationship between the US and Canada is that I don't need to give up my US citizenship to obtain my Canadian one. But I may give it up anyway.

Why would I give up the holy grail of citizenships? Taxes. The revenue-desperate US government is painting all expats with the same brush of tax-evasion and now they want to know about every asset and account of US citizens living abroad so they can collect their "share" of it.

"Unlike most countries, the United States requires its citizens to file annual tax returns with its Internal Revenue Service regardless of where they live and work. Many of the roughly one million Canadian-American citizens long ago stopped filing, assuming they owed no tax. Many are worried now they’ll be hit with punishing penalties as a result of recent U.S. efforts to prevent its citizens from hiding assets in offshore tax havens.

"New rules require all Americans to report their foreign bank and brokerage accounts every year. And by 2014, Canadian financial institutions will have to identify accounts held by U.S. citizens to the IRS."

Read the entire article, "Americans in Canada driven to divorce from their country" by Barrie McKenna at the Globe and Mail here

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