A fugitive people within a nation is tyranny.

Posts tagged ‘American’

The American Expatriot Primer

indigent in AmericaA growing number of Americans are frustrated with the way in which their economy has been managed and are becoming increasingly concerned about future measures the government may take to keep its coffers full.

A question that is arising with increasing frequency is: does expatraition offer a viable protection to those concerned about a more financially-intrusive US system?

The answer is ‘yes’, it does offer a completely legal solution for ending your obligation to pay US income, capital gains, and gift taxes on your worldwide income. But it is certainly not for everyone and should only be pursued after lengthy and diligent consideration.

And before you begin dreaming of a tax-free future, you should realize that the United States imposes taxes on a broader basis than any other country. The United States is one of two countries, and is the only major country, that imposes significant income, capital gains, gift, and estate taxes on its non-resident citizens.

In virtually all other countries, individuals end their liability to pay income tax after a sustained period of non-residence, generally one year or longer. But to legally and permanently end U.S. tax liability on their worldwide income, U.S. citizens must also give up their U.S. citizenship and passport. This process is called “expatriation.”

Yes, it’s a radical step. However, if you’re a U.S. citizen, you can make nearly all of the preparations for a possible future expatriation without permanently leaving the United States. This is a four-step process:

Phase 1. Relocate your assets from the United States to other jurisdictions, preferably where the assets won’t be taxed.
Phase 2. Identify foreign countries where you would consider living,
Phase 3. Obtain a suitable second passport
Phase 4. Expatriate – give up your U.S. citizenship and passport

Once you’ve accomplished the first three phases, summarized here in Part I of this report, the final step – expatriation – is much easier than if you’re starting from scratch. Part II of this report describes the expatriation process.

Are you a good candidate for expatriation? You are, if:

You are comfortable living outside the United States, or are already doing so-
Your spouse and children are comfortable living outside the United States, or are already doing so; and
You have already or are capable of shifting the majority of your income and assets outside the United States.

Phase 1: Relocate Your Assets Outside the United States

decisions about wealth and lifestyleWith a few exceptions, the IRC imposes taxes on both U.S. source income and foreign source income of U.S. citizens. Non-resident, non-U.S. citizens (also known as “non-resident aliens”) pay tax only on U.S. source income, although some U.S. sources of income (e.g., most capital gains) are tax-free.

To prepare for this more favorable tax treatment in anticipation of expatriation, begin moving liquid assets outside the United States to more tax-friendly jurisdictions. Begin selling assets that can’t be relocated (e.g., real estate) so that you may reinvest the proceeds overseas.

Invest only in countries and investments with which you are comfortable. If you are accustomed to buying and selling U.S. securities, consider using offshore bank or brokerage accounts to target non-U.S. securities. If you are an experienced real estate investor, investigate real estate purchases outside the United States. Keep in mind that a targeted investment or real estate purchase may also qualify you for legal residence in some countries (Phase 2) or even a second passport (Phase 3). If you have substantial domestic investments in precious metals, consider moving the metals offshore.

The vast majority of foreign banks and brokerages now refuse to accept new U.S. citizen clients, especially U.S. citizens resident in the United States. However, banks and brokerages in a handful of countries still accept new U.S. citizen and resident clients and allow them to purchase non-U.S. securities. A few banks in Austria, the Bahamas, Hong Kong, Liechtenstein, Singapore, and Switzerland are suitable for this purpose. The minimum deposits in these banks start at $100,000. Minimum deposits in offshore brokerages start around $5,000. Fees are much higher for banking services and securities trading than in the United States.

Both the accounts you hold offshore and the income derived from them must be reported to U.S. authorities. The penalties for failing to make these disclosures are draconian. Consult with an expert familiar with the tax and reporting rules for international investments when you file your annual tax return.

Offshore real estate is a non-reportable asset for U.S. investors if owned individually or jointly with your spouse or other individuals. Income or gain from foreign real estate investment is reportable and taxable. Countries offering first-world infrastructure and where real estate is relatively affordable include Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Panama, Spain, and Uruguay.

Numerous potential “land mines” exist in offshore real estate investments. Among them are the lack of a multiple listing service in many countries, difficulty in establishing good title, and legal provisions giving squatters the right to live on your property. Retain a knowledgeable real estate attorney in the country in which you purchase real estate to avoid problems.

You may transport precious metals you own in the United States to another country and store the metals in a safety deposit box, bank vault, or private vault. One option for doing so is to use a secure shipping service. Make certain the service not only promises secure transport but also assists with completing non-U.S. customs and tax declarations. Another option to transport precious metals out of the United States is a like-kind exchange under Sec. 1031 of the IRC. If you move the metals yourself, the best option can be to hire an import agent in the country to which you’re taking them to handle the import formalities. You will generally post a bond through the agent covering taxes due (if any) plus the agent’s fee.

Phase 2: Identify Foreign Countries Where You Would Consider Living

big life decisionsOnce you give up U.S. citizenship and passport, you no longer have the right to live in the United States. You may generally make brief visits, but in most cases, you won’t be able to stay more than approximately four months annually without becoming subject to U.S. tax on your worldwide income based on the IRC’s “deemed residence” rules discussed in Part II of this report. Finding another country to live in is therefore an essential part of any expatriation exit strategy.

Even if you have no plan currently to leave the United States permanently, finding a country that you may wish to relocate to in the future is a prudent safeguard. If economic or political conditions deteriorate in the United States and reach your personal breaking point, having legal residence in a suitable offshore jurisdiction provides a valuable “insurance policy.”

If you merely want the right to live in another country in the form of a residence permit, but don’t necessary want to be physically resident there, a number of countries can accommodate your needs. These include Belize, Costa Rica, Malta, Mexico, the Dutch Caribbean territories, and Panama. In most cases, you can qualify for residence (although not the right to work in the country) by either making an investment or demonstrating a minimum guaranteed pension payment. Residence rights may be purchased in some countries by making an investment of $80,000 or more in real estate or other assets. A guaranteed pension payment of $1,000 or more may also qualify you for residence. In other countries, you may need to qualify on a points system. Some countries have multiple programs to consider.

Phase 3: Obtain a Suitable Second Passport

To end your responsibility to comply with U.S. tax and reporting obligations, you must give up your U.S. citizenship and passport. Without a second nationality in place and passport in hand, however, giving up your U.S. passport would render you a “stateless person.” Avoid this status, as it makes it difficult or impossible to legally live or travel internationally.

A second passport also conveys numerous other benefits:

It gives you the right to reside in the country that issued the passport, and possibly other countries. For instance, a passport from a member of the European Union conveys the right to live and work in any other EU country.
It gives you a way to travel internationally if your primary passport is lost or stolen, or if the issuing government confiscates or refuses to renew it.
It provides you with the opportunity to travel to countries blacklisted by the government that issued your primary passport. For U.S. citizens, this includes countries such as Cuba, North Korea, etc.
It avoids disclosing your primary nationality, should you ever need to keep that a secret. This can be useful if you’re ever confronted by militants who oppose the government that issued your primary passport.

You may qualify for a second citizenship and passport by ancestry, marriage, religion, or extended residence in another country. If not, a handful of countries offer “instant” citizenship in return for an investment or contribution. The Commonwealth of Dominica and the Federation of St. Kitts & Nevis are the only countries with an official, legally mandated, economic citizenship. (Note: Dominica and the Dominican Republic are different countries.)

Dominica is the least expensive option. The nationality law of Dominica authorizes the government to waive the normal requirement of seven years of legal residence to acquire citizenship in exchange for a cash contribution. Total costs including all fees for a single applicant come to about $105,000. Add $25,000 for your spouse and up to two children under 18. The Dominican passport holders can travel without a visa, or obtain a visa upon entry, to nearly 90 countries and territories.

The Federation of St. Kitts & Nevis offers two options to obtain economic citizenship. One option is to make a direct contribution to a charitable foundation set up to support displaced sugar workers: the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (SIDF). Total costs including all fees for a single applicant under this option come to about $285,000 or $335,000 for an applicant with up to three dependents.

The second option is to purchase “qualifying property” with a minimum investment of $400,000. Fees and closing costs add a minimum of $100,000. Total costs for a single applicant come to at least $500,000 and close to $600,000 for a family of four. The St. Kitts & Nevis passport provides visa-free entry, or visa upon entry, to more than 120 countries, including nearly all of the 27 member countries of the European Union.

In all cases, applicants must pass a strict vetting process that includes a comprehensive criminal background check.

Bogus second citizenship offerings abound. In recent years, I have received offers to purchase passports from Costa Rica, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, Ireland, and Lithuania, among other countries. Some of these offers are outright scams. Others involve illegally purchased or stolen documents. Even if you succeed in obtaining a passport on this basis, it may be revoked at any time and you could be subject to arrest and/or deportation.

Conclusion

Once you’ve completed Phases 1, 2, and 3 of your four-step plan to disconnect from the United States, you’re ready for Phase 4: expatriation. While you may never take the final step of giving up your U.S. citizenship and passport, taking the preparations summarized so far at least gives you that option.

Mark Nestmann is a journalist with more than 20 years of investigative experience and is a charter member of The Sovereign Society’s Council of Experts. He has authored over a dozen books and many additional reports on wealth preservation, privacy and offshore investing. Mark serves as president of his own international consulting firm, The Nestmann Group, Ltd. The Nestmann Group provides international wealth preservation services for high-net worth individuals. Mark is an Associate Member of the American Bar Association (member of subcommittee on Foreign Activities of U.S. Taxpayers, Committee on Taxation) and member of the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2005, he was awarded a Masters of Laws (LL.M) degree in international tax law at the Vienna (Austria) University of Economics and Business Administration.

Copyright © 2012 Chris Martenson

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The Battle Continues: Slavery and American Politics

by E.J. Manning

slavery to children

American politics has always had a difficult time dealing with slavery of all kinds, which descended from the roots of the founding of the nation. While Abraham Lincoln ultimately did his best to transcend the racism and abuse that has infected this nation. Lincoln commonly evidenced a soft spot for people when it was not popular. When Lincoln spoke out in public office (1856) against the continuation of national slavery, Illinois politicians accused him of “the most ultra abolitionism” in reaction to Lincoln’s verbage: “Your race are suffering, in my judgment, the greatest wrong inflicted on any people.” The media of day was hardly sympathetic either, evidenced by the Illinois State Register that proclaimed “his niggerism has as dark a hue as that of (William) Garrison or Fred Douglas.” Lincoln’s opposers, like unscrupulous Stephen Douglas, scoffed at Lincoln and the plight of slaves.

Yet, even Lincoln was hardly a favorite among abolitionists of the day. He was not a god. He wavered consistently, uncertain at to how to deal the plague of national sin. Such is the plight of national politics where human and civil rights are concerned, even today. After the election, Lincoln avidly supported the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, which gave full authority to apprehend slaves and to carry out slave-killing pledges by various parties of slavers. On the other hand, Lincoln was involved in colonization schemes of the day. Reacting to the racial fears of the time, Lincoln sought indirect opportunities for slave emancipation. Lincoln summoned a committee of free blacks (1862) from the District of Columbia to the White House. “You are cut off from many of the advantages which other race enjoy.” Lincoln told the members of the delegation that the black presence was to blame for the Civil War, lecturing them on their duty to persuade their people to emigrate to the coal mines of Central America. He urged them to go where they would be treated best.

The abolitionists were enraged by these comments and rampaged against Lincoln as missing the “spark of humanity.” Frederick Douglass called Lincoln a “genuine representative of American prejudice.” Douglass rightly attacked the “tardy, hesitating and vacillating policy of the President of the United States.” Lincoln defended himself by stressing the importance of timing and preparation, reasoning that the victims of racism were hated men. We don’t have a similar champion of human or civil rights in the United States today, despite notorious attacks on the civil freedoms of Americans across the board. Instead, this abuse is justified by carefully crafted manipulation by politicians and corporate powers that expect to benefit from money and authority behind the scenes to feather their nests.

kangaroo court

Repeal Bradley Law

In the corporate mind of fascist America, we still need slaves and serfs to serve the needs of the elite. They seek the restoration of the original Industrial America. In their minds, the American Experiment has failed them, and so, they have elected to subvert it entirely for another world order where a man is a dog. This greed and lack of respect for human beings is evidenced by the outsourcing of jobs wholesale from the nation that made so many corporations wealthy, in order to further pad their bottom lines. The same greed and lack of respect exists for those that fabricated and have continued to support the Bradley Amendment for Social Security, which advocates the use of Federal money to encourage the States to aggressively enforce child support by any means, using loopholes in civil law and promoting the using of debtor’s prison. In civil law, there is no professed innocence before guilt. That legal dogma only exists in criminal law.

As a result, the poorest of Americans are routinely oppressed without representation in a system that requires it to get anything approaching a “fair shake.” Slavery has returned to the nation through legal sanction, if it every really left to begin with. We still have the wisdom of ages that speaks against this abuse of power by the old writer of Lincoln’s Day, Horace Greeley: “Enslave a man and you destroy his ambition, his enterprise, his capacity. In the constitution of human nature, the desire of bettering one’s condition is mainspring of effort.” This observation is clearly more right than most American’s today care to acknowledge. The remnants of a middle class of Americans are distracted, grieved and fearful, carefully cultivated by the politics of 9/11. They are owned lock, stock and barrel by the company store, brainwashed by decades of corporate fascism, political favoritism and the lust for power.

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The Battle Continues: Slavery and American Politics by E.J. Manning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
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Human Slavery & Trafficking in the USA

by E.J. Manning

slavery to childrenTo define slavery on any level is a hot topic, whether forced labor, labor in bondage, slavery or trafficking. Today, several standards are used.

CNN claims that “slavery occurs when one person completely controls another person, using violence or the threat of violence to maintain that control, exploits them economically, pays them nothing and they cannot walk away.” This is a nice general definition except for the part about paying nothing. Underemployment and underpayment, which is robbery through force or coercion is not addressed. Nations love legalized slavery that can be justified. Even the “generous and freedom-espousing” United States has become a robber baron of the people while pretending to be interested in the rights of citizens and democracy. Other modern nations mandate similar policies in the name of what is often an arbitrary degree of fairness.

The United Nations has made themselves a political authority on the topic of human slavery and trafficking. What is interesting is that they try to deny any definition of slavery and instead focus on human trafficking, particularly against women.

Human trafficking is defined in the U.N. Trafficking Protocol as “the recruitment, transport, transfer, harboring or receipt of a person by such means as threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of adbuction, or fraud or deception for the purpose of exploitation.”

The definition on trafficking consists of three core elements:

1) the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons

2) includes threat of or use of force, deception, coercion, abuse of power or position of vulnerability

3) trafficking which is always exploitation. In the words of the Trafficking Protocol, article 3 “exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.

kangaroo court
legal rights and lawbreaking

The United Nations already knows that a number of modern nations are on the fence where their definition of human trafficking is concerned. How? This is simply based on how they treat and handle their own citizens. However, this is simply ignored as legal behavior where space-holding nations are concerned. While these definitions are fairly broad by design, you can see that using the United Nations protocol, even the major sponsor and shareholder of the United Nations, the United States, is riding the borders of the  illegal human trafficking of its citizens through the repeated violations of Constitutional Rights of citizens through a kangaroo court system based on unequal representation, through the adversarial execution of the Bradley Amendment for Social Security which results in jailing, punitive fines, enforcement of poverty (economic oppression) and removing the ability of citizens to make a living.

When you haul a man or woman to jail with the intent to coerce him or her into paying child support or any other civil obligation, you satisfy the first, second and third definitions of human trafficking. The government is transporting, transferring, harboring and receiving citizens into custody in order to exploit them against the guaranteed rights of an American citizen. They seek to coerce and bully, to exploit into forced labor and servitude against their will and against the original provisions of the nation. This doesn’t matter, however, because of “legal precedence,” the current standard of justice in the United States.

The United Nations says that this matters. Too bad nobody is listening.

captiveIt has been said that slaves are not allowed to walk away from their jobs. This is hardly the case. Many cannot work. In wealthier nations, these poor souls may be on disability through no real fault of their own. Even with slavery “outlawed,” estimates are that 27 million slaves fit the classical definition of slaves by world authorities, even though that definition is not crystal clear. More and more, citizens are becoming bonded laborers in their own nations as the leaders spend money like water to pander and garner influence. Poverty is cast upon the people as if it is a badge of honor to sacrifice for the better of the nation.

Nations like the United States pretend to help as they play political and social slight of hand.

Consider this. For those that are not at the bottom of the social ladder, ending poverty and oppression would be a disaster. If there were no poverty or oppression in the world, who would plow the fields? Who would harvest our vegetables and pick blueberries? Who would work in the rendering plants? Who would clean our toilets? Who would pay the bills even though nobody really does, preferring to borrow to pay another day?  No wonder people at the high end are not rushing to solve the poverty and oppression. The authorities and many with influence benefit from poverty and oppression, even by violating the rights of other human beings. For many, poverty and legalized oppression is not a problem, but an asset.

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Human Slavery & Trafficking in the USA by E.J. Manning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://bradleyamendment.wordpress.com.

 

U.S. Policy Leaves Record Numbers in Poverty

The percentage of poor Americans who are living in severe poverty has reached a 32-year high, millions of working Americans are falling closer to the poverty line and the gulf between the nation’s “haves” and “have-nots” continues to widen.

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The share of poor Americans in deep poverty has climbed slowly but steadily over the last three decades.” The economic decline of poor Americans has occurred despite the creation of the Bradley Amendment and enforcement legislation which was designed to create welfare reform and rid the United States of poverty. So, has the social engineering legislation worked? What do you say?

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