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US citizens now one step closer to becoming permanent tax slaves


May 22, 2012
Los Angeles, USA

This week, the universally stupid brainchild of US Senators Chuck Schumer and Bob Casey known as the Ex-PATRIOT Act inched a bit closer towards becoming law.

‘Ex-PATRIOT’ is an absurd acronym that stands for “Expatriation Prevention by Abolishing Tax-Related Incentives for Offshore Tenancy”. I call it the Tax Slave Act… and it proposes three key provisions:

1) Individuals who are deemed, in the sole discretion of the US government, to have renounced US citizenship in order to avoid US taxes, will be permanently barred from re-entering the United States.

2) Such individuals will also be required to pay a 30% capital gains tax to the United States government on ALL future investment gains derived from the US. Currently, non-citizens who do not reside in the US pay no US capital gains tax.

3) These proposals are RETROACTIVE, and, if passed, would apply to anyone who renounced his/her citizenship within the last 10-years.

During a Sunday interview with ABC News, House Speaker John Boehner threw his support behind the bill… certainly a big step towards its eventual passage.

Let’s pause briefly for a little history lesson–

Dart Container Corporation was founded in 1960 by William F. Dart, the man who first perfected the design of styrofoam. Dart Container is today a multi-billion dollar family-owned company with thousands of employees and operations around the world.

In the early 1990s, brothers Kenneth and Robert Dart, heirs to the family fortune, renounced their US citizenship and became citizens of Belize and Ireland, and set up residency in the Cayman Islands.

Around the same time, several other wealthy Americans renounced citizenship, including Carnival Cruise Lines founder Ted Arison (who obtained Israeli citizenship), Campbell Soup heir John Dorrance (Irish citizenship), and fund manager Mark Mobius (German citizenship).

President Clinton was furious, and in 1996, he pushed Congress to pass a series of financial penalties for people who renounce citizenship. At the time, a ‘renunciant’ had to continue filing US tax returns for 10-years after renouncing.

Effectively, though, this penalty was a tax on worldwide income, not an exit tax on assets.

Fast forward to the mid-2000s, a time when the asset bubble was at its peak; the stock market was at its all-time high and real estate prices kept going up.

The Bush regime passed a series of changes to expatriation rules, dropping the income tax filing requirements in lieu of charging a one-time exit tax on assets.

In this way, the government was able to derive a much larger payment up front based on total assets rather than chasing around a former citizen for a piece of annual income.

In the years since the exit tax on assets was established, two things have happened:

1) The number of Americans renouncing US citizenship has risen steadily, from 235 people in 2008 to 1,780 last year (according to Schumer’s office).

2) The asset bubble has burst, and assets are worth much less than just a few years ago. As such, the government isn’t collecting as much revenue from the exit tax.

My sense is that the government has been watching the number of expatriates rise over the years, and simultaneously watching the value of the exit tax fall… and they’ve been looking for an excuse to make sweeping (i.e. retroactive) changes.

Eduardo Saverin is the perfect excuse. The Facebook co-founder’s recent renunciation of US citizenship has become a rallying cry for politicians to go back in time and steal money from former citizens retroactively…plus establish a larger base for future tax revenues.

This is a truly despicable thing to do considering that these former citizens followed the appropriate rules at the time, paid the tax, and moved on with their lives. Now Uncle Sam wants to go back in time to unilaterally change the deal, and expect everyone to abide even though they’re not even citizens anymore. The arrogance is overwhelming.

More importantly, this bill is also a major deterrent for people who are thinking about renouncing US citizenship today.

The passage of this law will undoubtedly cause many people who were considering expatriation to abandon the idea altogether as the thought of being permanently barred from entry is too much to bear.

It’s truly extraordinary that the Land of the Free has deteriorated to the point that the government must now resort to threats, coercion, and intimidation in order to keep its most productive citizens inside.

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About the author: Simon Black is an international investor, entrepreneur, permanent traveler, free man, and founder of Sovereign Man. His free daily e-letter and crash course is about using the experiences from his life and travels to help you achieve more freedom.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • WCM

    On a much smaller scale but showing the same outrageous behavior:
    To get a simple piece of paper to certify that one files taxes in the US (in order to increase foreign income on which US tax is paid), the fee went from $35 to $85, a 300% increase.
    A few years ago it had no cost, one paid enough taxes that the US government could just send you a acknowledgment  you were a filer (form 6166), then they charged $35 and this year $85. They also know that it is a minority, so they have nothing to fear.

    So in essence if you have foreign income, you have to pay to be able to pay tax on it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/PrinceDraxx Kerry Leavins

       2.428571428571429 or rounded to 243% but who’s counting? lol I guess you should deduct that amount from the amount of tax they claim you owe. Considering the fact that the I.R.S. is a privately held corporation and not a governmental entity, why worry about it?

      • bsolestis

        Actually, you’re both wrong. $85 is a 143% increase over $35. The INCREASE is $50. $50/$35 = 1.43.

      • Storm

        You’re right, “bsolestis”.  And the previous posts reveal additional causes for the American sunset, causes that will follow expatriots to their new homes.

  • Lowell Bascom

    You know what? When I leave this country and give up my citizenship, I don’t want to come back. I have lived overseas before and can be just as happy anywhere (and maybe more so). The only reason I can see currently for staying is if the country does a complete reversal of the social and financial front; and I don’t see that happening. Luckily, I don’t have much to lose and a whole lot to gain by stepping outside the borders. Bye!

    • Storm

      For those of us who have a dozen generations or more invested in America, emotional expatriation is not so easy, even if we leave physically.

  • http://www.facebook.com/PrinceDraxx Kerry Leavins

    I find it completely ridiculous that these clowns holding public office are wasting time they could be using to pass a budget for the first time in 3 years on this nonsense. I suppose once you get elected to office, the actual job you were elected for no longer makes a difference. Are the lamp posts in D.C. capable of supporting an extra 200-400 pounds from their mastarms?

    • http://www.bzemic.com/impossibleInstinct/ steve ward

      yep, i know political has been always bad hell you could say I’m going to do this and then someone you dont even know in DC will make it out to be a lie. That why this does even remind me of political system anymore. This is just a response to something they dont understand and (something i dont really get) they dont care they just seem to want the stat’s quo.

      If you remember not sure if it was Clinton or bush but the Chinese delegate went first to see bill gates before he went to see the pres. 

    • A K

      Your reference to lamp posts reminds me that in the Hungarian revolution in 1956 they stretched the necks of communists on the main street of Budapest.

  • Sovereignman

    There is a more important effect: this has an important deterrent effect on innovative people considering becoming US citizens.

  • McSchrade

    If they get this thing past Congress, that’s got to be a sign that it’s time to implement the abolish clause of the unanimous Declaration. A good place to start would be the IRS.

  • Green Tea

    Anyone know why when he renounced in September of 2011 that this news broke literally right before the Facebook IPO, as if timed for maximum hysteria and exposure?

  • Tom

    Unfortunately this is what the US is becoming, trapping people inside its borders.
    Few will leave while most will stay.

  • Leland

    Wouldn’t this be considered an “ex post facto” law prohibited by clause 3 of Article I, section 9 of the U.S. Constitution? I guess the clowns holding political office don’t read and understand the Constitution any more.

    • Mark_sogmusic

      The us gv has done this in the past. Listen to Aaron Ruso and here how they got money out of folks who purchased silver and always paid what they owed according to the laws at the time. Then the evil doers came along and changed past filling laws and made them pay lots of money. It is the main reason he started his journey to investigate the corrupt government and the fed.

  • Ph3v3r

    So let me get this straight.It’s patriotic and the right thing to do if some old white guy from the 1770’s does it (renounces citizenship and refuses to pay tribute to his former country) but it’s not OK for some young Brazilian tech guy in the 2010’s to do the same?Both the Founding Fathers (George Washington, John Hancock, and all the others who signed the Declaration of Independence) and Mr. Saverin are throwing off that undue burden of excessiveness described in the Declaration of Independence as required and mentioned so they can pursue “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”.  Both have left their previous locations for a place that offers a better life, a life with fewer burdens (as in no FATCA and no FBARs to file, among other things) and greater happiness.  I say that, just like the Founding Fathers of the USA, Mr. Saverin has done a very patriotic thing . . . just not for the US because he is LEAVING the US.  The fact that the Founding Fathers left Great Britain is the only difference!So who are these guys who are claiming what Mr. Saverin has done is unpatriotic again?  Are they bowing to Prince Charles and curtsying to Queen Elizabeth as they make these claims?  And since they are passing the same kinds laws as the ones that started the War of 1812 against Great Britain, why AREN’T they???Isn’t that why there was so much tea in the Boston Harbor so many years ago?But wait.  The Founding Fathers didn’t know what the heck they were talking about, right?  They were heretics, not patriots, right?  (Heaven forbid!)And all this is over nothing, actually.  Because the amount of money Mr. Saverin saves just might be miniscule, considering Facebook stock is dropping like a rock compared to it’s IPO price.  Chances are his accountants got the number right and he is going to pay exactly what he might have paid even if he had waited until the end of this year to tally up the number to pay.And here’s the really silly thing.  Had he not renounced there’s a good chance he might not have had to pay AT ALL!Because when faced with the exact same situation, his former partner Mr. Zuckerberg will most likely never pay income taxes again.  Why?  Because since Mr. Zuckerberg can now change to paying himself $1 per year, he will most likely no longer have any sizable income.  EVER.  (Or at least until he sells some stock.  But tell the truth; if YOU could stick it to the IRS–legally–wouldn’t YOU?)And as for the capital gains, don’t you make that when you sell?  Somewhere on the web there is an article showing how he won’t ever have to sell, because as the holder of so many shares and still remaining a US citizen HE gets to use his shares as collateral for a loan.  Because he’s not renouncing, the IRS doesn’t get to pretend that he sold HIS shares, UNLIKE the Brazilian who DID renounce.  And a loan is a non-taxable event, so the IRS likely won’t see one thin dime of Mr. Zuckerberg’s money!

    • MG

      Isn’t there some tax paid between taking out the loan and selling stock to pay back to loan? somewhere? thanks

    • GamerFromJump

      Of course, Saverin took something much more valuable than millions when he left: His ability to create something worth millions. So when he makes his next fortune, the parasitical US gov can go jump in a lake.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mark-Goff/100000336199366 Mark Goff

    It used to be “America the Beautiful, Love it or Leave it.”  Now its no longer beautiful, you don’t love it, and you can’t leave it. What a country!!!!

  • Jaime Lannister

     Simon, what you say is in principle true but it is only part of the picture. This site is obviously targeted towards wealthy disenchanted Americans who are eager to get in a yacht and sail away from their miserable oppressed existence here in the U.S. Am i right? The question is where can they go? Is there another land of the free out there? Your articles make it seems so but completely ignore the faults in these aforementioned countries(time and time again). Just THIS WEEK, tax crackdowns in Italy, India and Switzerland were all over the news yet strangely absent from your site. See for yourselves….

    You, Simon, would have us believe that the problems were facing here are unique to Uncle Sam, but that is really an outlandish notion. A intellectually honest man would admit that governments ANYWHERE are carniverous by nature and would like nothing more to devour your earnings..  Furthermore, rich foreigners are a political low hanging fruit. Politicians don’t have to worry about any backlash. If you are an expat in a country that starts having economic troubles say goodbye to your assets (This has happened many times throughout history). I hope in the future you will present both sides of the coin in your articles but perhaps that is too much to hope for…


    Jaime Lannister(If you won’t use you real name, neither will I)

    • A K

      My wife and I would leave the US except that we are now old so it would be very difficult to relocate to another country. And where to go? One country in South America that looks interesting is Uruguay. They have an older population. Their young tend to go elsewhere so there is less youthful violence. As to being a low hanging fruit target of local politicians it is important to keep most of your money outside of the country, any country. That rule applies even if you remain in the US. Get a significant portion of your money out of the US now.

      • methods3110

        Do you enjoy water boarding?

  • Bluecreek

    Just a thought regarding this article, As a globetrotting
    wealthy individual who encourages citizens to fragment their citizenship with
    the USA;  unlike patriots of old that
    encouraged building ties to citizenship with the USA, Simon Black may have
    mustered better emotional connection and “he’s on the right track” feelings with
    the poor masses that do not have an online client cow to milk pointing out issues
    like illegal aliens in the USA are afforded every conceivable benefit and the current
    government turns a blind eye towards their illegal citizenship activity, so why
    should the same government persecutes their own citizens who legally pursue alternative
    forms of citizenship? It seems to me that Simon Black in fact has for all
    intents and purposes given up his USA citizenship, but does the US tax penalize
    and pursue all foreign investors in the same way?  Maybe
    Simon Black is in some ways just a foreign investor who should bemoan being
    singled out as a particular type of foreign investor the government is tax targeting?

  • Rhett

    Sick! This outrage doesn’t make one want more reluctant to renounce, it makes one more eager.  And dear Jaime below, there are plenty of places to go.  Australia, Canada, Ireland, Singapore, Uruguay etc. none of these countries tax their expatriates – at all. Of course you have to become a citizen first, but after that you only pay money on income you make in your home country. 

    • Gene

       “This outrage doesn’t make one want more reluctant to renounce, it makes one more eager.  ”

      Yes, that’s how I interpret it as well.

  • Publius

    To: Jamie Lannister; Simon Black never suggested that these problems were unique to the USA and it quite obvious that the EU is drowning in debt, taxation and bureaucracy.

    That said, the US is escalating it’s level of tyranny and forced citizen slavery.  Can you imagine the Jews who fled Hitler being forced to pay taxes to Germany 10 years after they’ve fled the country?

    Why should anyone stay in a country where the likes of Chucky Schumer can demonize hard working individuals, rob them at gun point and then squander that money as graft for political favors.

    The point of this blog is that there are a few free countries left so why not flee tyranny while we have the chance?

    Regarding using his real name, pen names have been used for centuries.  The Federalist Papers were filed under the name “Publius”.  If he wishes to keep his anonymity, then you’ll just have to deal with the ideas rather than create a diversion by finding fault with the man.


  • JoeIndex

    Ive lived abroad for 19 years and pay taxes in the UK. My wife is British and she would never allow our children to hold a US passport. As sad as that is for me to admit, I cant argue the point.
    The IRS is constantly chasing me for revenue which has already been taxed in the UK. The officer I spoke to at the IRS treated me like a criminal and said “you have no higher authority to go to, I decide your fate!”. Who the hell do these people think they are? I work hard, take care of my family, and pay 52% of everything I earn in taxes here in the UK. My US passport is nothing but a liability to me and my family (who have never lived in the USA).
    I love my country but it is the only one which requires its citizens living abroad to file taxes. The rules and filings are so confusing that anyone can make mistakes and not catch them for years incurring penalties and interest without even being aware… its rediculous. Canada has the right idea. They just say – give us a call when you move back and we’ll put you back on the register. Until then good luck and fare well.
    Jaime is correct – our founding fathers are spinning in their graves at how weakly “we the people” are defending the constitution they fought so hard to create. Shame on us.

    • Gene

       “I love my country”

      I believe you, but your country and your government are not the same thing. You didn’t leave America, it left you. And the guy at the IRS is NOT an “officer”. They may CALL them that in order to project an aura of authority, but it’s just psychological warfare.

      • pandainc

         Wow.  Well said, Gene.  So what is his alternative?

      • Gene

         Would have to know the full financial situation to say more. If you are
        close to retirement and are going to need those social security checks,
        then you’re probably just stuck…I don’t like to have to say that:-( 
        If you’re younger than 45 or so, and if you think you’ll have the income
        to support yourself without social security, then I’d say you’re a
        prime candidate to find another citizenship. Speaking plainly, MOST
        Americans are stuck; but then again most Americans are asleep in The
        Matrix and are unaware that they are stuck. The real problem is those
        who are wide awake and fully aware of their predicament.Those AWAKE people need to work hard to build a new life in a country more hospitable to freedom and liberty.

  • Biff

    retroactive laws are unconstitutional, the elites would have the constitution apply to the treatment of illegals but ignore it for those who want to leave

  • Brigadon

    This is the definition of ‘taxation without representation’

  • Roger Conklin

    I don’t know the percentages, but I suspect that 95% of those renouncing their US citizenship are not millionaires, but middle class persons with US citizenship who, like in several of these posted comments. live outside of the US. They can’t have joint bank accounts with their non-US citizen wives or hold any property jointly with them lest that foreign spouse also be subject to double taxation by the US as well.  From a cursory look at IRS statstistics it appears that the average US citizen living abroad pays about twice as much in combined income taxes to th US and their country of residence as a person resident in the US pays on the same income.

    It pretty much boils down to the very clear conclusion that if you are a middle class US citizen resident abroad, the only way you can possibly survive is to renounce your US citizenship. In fact a self-employed  professional, a US-Brazilian dual citizen friend, finds it very difficult paying 33% of his net income in total to both the US and Brazilian tax authorites just for social security taxes, plus being double taxed on what is left..  There are no US foreign tax credits for foreign social secuirity taxes.  He has a letter signed by an official of the US Treasury Department recommending  that if his US tax filing requrements are resulting in a hardship “he can consider relinquishing his US citizenship.” Under the legislation proposed by Senators Schumer and Casey, if he takes the action recommended by thisTreasury official, he is a traitor and should be banned from ever visiting his chldren and grandchildren who are US citizens living in the United States.

    Other countries consider their citizens who go abroad to sell US exports as patriots because they create the manufacturing-for-exports jobs that bring prosperity at home. 

    Comparing the US policy of being the only country in the world with just one other country which, like all the rest, only taxe persons who reside within its borders but never their citizens living abroad and you can see what a difference this makes. The US has a 12-month $747 billion trade deficit whereas Germany, whose average worker’s wage is 26% higher than in the US has a $228 billion trade surplus and the lowest unemployment rate in 20 years Eight percent of US GDP is generated by exports whereas 51% of Germany’s GDP is from exports.

    Now you tell me, who are the real patriots? Are they the legislators who write the tax laws that prevent Americans from going abroad to create jobs at home by selling our exports, and thus destroy jobs here at home,or are they the citizens who are forced to renounce their US Citizenship in order to survive if they go abroad to sell our exports? Citizens of other countries are not forced to renounce their citizensip if they come to the US to sell their home country products, or go to any other country to do so. But Americans who go abroad to sell ours must renounce if they are to suvive.Being simultaneously subject to tax by two countires is an impossible-to-survive situation.  How anyone who does not understand this can be elected a US senator is beyond explanation.

    I shut down a business in Brazil selling US exports because I could not survive paying 81% more total income tax to Brazil plus the US than any non-American in Brazil with my exact same income and family status. When I came home I abandoned a US-dominated market to a French competitor who,taking over my former customers soon accounted for $1 billion in French exports to that country. Meanwhile the US share of that market dropped to near zero when I came home. Exports don’t sell themselves. That takes feet on the ground which, because of our tax laws, we do not have

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-von-Schiltz/100002288831214 Richard von Schiltz

      Dear Sir,  Thank you for your valuable insight though it was extremely costly through your own life experience. An article such as yours, lets us all be cognizant of the present evil of unrestrained thirst for power while the printing presses of the FED are creating a QE1,2, and soon to be 3 of fiat currency. Let us all search our own souls and be NOT too reactionary, but be MORE NOBLE than the evil darkness through HIS GRACE.  Respectfully, twotrees928   

  • methods3110

    If this law goes though it could do massive damage in the form of the most creative and brilliant people no longer immigrating to the US. By far the most important resource the US has is its entrepreneurs, but now foreigners have other far better choices for residence these days, where life is freer, safer, and offering better opportunities, with lower taxes, and no outrageous demands on their freedom.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EHKCTIWGD2YHNS7YFQ27SVJVLQ Edward

      Not only that, but also better and more robust social safety nets.

  • Paul Samson

    Please speak out to the writers of this ridiculous bill by ringing:
    Senator Robert Casey
    +1 866 802 2833
    Senator Shumer
    +1 202 224 6542

    And express your dissappointment with Speaker Boehner’s support too:
    +1 202 225-0600

    Possible talking points:

    1) A retroactive bill that punishes people who acted within the law at the time is disturbing and immoral.

    2) Rather than punish, why not compete? Lowering taxes and removing barriers to entry and exit would be the right moves for a free society and would improve America’s competitiveness and economy.

  • Nobody

    I can only give one advise to any American citizens – Run Forest Run. It will only get worse. I will see the ban to entry this country as a blessing ;).

    I gave up on idea to move to USA 10+ years ago. (9/11).
    I stopped buying USA products few years ago.
    I gave up on having anything to do with USA two years ago (refused job offer in USA, refused to travel to USA even if paid to travel, etc).

    Human capital is already leaving this country.

    The old American dream engraved in foreigners is dying slowly, but it is dying.

    USA goverment is a criminal enterprise and depriving this government of your money in the form of tax is a moral duty of any person who see its criminal behavior.

    There are so few who are running away, depriving the beast of your money. Shame on you.

    Happily paying taxes in a country that does not wage any wars.

  • David Shipp

    Passing the FairTax not only resolves these issues, it would bring most of  the assets and off shore bank accounts back to the USA. 

    • Philmac846

      Sorry but the “Fair” tax seems to get sold as a cure for everything from Deficits to Dandruff, when its really not. As to Asset repatriation, you might find interest in a Yahoo Finance (book promotion) interview by David Kay Johnston(sp?) who pointed out that Corporations IF THEY WANTED TO could repatriate funds AT WILL, with LITTLE OR NO COST at ANY time, WITHOUT TAX OR OTHER INCENTIVES, as follows-
      The domestic subsidiary BORROWS the funds from the Foreign Subsidiary. Notwithstanding that current interest rates are NEAR ZERO, the interest expense is DEDUCTIBLE by the domestic subsidiary. Corporations are not PREVENTED from repatriating, they HAVE NO REASON TO deploy  money to fill warehouses with more unsold goods to make incompetent politicians look like Job Creators. But companies probably find more than a little humor at the prospect of collecting (yet another) tax break from the politicos WITHOUT having to bribe them!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_SRYTEBFK5TGRSFWDLKCZYRMHYE Ron

    Non-citizens who reside outside the US would include President Putin of Russia.  I bet he appreciates not having to pay US capital gains ta,  The key wording is that the US government (who is he/she) that at his/her SOLE discretion makes this “ruling”?.  Maybe the President or some of his monions.  Wake up John Boehner!!

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EHKCTIWGD2YHNS7YFQ27SVJVLQ Edward

      THe US govt would LOVE it if it could tax all non-citizens who reside outside the US. And they’re going to try it, you watch!

  • Philmac846

    It saddens me to see the policies of the country I was born in go from Fair->Unfair->Confiscatory->Vindictive, especially in comparison with other Failed Empires (Roman,etc.). I am no tax expert, but would like to pose a question and an idea. Are Expense Reibursements Taxable? For foreign sales employees in the painful situation described below, if they had an initial pool of (survival) capital, could the hosting company reimburse their expenses out of it instead of paying income? Capital would be static, so no taxable growth, and reimbursements are just as deductable to co. as salary? I’m sure I’m overlooking something?

  • Blarvznod Wrenchovich

    Mark Twain once commented that “Patriotism is supporting your country all the time and your government when it deserves it.”  A smart man… Mr. Clemmons…

    The fact that there are two stupid Senators like Chuck Schumer and Bob Casey to propose this kind of legislation is bad enough, but how many other Senators voted in favor of the stupidity?  THAT is the telling question.  How will we be better served by having less innovative people wanting to participate in the disappearing American Dream?

    As politicians make it increasingly difficult to comply with their laws… tax law or whatever… the probability increases that complicity levels will decline.  At some point escape will become the only option.  Sen. Pat Moynahan did point out that the Law of Unintended Consequences was in fact “Iron Clad”.  When tax compliance become unbearable, subservient  citizenship becomes less desirable.  In the end, the Law of Reality is the ultimate arbitrator… an authority to which politicians do not relate.

    Oh to be young again and actually believe that human government can actually be changed, improved or even perfected.  Maybe State level nullification of Federal Laws and Regulations will have to be tried out more seriously.  If Congressional stupidity compounds unabated, IRS nullification would be a good place to start.  

    • Hfhgfh

       “At some point escape will become the only
      Hell no, fight!

  • Sally May

    Can we get some practical advise NOW on how to prepare financially to consider a move? For example, what if someone had a choice of a couple of countries to go to, with a non-citizen spouse.  Are there current tax considerations that could be done right now to prepare? There are already 2 separate bank accounts. Getting some money outside of the country is also possible. Should the spouses start filing separately (even though it will mean less in tax returns?). The non-spouse makes considerably less, so taxes clearly would be less. Tx.

  • li_bri

    Permanently barred from re-entering?  Sneaking-in is easy.  How are they going to stop you?

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