Did you ever notice that when you put the words “The” and “IRS” together it spells “Theirs” ? How appropriate.
One of “Theirs” initiatives that I pay attention to is its voluntary disclosure program. This program provides steps for people who have not reported overseas income (and bank accounts) to come clean without criminal penalty.
Recently I found out that more people have come forward to confess their sins under the program guidelines in a single week than all of last year combined.
People are obviously scared… and watching Joe Biden’s jaw clench as he emphatically proselytizes about ‘patriotic duty’ and ‘sacrifice’ to finance irrational and unconstitutional spending initiatives, it’s easy to understand why they’re scared.
This is yet another reminder that as long as anyone holds a US passport, s/he is subject to full disclosure annually. Contrary to popular belief, leaving out some of the details is not a viable solution.
In fact, a tax attorney who I know quite well once remarked “failure to fully report ALL of your income will land you in worse trouble than not filing a tax return at all.”
Bottom line: don’t cheat. File the forms properly, and tell Uncle Sam about your overseas accounts. The alternative is just not worth it.
Remember, the whole point behind opening foreign accounts isn’t about tax fraud or even mitigating taxes; the key reason is to get your money in a safer, free place where you can control it and safeguard its purchasing power.
Besides, the day that “Theirs” decides to take a little dip into your savings account, you won’t be frozen out without a lifeline. Given the rapid increase of individual and small business audits, I unfortunately see this as being commonplace in the near future.
The strange thing is that, despite the administration’s constant trumping that only the wealthiest Americans are being targeted, “Theirs” is indiscriminately shaking everyone down in its grab for cash.
The Joe Biden ‘sacrifice’, after all, is everyone’s burden. Everyone… except for the government.
The much-heralded Obama budget cuts, which will ‘save’ $243 million, include nickel and dime line items like the Justice Department’s now-infamous double-sided copy paper concession (although Congress’s recent $200 million private jet purchase has pretty much burned through those savings already).
One of my favorite line items is how the Forest Service plans on saving $1.8 million by not painting brand new vehicles. This, of course implies that they’re buying loads of new cars… roughly 600 based on my calculations.
Clearly the Forest Service must need new cars pretty badly to be spending so much on cars during this time of penny pinching…. except that the Forest Service isn’t actually required to pinch pennies– its discretionary budget increased by 8.9% for 2010.
According to the Forest Service’s own website, in fact, the President’s budget (and the 8.9% increase) “reflects our Nation’s (with a capital ‘N’) highest priorities…” I won’t dwell on the absurdity of these priorities, but I will point out some basic math.
The 8.9% budget increase represents $465 million, out of which they were able to squeeze out a reduction of $1.8 million, or 0.3%. That, my friends, is real pocket change you can believe in.
At some point when this seems too absurd for reality, the solution of expatriation will become abundantly clear. One of the benefits of internationalizing yourself is that you will start to view these events as if watching tree sloths at your local zoo– curious, slightly funny, but largely irrelevant.
…. somewhere I can hear Howard Beale.