Saturday, 10 August 2013

OCONUS or rub-a-dub

Despite codifying the right of expatriation as a fundamental right of all citizens and more contemporary words (and ironic) of criticism for the only other nation in the world to tax its people on income earning world-wide, Eritrea, accusing the practice of presenting a grave economic disadvantage to the country's diaspora, who fled over war, civil-unrest and political persecution, and whose revenue goes involuntarily to support the regimes and conditions that forced them to leave, with a mantle of citizenship not easily doffed, the United States, under the guise of combating tax evasion—though small-holders compared to the billions of untapped wealth that corporate persons shuttle across boarders without taxes or tariffs, is aggressive in their publican activities.

Though only a small but growing percentage of the US population and even a miniscule number when counted against the six million Americans living overseas, some are choosing to renounce their citizenship, willing to forego pensions and patriotism, usually pedigreed with the belief that one's homeland is the best, to the disdain and sometimes even damage of all others. I think this decision is not taken lightly by anyone and is never over the burden of paperwork or over taxation with dubious representation, but moreover that the task of repatriation is put squarely on those financial institutions willing to serve foreigners, specifically Americans, and many banks are refusing to take on new clients over this administrative embargo and reporting onus. In a parallel story of wanting to shirk potential liabilities, the client bank used almost exclusively by the diplomatic community in London suddenly decided to drop all its consular business, to eliminate risks of potential future cross-boarder disputes, should it be determined that any of those embassies front a banking system that does not play by the rules. The abrupt loss of a bank for payroll, rents and schooling has caused chaos on Embassy Row as they scramble to find banks willing to take them. It is a complex situation—though a matter of choice and a luxury for American migration, and probably unduly confounded by US policy when the diplomacy of living abroad, something important surely, knocks up against the kettling of taxes and forms.