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Posts published in “Day: February 11, 2014”

File or flee

rainey BARRETT


While nearly all of us have said - one time or another - we’re mad about something and want to move to another country, few of us have packed up for the trip. But, last year, not only did a record number of Americans flee the good ol’ U.S. of A., they also renounced their citizenship. Just quit!

The exact number - 2,999 - is 217% more than the year before.

It’s likely some left with hurt political feelings. But the Treasury Department blames three other things: increased awareness of an obligation to file U.S. tax returns by U.S. citizens and U.S. “tax residents” living outside this country; the ever-increasing burden of complying with our tax laws and fear generated by the potentially bankrupting penalties for failure to file tax returns when an individual holds substantial non-U.S. assets.

In other words - they reason - file or flee.

This country is one a very few requiring its citizens permanently living abroad to continue filing returns and paying taxes in the nation of citizenship. And the policy is very actively pursued. In 2009, UBS Bank of Switzerland was fined $700 million for providing services to more than 4,000 U.S. account holders on the tax evasion list. Department of Justice and other fed agencies regularly publicize names of banks and other sources who aid in hiding wealth of Americans as well as the names of the “hiders.”

Filing forms are quite complicated and there are lots of ‘em. Next year, the recently enacted Foreign Account Tax Compliant Act will require foreign financial institutions to report accounts and other holdings of American citizens to the I.R.S. Every year.

So, a lot of folks with a lot of assets decided to pack up and leave. For good. And a lot of ‘em paid a large “exit tax” on their way out the door. (more…)

On the front pages


Here’s what public affairs news made the front page of newspapers in the Northwest today, excluding local crime, features and sports stories. (Newspaper names contracted with location)

Complaint about gas exploration near house (Boise Statesman)
Sales tax on groceries ended under bill (Boise Statesman)
Peter Johnson, former BPA head, dies (Boise Statesman)
Supreme Court rules lesbian couple can adopt (Boise Statesman)
Minimum wage increase considered (Nampa Press Tribune, Sandpoint Bee)
$13.3 million federal funds may be repaid (Nampa Press Tribune)
Drought could impact dairies (Nampa Press Tribune)
Mosque might be built at Pocatello (Pocatello Journal)
Low water may await (Pocatello Journal)
Balukoff campaigning for governor (Sandpoint Bee)
TF Council blocks jump till 2015 (TF Times News)
Legislature considers online voter registration (TF Times News)

More after the snow storms (Corvallis Gazette Times)
Seized alpacas go to OSU vet school (Corvallis Gazette Times)
Water adjudication under re-review (KF Herald & News)
Klamath jail struggles for funding (KF Herald & News)
Storm and power outages (Eugene Register Guard)
Economy improves, but slowly (Eugene Register Guard)
Ashland ski gets near foot of snow (Medford Tribune, Ashland Tidings)
Medford teacher strike, sixth day (Medford Tribune)
Storm hits east Oregon (Pendleton East Oregonian)
Lawsuit on prisoner death at Two Rivers (Pendleton East Oregonian)
Cleanup post-snow storms (Portland Oregonian, Salem Statesman Journal)
Battering at state mental hospital (Portland Oregonian)

Marysville rail crossing could end delays (Everett Herald)
Debt jailings examined by ACLU (Kennewick Herald)
Airport landing errors (Kennewick Herald)
Unknown source behind recall of PUD commissioner (Longview News)
I-5 Columbia bridge deemed ok (Longview News)
Bertha stopped till summer (Seattle Times)
Boeing Machinists election hotly contested (Seattle Times)
Watch for flooding begins (Spokane Spokesman)
Spokane County takes over garbage pickup (Spokane Spokesman)
Metro Parks funding gets support (Tacoma News Tribune)
Pierce County considers school levies (Tacoma News Tribune)
Legislators consider oil transport (Vancouver Columbian)
Vancouver city involvement in permit at terminal (Vancouver Columbian)