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Citizenship Based Taxation and FATCA, i.e. the Bane of My Existence

So I just filed my US tax return and now I need stiff drink to recover. I made this little video earlier today to complain about it to the world. I hope it doesn’t seem like I’m just whining in the video, because citizenship based taxation (CBT) and FATCA are actually serious problems for many Americans and green card holders abroad. Thanks to FATCA, a lot of ordinary American expats can’t get a mortgage or business loan; in some cases, they can’t even open a simple bank account in the country where they live and work. Although many countries have…

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I Voted (the sticker proves it)

I moved to Berlin the last year of the Clinton administration. When Bush first got elected, I remember sitting in Cafe Rix, opening up a copy of Die Zeit and seeing a cartoon of George W. in a cowboy hat, swinging a Colt revolver. “Well, this can’t be good,” I thought. Little did I know his presidency would soon go from “not good” to very bad to downright terrifying. And I constantly got flack for it. “Hey, people. I didn’t vote for him.” I did still vote, even in the local California elections. I’d order an absentee ballot far in advance and…

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Why I’ve Considered Giving Up My Citizenship (Even Though I Don’t Want To)

  At first, I planned to live in Berlin a year, then head back to the US for graduate school. But a year became two, then three, then four. I stayed, fell in love, fell out of love, fell in love again, got married, started a family. I still remember taking my younger daughter to the US Embassy to get her first passport. Only six weeks old, she was dressed in a cow print onesie, complete with little plush horns on the hood. You can see my husband’s hand holding her up in the passport photo. Although my husband and…

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