Asset Protection Strategies, EDITORIAL
The Next IRS Tactic vs. Expats and Accidental Americans?
By Wendy McElroy - April 17, 2014

According to the State Department's estimate (January 2013), approximately 6.8 million Americans live abroad. Many more "accidental Americans" live outside the U.S. In the future, both may confront a powerful new weapon wielded by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

An "accidental American" is a person who lives in Canada (or another non-U.S. nation) and holds dual citizenship, whether or not he knows it. For example, it includes every Canadian child born to an American parent even if he never sets foot on U.S. Soil. America requires citizens living abroad to file tax forms on the money they earn and to report foreign bank accounts as well as other assets. The foreign income is usually considered taxable by the IRS. But, even if no taxes are owed, the possible penalty for not reporting is $10,000 per undisclosed asset per year.

Ne Exeat Republica

The IRS's powerful new weapon is actually an old one that hearkens back to 18th century English royal court, and was introduced in America as a tax collection tool by the Revenue Act of 1918. It is called ne exeat republica, which is Latin for "let him not go out of the republic." The writ is issued to prevent a person from leaving a jurisdiction until he satisfies a claim brought against him in court. In practical terms, the IRS is using this law to obtain a court order that prevents people who owe taxes from leaving the U.S. once they have entered. Given how often Canadians cross the border to visit family, to shop, to 'winter-over' or vacation, it has special relevance to them.

An IRS Field Service Advisory (November 20, 1998, WL 1757128 (IRS FSA)), described the writ and the circumstances triggering it as follows:

[A] writ of ne exeat republica is an extraordinary collection remedy which may result in a taxpayer being temporarily confined in prison (if unable to post suitable bond) for the taxpayer's non-payment of federal taxes, where the Service can show generally: (1) the existence of significant tax liabilities; (2) the taxpayer has a present ability to pay the tax liabilities; but (3) the taxpayer has chosen instead to attempt to place both himself and his assets beyond the collection jurisdiction of the United States.

The writ's purpose is to ensure "the taxpayer's continued submission to the jurisdiction of a court" in order to award effective relief … to collect tax … to reduce tax claims to judgment, and/or to compel repatriation of assets."

Historically, the IRS has used the writ infrequently. One reason has been the difficulty of identifying tax-scoffs who have 'expatiated' their assets and when they re-enter the country. Under FATCA and other agreements, however, foreign financial institutions are or will be 'sharing' far more information with the U.S. about their customers' assets. U.S. Customs and Immigration has opened its extensive database of information to the IRS. That gives the IRS unprecedented access to financial information about Americans abroad and to when they set foot again on native soil. (Identifying the non-compliance of accidental Americans may be more problematic, depending on factors such as how much information their country of residence chooses to share.)

Once a person who is non-compliant has been identified, it is not difficult for the IRS to obtain an order from the court which puts U.S. Marshals on alert. When a pre-screening of travelers or a customs check red-flags the person, he becomes vulnerable to arrest and/or a shakedown upon entering or trying to leave the U.S.

The rapacious IRS may dramatically increase the use of ne exeat republica against the wealthy or affluent. The increase becomes more likely as the public resentment of the rich and of tax-evaders grows; it becomes more likely if the tactic proves lucrative. The IRS could easily change its internal policies or Congress could quietly amend the Revenue Act.

A cautionary tale. Hostages of the IRS.

A recent situation offers a story on point. Charles and Kathleen Barrett are Americans who live in Ecuador. The IRS claims they owe hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax money. On September 1, 2010, the agency sued the couple in Colorado federal court, and obtained a default judgment of $351,197. The Barretts have apparently attempted to pay the original sum, and to vacate the judgment, which includes various penalties, but they did not appear in court to defend themselves.

In their absence, the agency filed for and received a writ of ne exeat republica against them from a U.S. District Judge. The writ meant the Barretts could be detained by the U.S. Marshal Service if they returned to American soil, and their passports could be confiscated. They would be held over for a hearing that required them to produce all records of financial assets and activity. They would be restricted from any transfer or other alienation of their property. And, of course, they would have to settle their 'debt' to the IRS. The Barretts claim to have been unaware of the writ's existence.

In August 2013, the Barretts returned to Colorado to attend their daughter's wedding. U.S. Marshals intercepted them, confiscating their passports and other travel documents. On October 11, 2013, the Barretts appeared at a hearing before a U.S. magistrate judge who found that the Barretts' identified assets were insufficient to pay the 'debt' and that the writ of ne exeat republica did not authorize imprisonment; the IRS attorney argued for imprisonment on contempt of court – refusing to obey a court order – and the judge agreed to imprisonment on that point.

The article described what happened next. "Charles was booked into jail, though no charges were filed. Kathleen who was at a different location … was also booked into jail. It was two days before anyone knew where she was." Five days later, they faced a federal district judge together at another hearing. The district judge disagreed with the magistrate one, especially on two points. He found that the writ of ne exeat republica should not be revoked; and, that the couple had the ability to repatriate assets to pay the IRS.

The district judge pulled rank. He allowed the Barretts to be released from prison upon paying the contempt of court fee but he refused to discharge the writ. The article concludes, "[T]he Barretts are still unable to leave the US. Charles has lost the source of income that allowed him to make payments to the IRS." Meanwhile, the IRS collected substantial sums from the Barretts' foreign assets through levies and similar means.


Who would be most vulnerable to ne exeat republica? According to current IRS policy, "Writ Ne Exeat Republica is another action authorized by IRC §7402(a). Writ Ne Exeat Republica is the appropriate suit action when the taxpayer: is about to leave the U.S., is unlikely to return to the U.S., and has conveyed or concealed property so that the property may be taken out of the U.S."

IRS policy can change quickly. The people most currently vulnerable, however, would probably be those who meet the following criteria:

  • they have been identified as non-complaint by the IRS;
  • they have a sizeable 'debt';
  • they reside abroad or intend to leave the U.S.;
  • a tax case can be sustained in court;
  • they are without assets in the U.S. but hold considerable ones abroad;
  • the tax treaties with the foreign nation does not facilitate collection (Canada is IRS friendly).

No one knows how the process of entering or leaving the U.S. will evolve. The prudent should assume it will only get more difficult and unpleasant.

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Posted in Asset Protection Strategies, EDITORIAL
  • Good Thursday morning to all. I will be dropping by today and tomorrow to answer comments or questions. Have a great day, everyone!

    • Gargoyle

      Here then is a question to be answered or addressed when possible. On the back of my annual income earnings statement from social security USA it says to the effect that if this is the only income I earn from a USA source during the year concerned, there is no need to file an income tax return. Obviously they know something about me as I receive social security. I have never filed income tax in the USA unless I had income there which except for the social security has not happened for 40 years. I travel on a passport other than US although I do have one which expires in a few years. Am I in danger entering the USA?
      Afraid to Eve mention my country.

    • American Guest

      Very sadly, the vast majority of Americans have no idea what the TAXPAYER is and how it was created. They have no knowledge of what the TAXPAYER IDENTIFICATION NUMBER (SOCIAL SECURITY ACCOUNT NUMBER) attaches to. We have been deceived and victimized by lack of full disclosure and the steady barrage of government propaganda.

      What does the Internal Revenue Code actually require? What is a “Return,” what does it look like and what must it contain? Is the Self-Assessment of a Tax Debt (Tax Obligation) mandatory or voluntary? Which taxes are mandatory and which are purely voluntary?

      Once we learn what the laws require and to whom (what kinds of PERSONS) they apply we find that there is no longer a compelling need to feel overwhelmed.

      (You may edit this part out if you desire: The web pages at Team Law educate us in the Truth of how all of this strangeness in America came about and what the laws really mean. Once we gain knowledge and truth in who and what we are lawfully, then the fears dissipate.)

      • Hello American Guest: Unfortunately, what the law says and what law enforcement agents do can be entirely different things. America is at a juncture where federal agencies are ignoring court orders and decisions. Internal policies are being changed dramatically from day to day. Being technically correct is not really protection against an agency acting as it wishes.

  • StormChaser

    I suppose the lesson here is whether one stays or leaves, it’s best to manage one’s assets as much below the radar as possible? What is incredibly terrifying to me is the notion of my loved ones or myself being detained and imprisoned for simply wishing to live outside of this cage. The idea that people want to live peacefully outside the power of the state seems to make the state hungry to ratchet up that power. Like the knot around your neck that only tightens when you try to loosen it.

    My hat is off to you, Wendy, for not just another brilliant article, but for your ability to investigate and expose the true dregs of the modern world with such class and remain sane.

    • Thank you, Stormchaser. It is easier to remain sane when you do not live in the States and you were not born there. It is odd. When I was growing up, I considered Canada to be such a boring place, and I viewed the U.S. as the places where all interesting things occurred. I think that’s why I know so much more about American history than about Canadian. I was drawn to it. Now I think being Canadian — or, more accurately, non-American — is a huge political advantage.

      Stay safe, everyone/

      • Sven

        Everyday my heart hurts being here. Now we hear about Michael Ruppert and the pangs just increase…..

        When I was growing up I was proud to be an American. Now my mind wanders to the metaphysical and I wonder if demons are in the desk drawers in the Oval office. The neo-cons seem possessed. Madness reigns seemingly uncontested. The strange places people go in their mind just to try and make sense of this epic injustice wrought by the hands of a few.

        When does it end? How many die in the interim? Dark, dark days. And yet when I was in Costa Rica this past January, it all faded away…. So we put down a deposit. My new great fear is that I can’t get there.

        America now relishes in causing people to live in fear. It’s the model. It’s worse than any type of tyrant monarch because at least you knew what you were getting. In America, the more you know the easier it is to protect your money but then you have to wonder if having the money is worth the pain of seeing rampant fraud and corruption.

        The greater my understanding the more pain I feel.

        • Sven: I am sorry that knowledge brings you pain but I understand because I share the response. I am also looking at leaving North America. Canada is too close to the U.S. in many ways other than mere geography. A news story caught my eye this morning. Canadian officials have been “sharing” mental health data on Canadians with the FBI. There are records of suicide calls to hotlines being on international databases. Canada is supposed to have a “privacy minister” who protects data. It/she is a joke…but I’m not laughing either.

          I wish you the best in establishing yourself and your family in Costa Rica. Let the weight of this travesty fall from your shoulders. It was not of your making. It should not be your burden. Thank you for the post.

          • Sven

            Thanks for your response.

            You remind me of something else that is sad. I personally know people (I have a friend) who would seek counseling but are afraid they will go on a government list and have rights stripped away from them.

            This is another, rarely unspoken of phenomena that we are living. The state has now created a structure that is making people recluse rather than reach out. This will lead to serious ramifications around the world. People living in silent desperation until the water boils over and then they do things inside of a mob that cannot be undone.

        • Danny B

          Sven, just imagine that you and the family go on a 2 day fishing trip. Just imagine that you encounter a sailboat in international waters that is willing to take you to Costa Rica. Just imagine that you arranged all of this.

  • Storm

    Traditionally in political philosophy a government is defined as that entity which claims a monopoly on the use of force in a given geographic region. This includes the “right” to determine the disposition of every person within those borders. The US government has a peculiar twist on this traditional definition however, in that it claims the right to determine the disposition of every person it claims dominion over, regardless of location. In this the US government is more of a slave state than perhaps any other, as the claim of property is quite simply the claim of a right to determine the disposition of the property in question. In this instance that “property” consists of all individuals the US claims. It seems to me that this is little different from the treatment of fugitive slaves in the past.

    There is little chance of uproar either given that this is but a small section of the population, and one that is fairly easy to demonize as “wealthy” and “unpatriotic” regardless of the facts. Again there are sad parallels here to fugitive slaves and the rhetoric surrounding them. All the IRS needs to do is keep the focus on the “crime” and “criminals” so that the average person never focuses on the fact that the US has no claim whatsoever to the lives of these individuals.

    Or to any of us for that matter.

  • Guest

    Traditionally in political philosophy “government” has been defined as that entity that claims a monopoly on the use of force in a given geographic area. The US government puts a peculiar twist on this by claiming what amounts to an ownership right in all person connected in particular ways with a geographic area. With ownership being the right to determine the disposition of the property in question, and the US government claiming a right to determine the disposition of all persons connected to this geographic area in particular ways, the US government is standing out as by definition a slave state.

    With that in mind, there are certainly parallels to the treatment of fugitive slaves in the US and this set of rules and regulations that the US government claims applies to expats and accidental “citizens.” Clearly the US cannot honestly be called the land of the free with a straight face.

  • Storm

    Traditionally in political philosophy “government” has been defined as that entity that claims a monopoly on the use of force in a given geographic area. The US government puts a peculiar twist on this by claiming what amounts to an ownership right in all person connected in particular ways with a geographic area. With ownership being the right to determine the disposition of the property in question, and the US government claiming a right to determine the disposition of all persons connected to this geographic area in particular ways, the US government is standing out as by definition a slave state.

    With that in mind, there are certainly parallels to the treatment of fugitive slaves in the US and this set of rules and regulations that the US government claims applies to expats and accidental “citizens.” Clearly the US cannot honestly be called the land of the free with a straight face.

    • Good morning, Storm. “The US government puts a peculiar twist on this by claiming what amounts
      to an ownership right in all person connected in particular ways with a
      geographic area.” That’s a good insight and a genuine twist on the general definition of a state as an agency that claims a monopoly on territory. America is claiming a monopoly claim on people, wherever they are as long as they have had a particular connection to its soil at some point. I’m going to be thinking about this twist today. Thanks for the post.

      • Storm

        Sorry about the multiple posts. My connection is spotty and sometimes this causes unusual problems.

        • No problem. I always appreciate your comments, Storm.

  • gdp

    Excellent article Wendy — and yet another proof that FedGov officials view every U.S. “citizen” as “Government Property,” to be used and disposed of as Federal Officials desire, no matter where they happen to currently be located in the world.

    “Citizens” of the Unified Police-State of Amerika are clearly no longer “citizens” — they are de-facto slaves. So much for the 13th Amendment. >:( And the imposition of IRS regulations on “Accidental Amerikans” shows that the 14th Amendment has a “Dark Side” to it… >:(

    • Thanks, gdp. There’s a reason the 14th amendment is one of the most litigated — if not *the* most litigated — of the Amendments. Even Roe v. Wade sneaked into law under the 14th…and what an enduring legal mess that has turned out to be. None of the Reconstruction Amendments appeal to me at all. Thanks for the post, gdp.

  • Mike Baz

    Tell tale sign of ubiquitous Third World states > citizenship that cannot easily be cast off, if ever
    America, welcome to the club no one wants to belong to

    • It is so odd. My husband and I are talking about relocating to South America…and we are speaking of it as “the new world.” My ancestors fled the starvation and oppression of Ireland for what they called “the new world”…and that was North America. I keep remembering what Murray Rothbard said to me (in response to my pointing out that he had joined the LP when he used be against electoral action): “Ah, sweetie, it’s a fast-moving world.”

  • chuck martel

    Any coercive agency will attempt to extend its power as far as possible. How far it can reach is contingent on the nature of its opposition. The IRS and Treasury Department have the virtually unlimited resources of the federal government which at this point can subdue any other entity on earth, based on their ability to commandeer the wealth of their own citizens and intimidate the rest of the world. We can’t know how far these two bureaucracies will be able to extend their reach but it is finite. At some point, both in space and time, it will go as far as it can and will then begin to recede. The forces that cause this won’t be nice, either.

    • As much as anything, it is the %^&* FATCA through which the States can penalize a nation’s banking system by refusing to let it participate in SWIFT and so paralyze international transfers. China and Russia are rumored to be developing an alternative system; they would be fools not to do so. I hate to sound pro-Chinese or pro-Russian but it would be a great benefit for nations to be able to say “no” to the States and have a work-around for international commerce.

      • Danny B

        Russia has developed a parallel system called Pro 100. It will be up and running in 2015. Many other countries are signing on. It will be a direct competitor with the BIS.

        • Interesting. But the article you linked to is a “payment” system article and doesn’t say anything about the BIS that we could see ….

  • Blank Reg

    Count me among those who has a plan in place to “expat” the USSA within the next 2-5 years. Only one other country besides this one (I think it’s Eritrea) has the temerity to tax its citizens regardless of their actual domicile. I’m exiting the republic before the doors slam shut for good. Yes, I’ll still be liable for some taxes of some kind wherever I finally land, but at least they won’t be paying for Orwellian police state tyranny at home and bloody military interventionism abroad. They will instead pay for infrastructure and public health.

    • Good afternoon Blank Reg. I think they will impose capital controls before they actually slam the doors closed…but, then, there is not much difference between the two. Capital controls are often the first stage in closing the borders, and it effectively removes many people’s ability to migrate. I don’t know how the borders “feel” to people who reside in America and cross “out” but they have been “feeling” different to me as a non-American who sometimes crosses “in.” By which I mean, different questions are being asked. It is easy to become paranoid, of course, because they really *are* out to get people. But I don’t think it is all paranoia. In any case, good luck to you on your exit strategy.

  • JdL

    I had a little trouble tracking down the article about the Barretts (hint: don’t follow the link to Jeff Berwick on; it’s at: .

    With all the horror stories about what happens to U.S. citizens who try to re-enter the country, my thought is that if I ever leave, I will never try to return. Call me paranoid, but I’d be afraid the thugs at the border would find my name on some list of undesirables and plant child pornography on my laptop. Assuming they didn’t have some other, more destructive excuse for stirring up trouble, that is.

    U.S.A., R.I.P.

    • Sorry for the footwork you had to do, JdL, but the Daily Bell (quite reasonably) prefers not to include links that deposit readers outside of the site. I’ll call you “paranoid,” if you wish, but only a fool *isn’t* these days. And, for our past exchanges, I don’t take you for a fool. Stay safe.

  • ExPat

    I live abroad and have a large tax debt but insufficient income or assets to pay it. I’ve communicated with the IRS. The agent on my case told me I’ve been put on a “no fly list,” which is actually a notice to Homeland Security to greet me upon my arrival in the US and “interview” me about my assets.

    • ExPat

      You can Google ‘letter 4106’ (the IRS’s form letter about the Homeland Security notice), and you’ll get the IRS collection manual section on “Locating Taxpayers and their Assets”.

      Americans Abroad has also been paying attention to the US government’s efforts to confiscate passports of citizens with an overdue tax debt.

      • Thank you, Expat. I will most definitely google that term and follow up on the confiscation of passports. Chilling. I’ll probably be writing a follow-up article on this point. So, like I said, thanks. Oh…BTW, I am leaving in a few days to scope out Galt’s Gulch Chile and environs so the article will be after I get back.

        • Freespirit

          Before the signing of TPP I seriously considered Chile, in addition to Paraguay, however ,after reading analysis, which concluded all nations signing same would lose SOVEREIGNTY I backed off, in spite of how great “Galt’s Gulch” sounds.
          Here is only one analysis:

          • Freespirit…as far as I know, the TPP has not been signed. At least the one that includes Chile and about 11 other nations has not. The only TPP that’s been signed is the 4-nation one that originated in 2005 (as I remember) and not the expanded one that arose in 2010. In fact, Obama and TPP zealots seem to be waiting until the 2014 election is over to pounce on the treaty and fast-track it. I have serious doubts as to whether the effort will succeed. And even more doubts whether nations will accept the breaches of sovereignty that are reflected in the current version of the TPP.

          • Freespirit

            You have more FAITH than I do.

            Possibly I have simply become cynical when, after so many years since 1974, when I helped create the Libertarian Party, with Bruce Evoy and Vince Miller,( if you knew them, you quite possibly know who I am) I have seen my forecast (then) of increasing authoritarianism tainted by psychopaths, INCREASE not decrease!

            The only part I did not anticipate, was the rampant BARBARISM and absolute IGNORANCE of the majority….but then I was very young and still believed, Hard Work, Creativity and HONESTY were the answers to success,in all human activities, only to discover ,over time, the OPPOSITE, other than developing ones character, wherein Honesty and Integrity are essential.

            MONEY has no Morality and thus the MOST CORRUPT end up with the most wealth, simply because we do NOT have a TRUE FREE MARKET, “controlled” by INTEGRITY. We have FASCIST Collectivism, controlled by the “principle” of “Might is Right”.

            What do you believe will happen to those who DON’T or didn’t SIGN?. Think Iraq,Libya etc.etc. !!!

            I only wish I could believe, you were correct.

          • Hello again, Freespirit. Yes, I knew Vince and Bruce.

            It is not FAITH that I am manifesting, and I know you are using the word to mean that I am advancing opinions without evidence or validity. I know the totalitarianism that is going global…with some exceptions, of course. I simply run the political math on TPP — which has not been signed, BTW (I checked) — and I think it is more likely to be defeated than to be signed. After all, it was scheduled to be negotiated in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013. It did nothing but become more controversial through the process. It *was* secretive because the politicians could not justify it to their home populations. Now that the terms have been revealed, there is a huge backlash, including among Republicans. The 2014 election will mark the TPP’s death in the U.S. (if Reps win) or it will breathe new life into it. The backlash could well be effective, BTW, not because politicians are humanitarians but because they know their power rests on retaining at least some semblance of legitimacy.

          • Freespirit

            Time will tell.

            As Rockefeller, said, but I cannot quote his exact words,however as remembered: WE WILL have World Government either by acceptance or force.

          • gdp

            There is also the technical issue that the members of the Senate almost never ratify any treaty after it’s been signed, on the GOP theory that to ratify a treaty would be to “give away U.S. sovereignty.” Meanwhile, the members of the Executive still pretend to be bound by the terms of the non-ratified treaty, unless and until it becomes inconvenient to do so…

    • Yes, it is my understanding that being placed on a “no fly list” — which you correctly ID as a “watch for & interrogate list” — is becoming more common. This is part and parcel of information being shared more massively and accurately. Who would have known that being an American citizen would become such a liability to personal freedom? I hope you have no family in the States, expat, or at least family that is able to travel to you. That’s the damnable aspect of this arrangement, isn’t it? Family and the ties that tug.

  • Hey You

    One might wonder if this will become unimportant. With the debt that the federal USA government has and the possibility of secessions, it may be that the federal system will implode. If so, the heavy hands from Washington DC may simply evaporate.

    • James Nicholas

      The heavy hands of tyranny never simply evaporate. OK, perhaps you were wishfully thinking as I do from time to time.

      • Hey You

        You may be aware that the USA government is engaged in running the value of the USA dollar to near zero. When that occurs, will there be any means to pay for the heavy hands? Maybe or maybe not. In any event, people who are more perceptive than I see a break-up of the federal system in 2017 − 2018.

        • gdp

          It took Robert Mugabe almost 20 years to run Zimbabwe into a hole: Ruinous inflation from 1991–2003, and hyperinflation from 2005–2008, when they finally gave up and scrapped the ZWD in favor of the South African Rand, and later multiple foreign currencies.

          And all it took to run the inflation rate up to an estimated 471,000,000,000% per year just before the final collapse was for Mugabe to print enough money every day to cover gov’t worker paychecks and other gov’t accounts payable.

          As Wendy says: There is great deal of ruination in a nation, because it take a lot of effort for even gov’t-level cupidity and stupidity to piss away the value of a couple hundred years of accumulated capital.

    • Howdy, Hey You. I hope you are correct, and there is some reason to hope you are. But I keep remembering the Soviet Union. It didn’t matter how stagnant, staggering or dead the economy became under Stalin and his ilk. The dictatorship ground on for about 50 years. There is a great deal of ruination in a nation, and especially one as rich as the United States.

      • Marc Blackbeard

        I think the main difference is that in Soviet Union people didn’t have weapons to resist Stalin, in US there are regions with heavily armed people. In case of collapse some regions may secede while others will be still under the command of legacy government, sort of like happened with Rome and the Byzantine Empire.

      • Libertatis

        Yes, I fear that as well–decades of gray, suffocating stagnation.
        But the Elite propped up the Soviets!

        They would have imploded long before without external support. Remember, the Rothschilds via the Rockefellers planned, funded, and executed the Bolshevik revolution. They created the Soviet Union. It was necessary; the Hegelian dialectic, Problem-Reaction-Solution. Create a credible external threat, wage the Cold War, establish the military-industrial complex.

        The US FedGov would be 1/10 its size without the groundwork of the Cold War.

        However, who will prop up the dying US FedGov?

        We’re in a race. We’re winning the information war; but they will not go quietly. Their desperation is palpable.

        • Libertatis: You raise an interesting point…and one I had not considered. I’ll have to think about it. My immediate reaction, of course, is that the U.S. is trying to make the world prop it up through legislation such as FATCA but that’s a different process than the one you highlight. Even without propping, however, the U.S. has so much privately accumulated capital in one form or another that I fear the “decades of gray, suffocating stagnation” as well.

          • libertatis

            Yes…I’ve feared that as well. Colossus falls from a great height. They have plundered it tremendously though; most “wealth” is illusory. Real wealth–in simplest terms, the ability to transform earth into useful things–has been absolutely gutted in America. They’ve killed the mines, the farms, the infrastructure, and the manufacturing.
            The monetary wealth–digital fictions in banks–is so leveraged and gamed by derivatives and other casino operations there’s real no substance at all.

            But as my dear old dad says, “Boy, I thought they’d lost control in the 70’s–they just keep kicking the can.” Which is a lovely way of restating the old “the market can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent.”

            Meantime, it’s incumbent on all of us who SEE to live as we have the world become. Protect yourself from their depradations. Establish independence, do business with honest and like-minded people with honest specie. If you want to REALLY piss off the establishment, become independent with food, water, and energy.

            There’s a reason they’re after Cliven Bundy with such viciousness–he stands for everything they abhor.

            And Wendy–thank you for all the hundreds of articles you’ve written, I’ve read your work since before Dollar Vigilante.

          • You are most welcome, sir. I tip my hat in your direction and I’m pleased to share a movement with you.

  • James Nicholas

    My armchair analysis: with the revealed assets being that substantial ( compared against my level of near-destitution ) , I would have never attempted a U.S. reentry. Let’s recap: it’s the I.R.S. that is claiming a debt. We’ve seen enough Predator movies knowing that they never give autographs, so why chance the reentry? A wedding? Seriously? It’s the I.R.S. No property or any asset class should be listed in our personal names if a day of reckoning is on the event-horizon with the I.R.S. If my anonymity is compromised by my wealth – then I have too much.

    • I agree with you, James. But I may have more sympathy for the Bartletts than you…and for a few reasons. First of all, the situation is statist drek that no one should have to put up with. Second, and this is the one that will trip up many people, the rules are tightening and people who are accustomed to traveling back and forth may well be unpleasantly surprised by their next trip. People need to break the habit of being comfortable with travel to the States. Third, yeah, a wedding. Seriously. For some people, seeing their daughter wed, giving their daughter away is one of the most important days of their lives. If so, you are likely to take what you think is a small risk. Family is what will “get” a lot of people. Thanks for the post.

      • James Nicholas

        Thank you for your courteous reply, Wendy. Considering our topic, I ‘m not naturally demurring and my ” barbaric yawp ” unkindly performance should seek repose within a chess game. Now let’s slay dragons: Have a look at the recent U.S. Passport Application and notice the questions concerning a parents citizenship – even if their deceased. These queries were never part of the passport process. My thinking is this: Should one declare no U.S. Citizenship, perhaps it’s imposed from parental lines, at least in the eyes of the State. I don’t know, just my conjecture. ” People need to break the habit of being comfortable with travel to the States. ” I’m uncomfortable traveling within the States. My last trip outside the States was 1998, customs and all that. Yet I chose to declare a box of Cuban cigars on my customs form. I wagered it wasn’t as significant as I had heard. It wasn’t then. I can see things are vastly changed. I’m looking at Ecuador myself. Happy trails…

  • agiftedcurse

    this shows who has ownership over you… sadly we are just cattle and the US doesn’t like its cattle leaving its area for the chacnce of losing its income from its cattle.

    • Agreed. I like the point Storm made in a comment below. The traditional definition of “the state” was the organization that claimed monopoly jurisdiction over a specific area. Now the “American state” claims monopoly jurisdiction over almost anyone who has ever been within a specific area for a period of time. Amazing expansion.

      • MetaCynic

        The expansion of jurisdiction becomes breathtakingly brazen when the American State claims ownership of individuals, “accidental Americans”, who have never even set foot on American soil.

  • MetaCynic

    I’m curious. Other than arresting those Americans who return to the U.S., by what mechanism does the IRS collect taxes and fines from those Americans living abroad who refuse to file returns, especially if such individuals are accidental Americans and have no desire to set foot in the Land of the Free? Are foreign governments who have entered into treaties with the U.S. pertaining to this matter obligated to ferret out and shake down such people for the IRS? If so, how effective has this process been? Which nations has Washington been unable to bribe or strong arm into operating as its revenue enhancers?

    • volatile chemicals

      They will refuse to renew your passport in that case. Unless you have made other arrangements to obtain another pp, you are screwed.

    • No one knows how much cooperation various countries will render but many have tax collection treaties with the States. Answering about specific counties is a matter of doing the research. Also, as volatile chemicals stated, the IRS (or agents acting on its behalf) will confiscate passports, without which it is difficult to travel or to establish yourself elsewhere.

    • honeebadger

      Canada’s tax treaty allows for the Canada Revenue Agency to collect taxes and penalties on behalf of the IRS if the resident is not a Canadian citizen.

  • Karl

    Next, will they will attempt to track down all of the “accidental Americans” propagated by our military members during foreign wars? Should prove to be interesting!

    • Karl…your question sounds ridiculous. The problem is that the ridiculous is becoming political reality every single day. It is no longer possible to do a parody of political actions because so many of them reduce to the absurd all by themselves.

    • honeebadger

      Actually, the rules that confer US citizenship to children of USC’s born abroad are gender specific for this reason. The US government does not want its soldiers to be forced take responsibility for the seeds they spread, any more than the bombs they drop.

  • Fritz Knese

    Though I am of the opinion that the ultrarich have stolen most of their wealth and as such have no right to it, it seems that the IRS is trying to screw people of moderate means with this law. They would be unikely to win in court against truly rich folks with lawyers on retainer, so I doubt they even will try. It is all about control.

    • kevnad1966

      I thought about what you said and I can’t make sense of it, at least the first part – how exactly does that work – the ultra rich stealing their wealth? I say that because I’ve heard the “rich stealing from the poor” excuse forever; it’s an outright lie and does not make any sense if you think about it; in what type of super-scam are millions of “poor” people participating to benefit these ultra rich? Even as I type the words, it makes no sense.

      I grew up with little wealth, certainly not wealthy, but my goal is to be successful, and my experience has been that wealth follows if you make good decisions in your life/career regarding your finances. I absolutely would not turn down a valid opportunity to make wealth, and eventually place myself in the “ultra rich” category. And at that point I would be forever criticized for “abandoning the poor”, or “forgetting my roots”, just as any other “rich” person is currently enduring. I think that explains why many of the wealthy are involved in public charity, if only for the value of having as many people as possible see that they “really care”. I think in many ways that actually makes it worse for them (The rich)

      • Hello Kevnad1966: I can’t speak for Fritz but from my past discussions with him I suspect I know what he means. There are those who make their money on the free market — or as free a market as exists today — and then there are those who gain riches through an active affiliation with government which renders them tax-money, preferential laws and plum contracts — e.g. Halliburton. The latter category would include every business that receives stimulus money, the military-industrial complex, environmental companies (who would go bankrupt if not for legal privileges), etc. Some libertarians would include all corporations because they are (in their modern form) creations of the state through privileges granted, such as “limited liability’: this is a controversial point. What isn’t controversial…I don’t think anyone on this thread resents the wealth that is actually earned without or with as little government assistance as the current situation allows. Indeed, these people deserve applause.

        • Fritz Knese

          Thank you Wendy. You are close to what I think. I honestly do not think a true free enterprise system can coexist with agovernment, so we do not know how it would really work. The approximations we have seen in the West lead me to think that a real free market would solve most of our social problems. But we will never know.

      • Fritz Knese

        Kev, I suspect we can’t even have a rational discourse for our apriori assumtions seem vastly out of synch. But I will try. The ultrarich can’t possibly earn the kind of money and wealth they get. Even when they achieve it legally they do not earn it. They manipulate money. Many inherit money and wealth from a long line of ancestors who have been ripping off working class folks for many generations, ie many international financiers. In western societies we have come to worship capital and demean labor. There was a study by economists I heard about recently showing that it was nearly impossible to become wealthy just working. All wealth seems to come from controlling “rents”. Since 85% or more of the wealth of the nation is owned by the top quintile, there is basically nothing left for the bottom 80% to share. I contend that this would not happen to any extent in a truly free market for people’s abillities do not vary that much. If a low class worker is only worth minimum wage it is doubtful anyone is worth much more than 5 times that so far as ability is concerned. But in our society many are paid hundreds of times what the alow class worker who often produces the products that are making the rich richer. If it were possible to take back the essentially stolen wealth of the upper class and remove all government impediments to the free market, then one could perhaps say that those who became wealthy actually earned it. Not today.

        • Do you watch movies or go to sporting events or concerts? There’s no rational way to say they’ve “earned” their way into the 1% from the standpoint of labor, yet none of it is given unwillingly. If they then take that money and invest it well they can make their way into the 0.1%, again, all done with voluntary transactions.

          The question is not how much they have, but if they obtained it in clear voluntary transactions. That lets out crony capitalists and those who use the governments at whatever level to obtain their wealth, assuming there’s any way to do it without going through the government, whether that’s due to licencing, zoning or government mandated monopolies and the like.

          If the wealth is legitimately earned, then it’s earned, whether it was done on a factory floor, in an office or in the field. The politics of envy do not sit well.

          • Fritz Knese

            Diane, I totally agree that pro jocks and movie stars have not earned most of their money. It is quite questionable that “none of it is given unwillingly”. Government controls prevent a lot of competition which would reduce prices and wages a lot. The “intellectual property” laws and anti-piracy laws keep folks from legally copying DVDs etc. Hell, you can’t legally sing Happy Birthday To You on TV or radio without paying a fee!
            Still, you make a valid point about totally voluntary transactions. I think that in a truly free society that capital would lose a lot of importance and it would become far more difficult to get ultrarich. Conversely, I think a far higher percentage of folks would be comfortable.
            You essentially accuse me of “the politics of envy”. No, I could be rich, I chose to be honest instead. I just realize that it is a virtual impossibility in a truly free society for 85% of the wealth to be owned by the top quintile. The corrupt system must be eliminated and the stolen wealth put back into the hands of the people before a free enterprise system can become functional. How to do this without the evil of socialism is the question. For at least 400 years now the same families have dominated international finance. They even control governments. So long as they keep control of the vast majorlity of the wealth it is naive to believe that any significant movement towards freedom can occur.

  • WhiteKat

    ….so tired of telling my story (the same story as that of many others, so I take consolation in that), but this is a dark tale of abuse of innocents that should not be happening in the day and age we live in now. We have not evolved as far as many think we have.

    • Good morning, WhiteKat. I don’t have much to say because I respect your decision to push away whatever has happened to you from this discussion. All I can say is “hang in, there.” The decent people need each other’s company.

  • Guest

    Great article Wendy! If a green card holder had a tax issue with the Supreme dictator, and tried to enter the great slave state via automobile, would the supreme dictator be so bold as to toss him in jail, even though he has not crossed the border into the country yet, and is not a citizen? I realize that holding a green card does subject the holder to slavery too. How would this case change if the green card holder, formally returned his slave ticket, then entered the US later?

  • Flaco

    I expect they will try to reenact the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 shortly.

    We now have FATCA, the utilization of ne exeat republica, etc. Soon the US govt will go after the countries that are harboring/aiding their slaves.

    It should be clear to all that the US is becoming a police state. At what point to other countries start offering refugee status?