Category Archives: How It Works

The Cost of Cosmopolitan Living

Mayor of London Boris Johnson is refusing to pay a U.S. tax bill. Turns out Johnson holds dual UK/US citizenship having been born in New York, and therefore is required to file U.S. tax returns. The IRS is demanding he pay capital gains tax on the sale of his primary residence in London, because the UK does not tax capital gains on the sale of first residences.

I’m no fan of Boris, yet another elite who is out of touch and/or uncaring about most people’s lives, but in this case he does have a point.

It iis< "very difficult" to give up U.S. citizenship, as he claims (multiple forms, fees and in-person pass/fail interviews with consular officials). And through no fault of his own he was born a U.S. citizen because his parents flitted between countries on socio-financial whims.

So he can blame Mummy and Daddy for his predicament. Or the over-encompassing new law (FATCA) intended to prevent American tax evaders from hiding money overseas, but which now affects every U.S. citizen living abroad.

Life is not always fair. Sometimes it takes considerable effort to deal with injustice while maintaining some measure of integrity. Rarely there are nightmare stories where lives are practically ruined by injustice, though one might think it is more common because the press gravitates towards these tragic stories – or questionably propagates them – as did the recent Guardian headline for an article about FATCA – "I was terrified we'd lose all our money."

Heaven forbid Bombastic Boris would ever come out and acknowledge his true place in all of this.

Knowledge is….

Power to the People!

Just made my donation to Wikimedia.

State Rights (or Wrongs)

I can’t help but notice that the Trayvon Martin verdict is the second recent major historical event (the other being the gay marriage Supreme Court decisions) where state laws play a significant role.

Florida’s gun laws and culture allowed a technically legal verdict which almost certainly wouldn’t have been delivered in California, Illinois, New York and many other states. Though equal rights for gay marriage now exist in 13 states, such is not the case in the 37 others.

Only in America can such profound legal issues be left up to individual states. It’s almost as if there is no justice for all in America, but justice per micro-republic.