happy me

Small celebrations

I just wanted to note that I moved desks, today.

Not moved jobs. Not even moved my office. I just moved to a new desk.

For the first time in over two decades of continuous employment, I have a desk next to a window.


And it has a really nice view, too.



I's happy.
Now let's just hope the sun's glare on your screen won't be too much bother. :D
Pic or it didn't happen except I know it actually happened but I'd still like a pic please. I like nice views. c_c
I can do that.

But not this week, as this life has been temporarily interrupted for Taxes.


...Seriously, I have about 140 pages of tax forms to fill out (Note: NOT an exaggeration). I took the week off work to deal with it.
American tax forms
Form 1040 (long form)
Publication 501
Publication 54
Section 911
Form 673
Form 1116
Form 8965
Form 2555
FBAR (no, seriously, it is called that!), FinCen Report 114,
Form 8938
Form 1041
Schedule K-1
Form 706 (and/or Form 706-A and/or Form 706-QDT, I'm still trying to work this out)
Publication 525,Publication 544, Publication 550, Publication 559....

Those are JUST things which I think I have to deal with this year, not a comprehensive list of American tax forms (which runs to maybe 1,000 or so documents). I'm nowhere near the end of what I need to deal with, however.

Everyone talks about how horrendous the bureaucracy is in India. I think they take lessons from the IRS.
Re: American tax forms
... So at which point does it become beneficial to just go "Screw it, I'm Scottish now"? x_x

(Seriously... To think people here complain bitterly about their two or three forms, tops...)
Re: American tax forms
I can't.

No, seriously -- you want to know just how effed up this is?

If I decide to renounce my citizenship without having all my tax forms up to date, I get hit with major-serious fines and audits.

For the purposes of fines levied by the IRS:
1) it doesn't matter if I actually *owe* any taxes, they can fine me $10,000 per missed form
2) it doesn't matter if all my assets are in the UK, they have a tax treaty with the UK which says that they are entitled to seize any and all assets in my name, including both bank accounts and physical property (such as my house)
and
3) for purposes of the IRS and said tax treaty, assets held jointly with my non-US-citizen spouse are considered mine alone. In other words, as long as my name is on the house at all, it doesn't matter if his is.

Further:
Even if I renounce my US citizenship while all my tax filings are up to date, that adds a great deal more paperwork I have to file, PLUS I still have to file US tax forms for five years after I renounce citizenship (see penalties for missed filing, section above), BUT if they think I've renounced my citizenship just to avoid tax filings, they can extend the necessary filing to ten years.

Yes, this is legal, according to tax treaties they have negotiated with Canada, the UK, all former Commonwealth countries, AND European countries.

Oh, and because so many people were giving up their citizenship because of the current paperwork burden anyway, they've also hiked the fee they charge for me relinquishing my US passport to quadruple what it was, to the point that it has become prohibitively expensive.

I'm not kidding about any of this, by the way. I wish I was. I wish I was making this up.

Now just ask me how much I love being American.....
Re: American tax forms
... I was about to quip something like "Is THAT the 'freedom' thing they keep talking about?" buuuut it's neither very funny, nor very nice. So, here, have a pile of unsorted hugs of various levels of warmth and tightness instead. Jesus.

That said, I was looking into said fee just for the sake of morbid curiosity, and it appears that the 10 years thing is no longer true. That'd be good news, I guess?
Re: American tax forms
"it appears that the 10 years thing is no longer true." Really? Oh yay. THAT would be good.

I guess it's probably covered by all the other layers of ...stuff... they put you through.

Thank you for the hugs. I need them right now. Don't worry, they don't need to be sorted, I can take them in mixed form just fine.

I actually tried to find a tax accountant to help with all this. If I could just pay a few hundred ££ to make this all go away, I would be happy. But the tax accountants I could find in the US would help with the estate filings, but not the foreign filings, and the tax accountants who advertise they deal with US taxes for people over here told me they won't touch the combination of FBAR and estate filings. It gets to be my nightmare, oh hey ha ha whee.

I actually got in touch with some people I used to work with at BP, since I know that BP keep accountants on staff to help their American employees with filing. I begged. (I have no pride. Who needs pride? This is taxes we're talking about, here.) They turned me down flat. :¬/

Edited at 2015-04-29 09:55 pm (UTC)