The US government just made it easier for you to confess

One of the many experiences uniquely endured by Americans is having to confess your sins once a year to the federal government.

Specifically, Uncle Sam requires most individuals with foreign bank and financial accounts to fess up and disclose on an annual basis.

In fact, these offshore account disclosures must be submitted not once, not twice, but three times, and sent to two different departments.

This is classic government thinking.

For anyone with a foreign financial account, the first form you need to know about is Schedule B of your IRS form 1040.

In fairness, this one’s pretty easy. You check the appropriate boxes in part III of the form and list the foreign countries where you hold financial accounts.

The second is the relatively new IRS form 8938, which came out of the 2010 FATCA legislation (often misspelled as FACTA).

This one is more comprehensive; you’ll need to provide more details on a wider variety of foreign financial assets in addition to bank and brokerage accounts.

For example, shares of private foreign companies, foreign partnership interests, and foreign hedge funds must be reported on form 8938.

Both of these two forms are filed with your taxes to the IRS each year, typically by April 15th.

The last one is FinCEN 114– the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts, commonly known as the FBAR. This must be filed by June 30th each year.

The FBAR is required by any US person or domestic entity if the total value of their foreign financial accounts exceeded $10,000 at any time during the previous calendar year.

Example: Let’s say last year you had a bank account in Hong Kong whose maximum value during the year peaked at $15,000.

Last year you also had a Canadian brokerage account whose maximum value was $7,500, and some precious metals at GoldMoney which maxed out at $9,000.

ALL of the accounts would need to be reported on the FBAR by June 30, 2015.

(Note- if any of your accounts were denominated in a foreign currency, the government provides an official FBAR exchange rate to convert to US dollars.)

The FBAR is submitted electronically, and you now have two options to file.

The first option is to register at a government website and fill out the form online.

The second way is even easier– it’s a brand new option they just released a few days ago.

Now you can simply download this form, fill it out at your leisure, and upload it whenever you’re ready.

Remember, though, the FBAR is not submitted to the IRS.

Even though the information is similar to the other forms, the FBAR goes to an entirely different department– the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.

This has always struck me as bizarre– even though it’s perfectly legal to hold money abroad, it must be reported to an agency that specializes in financial crimes.

It really gives you a sense of how the US government views people who don’t have confidence in their failed system.

Naturally, they do treat it as a crime if you don’t file the form.

The severity of the penalties is absurd. They’ve thrown senior citizens in jail and levied enormous fines, simply for failing to file.

And it gets worse every year. This is one of the greatest indicators of how bankrupt and desperate the US government is becoming.

You don’t see wealthy nations doing this sort of thing. Hong Kong doesn’t incarcerate its residents for some innocuous financial oversight.

Only broke countries have the need to threaten people with imprisonment and force them to disclose the precise whereabouts of their savings.

Yet despite the reporting inconvenience, moving at least a portion of your funds offshore is one of the best financial insurance policies there is, particularly when there’s so much risk in the system.

Tomorrow I’ll share some official data to explain why.

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The Cheapest Second Passport You Can Get Today

by Nick Giambruno, Senior Editor | May 13, 2015
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When I first heard Doug Casey talk about a World Service Authority passport, I thought it was a joke.

The WSA travel document looks like a passport, but there’s one enormous difference… it’s not issued by any government. Anyone in the world can apply for one.

The concept is based on the UN Declaration of Human Rights, which states that “everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own.”

There is merit to this.

Of course, this isn’t an endorsement of the UN. I dislike bureaucracies of any sort… especially entrenched ones with a global reach.

We shouldn’t need to have the UN certify that we have a fundamental human right to travel. It’s a self-evident truth. But that’s not how the modern passport system works.

In order to travel, you need a passport. In order to get a passport, you need a government’s blessing.

Travel is treated as if it’s a privilege. You need to ask for permission. Any government can restrict or revoke your passport for whatever reason it wants.

When that happens, you can’t travel internationally. It’s like being under house arrest. It’s a powerful lever of control.

This is why governments hate it when you have multiple passports. It dilutes their ability to control you.

That’s why it’s so important for you to get a second passport, or even a third. It frees you from absolute dependence on any country.

It also allows you to bank, do business, and live in places you couldn’t before.

But a passport cannot give you any of those benefits if it’s not recognized.

That’s why a passport from WSA isn’t very valuable. But that doesn’t mean it’s worthless.

The WSA claims its passports are officially recognized by Burkina Faso, Ecuador, Mauritania, Tanzania, Togo, and Zambia.

Doug Casey has had a WSA passport for decades.

In the 1970s and 1980s, he used it to gain entry to Iceland, French Polynesia,Honduras, Costa Rica, Peru, and other countries.

Today it’s a different story. The war on terror hysteria has infected the world like a mass psychosis. Civil liberties, privacy, and freedom from government intrusion are all long gone.

There isn’t anything that wouldn’t be sacrificed in the mistaken belief it will bring security. That’s why using a WSA passport today is almost a sure ticket to jail.

I believe there is still some value in getting a WSA passport, though. It could be used in an emergency scenario in which you don’t have any other alternatives.

Consider the case of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. The US government canceled Snowden’s US passport. This left him without any travel documents and trapped in Russia.

Snowden has sought asylum in Ecuador. Ecuador is one of the few countries that recognize a WSA passport. That could be his ticket in, assuming he could find a way there.

A WSA passport can be useful in other ways—such as when a nongovernmental party requests ID. For example, if you check into a hotel and don’t want to leave your US passport, you can try to leave your WSA passport.

If you buy a SIM card for your cellphone, the clerk might request a passport. You could try to use your WSA one.

So a WSA passport does have some value. I spent $100 for one. This is my third passport, after my US and European ones.

A WSA passport on its own is not sufficient. You want to really dilute the control your government wields over you. The only way to do that is to get a quality second passport—one issued by a desirable country. This is not a fast or easy process. But it’s essential that you take this step… and do it soon.

Governments around the world are sinking further into bankruptcy. They’re sure to plunder more wealth and freedoms, just as they have always done throughout history.

You can find specific guidance on the best countries to obtain a second passport and exactly how to do it in our Going Global 2015 publication.

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Now’s our time. Don’t let your member of Congress renew the PATRIOT Act!

Dear Fight for the Future member,

This is a really intense week, so we apologize for all these emails. Some of the worst bills on mass surveillance to ever cross congressional lines are being rushed to passage in a few hours.[1] Congress is moving to reauthorize the PATRIOT Act for several more years and strengthen it so they can monitor even more of our lives. 

But they don’t know what’s coming to them. Click here to stop Congress from renewing the PATRIOT Act right now.

Just a few days ago, a federal appeals court ruled that the NSA’s use of the PATRIOT Act to monitor our phone calls is illegal. And with the PATRIOT Act set to expire this month, we’ve never, ever had a chance like we do right now to end it. NSA maximalists are in defense mode.

That’s why Congress’ attempt to pull a fast one and cement mass surveillance into law is just waiting to get trounced on. All of the outrage and energy from the Snowden revelations can help us take these bills down. This is the opportunity we’ve been waiting for. But if we don’t do it now, we will lose our strength and we won’t have another chance for some time.

Now’s our time. Don’t let your member of Congress renew the PATRIOT Act.

Even the PATRIOT Act’s original author, Rep. Sensenbrenner, is calling for the bill to expire because it has been so twisted and abused. Congress never intended to allow the NSA to conduct surveillance on everyone, and we shouldn’t let the NSA’s illegal interpretation of the law become the new normal. Especially because investigations of these programs make it clear they don’t make us safer. But corrupt, power-hungry voices in Congress want to protect the NSA by passing an extension, which would override the recent court ruling and legitimize the NSA’s behavior.

As you read this, the people who benefit from mass surveillance are working to squelch any momentum for reform. If we let them do that, they’ll be able to use their power to chill free thought and free expression, undermining the basic principles of our Constitution, for a long, long time.

This is our opening but we have to act fast as the most corrupt politicians in Congress, like Mitch McConnell, are going to try to pull every trick they can to preserve and extend their unchecked powers.

Stop Congress from reauthorizing the PATRIOT Act and passing laws that make mass spying even worse.

These bills are being voted on right now, and if they pass we won’t have a real chance to reform surveillance for too long. Don’t wait, act now.

We hope you will.

Your team,

Donny, Tiff, Susan and the rest of FFTF

P.S. Want to learn more about what bills are being proposed? Check out our explainer on the many ways the Orwellian “USA Freedom Act” actually expands the government’s surveillance powers. </ span>

‘We the People’ Need to Circle the Wagons: The Government Is on the Warpath

Our true power is knowledge, know your rights, save our country!

The PPJ Gazette

This commentary is also available at www.rutherford.org.

By John W. Whitehead
May 12, 2015

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“The government is merely a servant―merely a temporary servant; it cannot be its prerogative to determine what is right and what is wrong, and decide who is a patriot and who isn’t. Its function is to obey orders, not originate them.” ― Mark Twain

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How many Americans have actually bothered to read the Constitution, let alone the first ten amendments to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights (a quick read at 462 words)?

Take a few minutes and read those words for yourself—rather than having some court or politician translate them for you—and you will be under no illusion about where to draw the line when it comes to speaking your mind, criticizing your government, defending what is yours, doing whatever you want on your own property, and keeping the government’s nose out of…

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