deals with the situation of the considerable number of people who are technically US citizens because their parents happened to be in America when they were born. This would just be a a curiosity except for an extremely ugly fact: this country, almost uniquely in the world, demands to levy taxes from its citizens even when they live and work entirely abroad.
Perry (his name has been changed) is one of dozens of Canadians who have contacted me with similarly nightmarish stories. All have automatic American "birthright citizenship" under the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which came into effect after the U.S. Civil War to ensure protection for freed slavesâ€¦
â€¦if he sells his Canadian house — money that he is counting on for his retirement — he faces a huge capital gains liability to the U.S. government. Under Canadian tax law, capital gains are not levied on one's principal residence as it is in the U.S., where mortgage interest is deductibleâ€¦
This all comes about because Americans are "the only people in the developed world who are taxed in both their country of citizenship and country of residence," as the Wall Street Journal noted. Other than a few brutal dictatorships, the U.S. is the only nation that imposes tax based on citizenship rather than residency
Because of this barbarity hundreds of thousand â€“ perhaps millions â€“ of people are a constituency which would applaud the rectification of the US Birthright Citizenship anomaly. Of course, because of the shift in immigration origin in recent decades, most now do not come from Canada or other cultures where the curious North West European propensity to see tax-paying as a moral obligation applies.