If you're anywhere near Toronto, Canada next week there is a not-to-be-missed event sponsored by the ACA Global Foundation.
It's called 21st Century Taxation of Americans Abroad: Citizenship-based taxation vs. Residence-based taxation. It's serious look at the merits and demerits of what Americans abroad refer to as the CBT versus RBT debate. (Say "CBT" to the average person in the American homeland and they don't know what the hell you're talking about. )
ACA has some good speakers arguing all sides. I am particularly interested in the words of one gentleman I've been following religiously for a couple of years now: Phil Hodgen who writes one of the best blogs on these matters.
Alas, I can't be there but I really encourage folks to go if they can. Here's hoping that the papers (or maybe a video) of the event will be forthcoming so that the information presented gets the widest possible reach.
Americans abroad (about 7 million people) are having to act as their own advocates and many of us are in the position (since the US government is doing such a terrible job at it) of trying to inform other Americans abroad of how the US tax system does, in fact, apply to them. Not to mention that many of us are presenting our situations, cases and arguments for a more rational (and less onerous) system to our elected representatives in the U.S. and sometimes even to our friends and family back in the U.S. who have a hard time understanding just what the heck we are all agitated about. (Just file, damn it, and stop griping!)
I think it would very useful if we had something that distilled the most important points on all sides of this debate so we could argue our case more effectively and get the maximum number of people pushing for change. A lot of what I have read is really really good but desperately needs executive summaries translated into language that everyone can understand and use when we are put in the position of having to explain the fuss. I might just do that in future posts. How I would I explain this CBT versus RBT debate to my Mom in Seattle in under 5 minutes? Now, that would be a challenge...
Kudos to ACA for organizing this (and providing links to the papers already out by Michael Hirsch, Bernard Schneider and John Richardson) because out of this conference hopefully we will have more ammunition for our arguments as well as a better understanding of the arguments coming from the pro-CBT crowd.