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Comment: Re:Yes. What do you lose? But talk to lawyer first (Score 1) 690

by Rei (#49195211) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should I Let My Kids Become American Citizens?

How do you expect a single state to say that you aren't married in another without another interstate/federal database

So you find the government actually keeping track of vital records and legal statuses to be overintrusive and to be "spying and tracking how you live your life"?

Okay, I'm going to go have a conversation with rational people now....

Comment: Re:Obligatory (Score 1) 38

by Rei (#49195191) Attached to: Robocops Being Used As Traffic Police In Democratic Republic of Congo

While the whole "robot" aspect is just style, I think the main point to respect is that they have moving low-light cameras. So the robot may not come and arrest you for a major violation, but the police might.

Anyway, while it's a bit gimmicky, I think it's just so great to see such a stereotypically 3rd world country supporting people learning engineering in that manner. DRC is the last place on earth one would expect government funding for an association of womens' engineers making robots. Maybe some day they'll even end up with some viable export products, or establish enough of an educated base to attract multinationals looking for low-cost engineering talent like India has long worked to do.

Comment: Re:Yes. What do you lose? But talk to lawyer first (Score 3, Informative) 690

by Rei (#49193829) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should I Let My Kids Become American Citizens?

My first year in Iceland, my US return was so complex that most tax attorneys refused to touch it. One offered to do it for over $1000. I ended up doing it myself. Three years later I'm still dealing with the IRS on it. It was as thick as a book.

My subsequent returns have been simpler but are still really annoying.

Seriously, don't do this to your kids. Just don't.

Comment: Re:Yes. What do you lose? But talk to lawyer first (Score 4, Interesting) 690

by Rei (#49193819) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should I Let My Kids Become American Citizens?

It's not even just taxes. The US is so weird about all sorts of things that can bite you. When I got engaged in Iceland, Iceland wanted a certificate from the US proving that I'm not already married - it's a standard requirement here, and most countries have such a certificate. But not the US! In the US you can get a certificate proving that you are married from the state you got married in, but not a certificate proving that you're not married. The only way around it is to find the one sherrif's office in the country who considers a signed affadavit to be sufficient to wed (all of the others disagree).

I would never dream of cursing my kids with US citizenship. How mean could you be to them? I can't bloody wait to get my Icelandic citizenship so that I can formally renounce my US citizenship.

Comment: Re:Yes. What do you lose? But talk to lawyer first (Score 2) 690

by Cyberax (#49193797) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should I Let My Kids Become American Citizens?
Bullshit. I probably have the most complicated tax situation (being a citizen of one country, living in another, filing taxes in a third one and having significant US income without SSN) and US taxes were not a problem at all apart from understanding the tax forms. And regular expats won't even have to pay anything unless you earn more than about $200k and live in a tax-haven country like Singapore.

Comment: Re:Yes. What do you lose? But talk to lawyer first (Score 4, Insightful) 690

by hey! (#49193289) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should I Let My Kids Become American Citizens?

Personally, I don't see that any of these things as compelling practical advantages, given that the kids already have dual Swedish and Belgian (and therefore EU) citizenship. If they were Moldovan and South Sudanese, that'd be a different story. Or if they were citizens of a country from which getting a visa to enter the US might be difficult in the future.

But most importantly I think this is one of those decisions that you just don't make primarily on a cost-benefit basis. It's not like deciding to join Costco or subscribe to Hulu. Citizenship entails responsibilities. If you want your kids to shoulder those responsibilities and feel allegiance to the US then it makes sense to get them that citizenship come hell or high water. But given that they already have two perfectly good citizenships from two advanced western democracies with generally positive international relations worldwide, I don't see much practical advantage in adding a third.

Still, I wouldn't presume to give advice, other than this. The poster needs to examine, very carefully, that feeling he has that maybe his kids should be Americans. The way he expresses it, "sentimental reasons", makes those feelings seem pretty trivial, in which case it hardly matters if they don't become Americans. After all, most other Belgians seem to get along perfectly well without being Americans too. But if this is at all something he suspects he might seriously regret not doing, or if it nags him in ways he can't quite put his finger on, he needs to get to the bottom of that in a way random people on the Internet can't help him with.

Comment: Re:May not have to worry about taxes (Score 1) 690

by Amouth (#49193151) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should I Let My Kids Become American Citizens?

Actually this isn't true.

You have a "choice" (i quote it because it is your parents that do it, you can't yet make the decision) on getting an SSN or not. BUT once you have and SSN you can not get rid of it.

If you "chose" not to have an SSN the IRS will issue you a tax-id number to use on all your forms. it functions like an SSN but isn't one (may also conflict with someone else's SSN# as they are different).

You also do not pay into Social Security (your employer still has to withhold, and pay their match, but you get your contributions back). But on that same counter you can never draw from Social Security.

I know several people in this situation. I personally wish i could do it (but again you can never get rid of an SSN once you have it) and i thought long and hard before getting an SSN for my Son. We eventually did it because to function in the US with any type of credit you must have one, so many industries here have zero idea what to do when you don't have one.

Not having an SSN is not illegal, But not paying your taxes is.

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