Guest Post: Another Reminder Of How The US Government Destroys Business

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Simon Black from Sovereign Man

Another Reminder Of How The US Government Destroys Business

One of the most phenomenal human beings I’ve ever met hails from Harare, Zimbabwe of all places. His name is Time. That’s seriously his name. When you ask him about it, he shrugs, grins, and says, “My mom felt that she was in labor for way too long.”

Time is a real Sovereign Man. He understands that his family comes first and foremost above all else, and growing up under the regime of Robert Mugabe, he had to get very creative in order to support his loved ones.

By the time he was 15-years old, Time could see the writing on the wall. Mugabe had all but destroyed the market and private property rights, and Time knew there would be absolutely no prospects for him in Zimbabwe.

So what did he do? He learned a valuable skill and looked beyond his own borders for the best opportunities. He spent years in the wilderness living with the native bushmen learning how to track animals. He worked diligently to improve his English. He read everything he could get his hands on about botany.

 Another reminder of how the US government destroys business

He traveled to Tanzania and Botswana to cut his teeth as a safari guide while Mugabe plunged Zimbabwe into hyperinflation. He worked hard, saved his money, and always sought to improve his professional capabilities to become a better guide.

When the smoke cleared, he returned to Zimbabwe and took a tracker job at one of the most exclusive lodges in southern Africa. I got to know him when I was visiting the lodge last year, and we became fast friends due to our common philosophical outlook.

[As an aside, I should say that Zimbabweans are some of the warmest, friendliest, most engaging people on the planet. I tend to visit the country each year, and I highly recommend putting it on your short list. It's unlike any other experience.]

Time and I talk regularly, and I’ve been helping him to invest in Zimbabwe’s burgeoning agricultural sector. Mugabe’s economic policies absolutely devastated what used to be one of the most fertile places in the world… but now it’s starting to make a comeback. Time is eager to capitalize on the opportunity.

A few months ago, he scrapped his savings together and bought a small piece of land that he wants to begin planting with various small-scale organic crops. I offered to pony up the $3,000 he needs to buy submersible pumps for irrigation.

“Western Union,” he told me, “is the most efficient way to receive cash in Zimbabwe. As you know, because of Mugabe, we don’t have our own currency anymore. But be advised, they’re going to give you a hard time when you tell them that you want to send money to Africa.”

My next call was to Western Union.

“I’d like to send money to Zimbabwe,” I announced to the operator.

“What’s the city and state, sir?”


“Is that an international transfer?”


“What country?”

“Zimbabwe.” I was about to lose it. I heard the familiar click, click of the keyboard as his system pulled up the country-specific rules.

“Uh, sir, we are obliged to discourage you from sending money to people that you don’t know. Did you receive this request to send money from an email?”

“No, it’s cool, I know this guy, we’re friends.”

“Yes, sir. But did you receive this request by email from an unknown person?”

“What did I just say? No. I know the guy personally, quite well. Let’s proceed.”

“Yes, sir. Will you be sending the money in local currency?”

“There is no local currency in Zimbabwe.”

“… sir?”

“Nevermind. Let’s just send US dollars. $3,000 total.”

“Yes sir. Now, US government regulations require that I collect your social security number for any money transfer in the amount of $3,000 or more.”

“What? Seriously? I’m calling you from Chile trying to send money to Zimbabwe. What business is that of the US government??”


“Look. Let’s just make the total $2,995. OK?”

“Yes, sir.” And then he proceeded to collect all the information about Time, confirm my credit card information, and all the other nonsense. After a few more minutes, he submitted the order for processing, and then told me,

“I’m sorry sir, the transfer has been declined.”

“What? Why? Was the credit card declined? I can call Mastercard.”

“No, sir, it was declined on our end. Our system refused to take the order. US government regulations require…”

Steaming angry, I politely thanked the man for his help, hung up, and sent an email to my banker in Singapore asking if they could send money to Zimbabwe.

“No problem!” she replied. Exactly the answer I was hoping for.

As I write this note, I’m happy to say that the funds are on the way to Time, and that he should be up and running by the middle of next week.

The whole affair was just another friendly reminder of why I try to avoid doing anything in the US at all. Regulations, financial tracking, consumer protection… it’s just too damn difficult to get anything done.

In fact, that I achieved my objective by using a flexible, “can do” bank in Singapore is probably the perfect conclusion to this allegory. Time well spent indeed.

 Another reminder of how the US government destroys business


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redpill's picture

Capital Controls, bitchez.

Dr. Richard Head's picture

It's the land of the free....just provide the US government all government tracking numbers of people (social security card), list of banks all assets are held, mortgage number, names and pictures of your children, submit to enhanced patdown, fingerprinting, blood samples, allow for government agents to search your belongings and record all communications (electronically, paper, and the sort).  Do not carry more that $10,000 (without proper govt tracking receipt) or have any financial transactions outside of $3,000.  Don't forget to vote.

MillionDollarBonus_'s picture


Dr Mugabe has taken WAY too much heat for the economic problems in Zimbabwe. The truth is that Mugabe is a FREEDOM FIGHTER who drove the nasty right-wing Rhodies over the border, so that the farmland could be distributed EQUALLY for enjoyment by all. This has been a painful transition but it has built the path to a more equal and prosperous Zimbabwe.


NorthenSoul's picture

Mugabe has only one defect: he's still breathing.

GeezerGeek's picture

He's safe as long as he doesn't have a big stash of gold bullion.

Normalcy Bias's picture

You either troll for fun, or you're the dumbest MF'r to inhabit this site...and that's saying something!

trav7777's picture

he's trolling; it is physically impossible for anybody to be that stupid

o2sd's picture

trav7777he's trolling; it is physically impossible for anybody to be that stupid


Oh the irony.

flattrader's picture

Damn, you beat me to it.

What was he insistng about those Japanese nuclear reactors?---how they scrammed and couldn't melt down and or explode???



Little John's picture

Does that claim include congress?

narapoiddyslexia's picture

MDB is a great troll. His trolling is art. 

GeezerGeek's picture

What about Democrats and Republicans?

jeff montanye's picture

they are very good too.  more convincing than professional wrestling (most of the time) or the harlem globetrotters vs. the washington generals.

Everybodys All American's picture

Sure he did and then what happened? You woke up.

ucsbcanuck's picture

OK, now I realize - you can't be a Tyler joke. This is not even funny.

toadold's picture

Yeah I worked with a guy from Zimbabwe.  His take was that he didn't like the old colonial administration due to restrictions on educational opportunities as much as anything but he really, really, loathed Mugabe and regarded him as a betrayer.  He hated the fact that his homeland had gone from an exporter of food to an importer.  He described the almost hilarious results of what happened when Mugabe's pig ignorant pets took over previously white owned farms and found out they didn't know diddly about how to farm or the work involved. They blew start up money on "technicals" trucks, slept in late, didn't know how to keep tractors, irriigation pumps, and all the other associated equipment going.  The Blacks who knew anything beat feet and wouldn't work with Mugabe's pets because they were such a-holes.

ClassicalLib17's picture

Goddamn MDB,  you magnificent bastard!  You really know how to kick off a comment thread. 

 +1  Long live MDB!   

Esculent 69's picture

MDB might as well be named Baghdad Bob. He reminds me of Saddam Husseins Information guy who said the U.S. troops had not entered Iraq let alone the city of Bahgdad.  "If they did we would stop them."  

hedgeless_horseman's picture



A reminder from a friend...


New IRS Filing Requirement for U.S. Persons with Foreign Assets

Form 8938 to be Attached to 2011 Income Tax Returns Due This Year

The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act ("FATCA") became law almost two years ago.  Some of its provisions became effective upon enactment, but a few key provisions were phased in.  One of the delayed provisions that is effective for returns due in 2012 requires individuals to report annually their interests in foreign financial accounts and foreign financial assets.  This new filing requirement under FATCA is in addition to the information reports that U.S. persons already file with various federal agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service, in order to disclose foreign accounts and assets.  Beginning with 2011 income tax returns, however, individuals owning foreign accounts or financial assets will be required to include new IRS Form 8938, "Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets" with their annual income tax returns--likely requiring many more U.S. persons to come forward and disclose their offshore dealings.

Who Must File Form 8938?
A "specified individual" (generally, a U.S. citizen or resident alien) who has an interest in one or more foreign accounts or financial assets must file Form 8938 if the aggregate fair market value of those foreign assets exceeds either $50,000 on the last day of the taxable year or $75,000 at any time during the year.  These filing thresholds double for married individuals filing joint income tax returns ($100,000 on the last day of the year or $150,000 during the year).  Higher filing thresholds apply to individuals residing outside the United States.
Currently there are two look-through rules applicable to individuals.  First, the owner of a disregarded entity (such as a single-member limited liability company) is treated as having an interest in foreign financial assets owned by the entity for purposes of the Form 8938 filing requirement.  Similarly, the grantor of a grantor trust is treated as owning the foreign financial assets of the trust.
Beginning with 2012 tax returns, closely held domestic partnerships and corporations which earn predominately investment income will also be subject to Form 8938 filing requirements.  Some domestic nongrantor trusts will also be required to file.

What Information Needs to be Reported on Form 8938?
The year's highest value of accounts in foreign financial institutions, along with identifying information about the account, must be reported on the new Form 8938.  Taxpayers with foreign accounts already report this information on their annual Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts ("FBAR").   But in addition to the information customarily reported on the FBAR, the new form requires the account owner to summarize the foreign-source interest, dividends or other income reported on the tax return, as well as on which tax return schedule the income appears.
The criteria for a Form 8938 filing requirement go far beyond the FBAR, however.  Besides foreign accounts, individuals must also report other "foreign financial assets."  This term includes any interest in stocks, other securities, and other financial instruments issued by non-U.S. persons (unless held in an account at a financial institution).  Interests in foreign entities such as foreign partnerships, corporations, and limited liability companies are also considered to be foreign financial assets.  A U.S. beneficiary's interest in a foreign estate or foreign trust is considered to be a foreign financial asset if the U.S. person knows (or has reason to know) of the existence of the interest.  If the person receives a distribution from the trust or estate, he or she is deemed to have knowledge.
The value of foreign financial accounts for purposes of determining the applicable threshold may be relatively easy to determine.  However, that may not be the case for other types of foreign assets.  Regulations provide that the U.S. person may determine the fair market value of such assets based on information publicly available from reliable sources, or from other verifiable sources.  Perhaps as a concession that reliable valuation may not be available for certain foreign assets, the regulations specifically state that third party appraisals are not required in order to obtain a reportable value.
Special rules provide for reporting the value of interests in foreign trusts, estates, pension plans, and deferred compensation plans.  The maximum value of a beneficiary's interest in a foreign trust is the sum of the fair market value of his or her trust distributions for the year, plus the value of that person's right as a beneficiary to receive mandatory distributions from the trust.  The maximum value of an interest in a foreign estate, pension plan, or deferred compensation plan is the fair market value of the person's beneficial interest in such estate's or plan's assets determined as of the last day of the taxable year.  If such information is unavailable, the maximum value to be reported is the distribution received during the taxable year. [1] 
Are There Any Exceptions to Reporting? What about Duplicative Filings?
As mentioned in the introductory paragraph, U.S. persons are already required to file periodic reports with the IRS and the Treasury Department to disclose required information regarding foreign assets and accounts. The new regulations provide that individuals who file certain enumerated forms do not have to again disclose the assets on Form 8938. They do, however, need to file Form 8938 and identify which of the other forms they are also filing.

It is important to note, however, that Form 8938 does not replace the FBAR. U.S. persons with financial interests in, or signature authority over, foreign accounts will still need to file the annual FBAR (due on June 30 of each year).
What are the Penalties for Failure to File?
Failure to file Form 8938 or to provide the required information carries a penalty of $10,000 per failure.  This penalty structure is consistent with penalties for not filing existing information returns for foreign assets.  However, there are additional negative consequences for failure to comply.
There is currently in place a penalty equal to 20% of underpaid income tax resulting from negligence, substantial understatement of tax, and certain valuation misstatements.  This penalty now is increased to 40% if the understated tax is attributable to a transaction involving an undisclosed foreign financial asset.
Further, the IRS generally has 3 years from the date of filing of an income tax return to audit your return and assess additional tax.  This statute of limitations is extended to 6 years if an income tax return omits more than $5,000 of income attributable to a foreign financial asset, even if the asset is not required to be reported on Form 8938 (due to dollar threshold or the exception for duplicate filings).



I did not write this.  This is not tax advice.  I am not a tax professional.  See, I can't even spell GAP.  I use TurboTax just like our Treasury Secretary.  Isn't it a beautiful day in Oceania?

trav7777's picture

like the people with real wealth in offshore assets will EVER disclose them or could EVER be caught, what with all the trusts, corporate shells, and all the other obfuscations that an entire industry exists to stand up from the caribbean to china.

Uncle Remus's picture

I am not a tax professional.  I use TurboTax just like our Treasury Secretary.

What - you throwing your hat in the ring for SecTreas in O'bamney's second term?

hooligan2009's picture

is it just me that sees the irony in the acronyms? its almost fatca(T) and f(U)bar

StychoKiller's picture

Nope, made me wonder if the commenter was jerkin' my chain! :>D

defencev's picture

Even this description does not give a right perception of this outrageous form. I saw a lot of government forms (including some from the former Soviet Union) but frankly nothing like that. The information it aims to collect goes far beyond necessary to estimate taxes on income and makes sense only if the government aims to tax worldwide assets (or perhaps confiscate them under "proper" circumstanses). Let me mention one outright sadistic feature of this form. It organized by accounts rather than institutions. For example if one has integrated multi-currency account with a particular bank (say 10 different currencies under the same account number), one should make 10 different entries in the form, repeating 10 times the information about the institution etc. It is unamerican, sadistic form aimed at humiliating the account holder. Just this form alone (and this is just the beginning: the nightmare will come later when FATCA is  fully implemented) suffices to conclude that Obama and his cronies should be kicked out from the White House.

ThisIsBob's picture

Gee, I wonder what activities by what percent of the population made those regulations seem necessary?

hedgeless_horseman's picture



It was for her art gallery. 

Now, if we could just require congressional and White House staff to report their trades and those of their family members to the SEC then we might be getting somewhere...

...or did you mean to give those in government a waiver?

The Alarmist's picture

" I use TurboTax just like our Treasury Secretary."

Yeah, I tried Turbo Tax in the hopes that it would give me the same plausible deniability it gave Geithner, but when it came to Form 1116, I pretty much had to do all the calcs myself, and Big Bro knows that, so it was nothing more than a form generating waste of money ... Still cheaper than the $6k that E&Y wanted, and I wonder how much more they will jack up their fees to do Form 8938.

chumbawamba's picture

Let me break this down for you nice and simple:

"U.S. Person" does not necessarily mean Americans.  A "U.S. Person" is someone who either:

1) Lives inside the District of Columbia or any of its areas or enclaves, territories and possessions, i.e. Guam, Puerto Rico, military bases in the 50 states, etc.

2) Lives outside the DC (or any of its areas or enclaves...) but still maintains U.S. Citizenship

2a) U.S. Citizens are NOT Americans.  An American is a Citizen of one of the 50 States.  A "U.S. Citizen" is a a federal 14th amendment emancipated slave citizen, with civil privileges granted by the government but NOT Natural Rights (i.e. Inalienable Rights).

2b) "United States" is a municipal corporation, the government of the District of Columbia and all U.S. territories, possessions, etc.  D.C> and all federal areas are under the direct legislative jurisdiction of Congress.

2c) The Constitution for the United States of America does not apply to D.C. and the federal areas.  Only those statutes and codes legislated into law by Congress.

2d) Anyone claiming "U.S. citizenship", and swears to that status under penalty of perjury on any government form, such as a IRS Form 1040, W4, a Social Security card, etc., is subject to the legislated democracy of the federal areas.  You are still a Citizen of your State, but your federal citizenship becomes dominant.  You, in effect, convert yourself into an emancipated slave, trading your Inalienable Rights that are your inherently for civil privileges ("civil rights") that the U.S. government grants to you (he who grants can also take away).  Even if you live in a State and not in the federal areas, you are still considered a "U.S. citizen" and for all intents and purposes you are a foreigner in your own home, and thus are subject to local registration and taxation.

2e) The U.S. Government considers you nonresident for tax purposes (a nonresident U.S. person) because you are nonresident in the federal areas.  An American, for tax purposes, is considered a nonresident alien (nonresident in the federal areas and an alien to their government, i.e. you are a State citizen, and the 50 States are "foreign" with regards to D.C. and the federal areas).

Only those who either are U.S. citizens (by claiming such or otherwise), or who live inside the jurisdiction of the federal (U.S.) government, or those who derive "income" from within the federal areas (i.e. an employee of the federal government, an employee of a contractor to the federal government, dividends from a U.S. chartered corporation, etc.) are subject to income taxation.

Look up the definitions yourself.  Better yet, read this book:

The Federal Zone: Cracking the Code of Internal Revenue

It's the real deal.  You dorks still paying income tax unnecessarily need to educate yourselves.  That book was written in the early 1990s but it's still as valid today as it was when the income tax was first foisted onto the unsuspecting American people.

You want to change things?  Stop feeding the beast.  Don't pay taxes if you're not liable.  Pay your dues.  Read the book.

I am Chumbawamba.

The Alarmist's picture

They've got the guns and a >95% conviction rate, so even if your legal reasoning were valid, it would not do you or your readers much good. There are better trees up which you should bark.

I am not Chumbawamba.

chumbawamba's picture

A 95% conviction rate because 99.99% of Americans are ignorant as to their true status and rights.  If everyone knew what I just summarized above then their conviction rate would be under 10%.  All you have to do is turn the tables on them and make them prove you owe the tax.  It's easy if you know how.

Oonce you start making them prove jurisdiction, they realize they in fact are the ones barking up the wrong tree, as there are easier fish inside the barrel to shoot.  So unless you are actually liable for the federal income tax based on one of the scenarios above that I outlined, they will just leave you alone and go find some scared little bitch to harass and prosecute.

I am Chumbawamba.

Milestones's picture

Chumba, good to see your post again. I'm Still fightin the fight. I figure it's cost the Gubermint about $75,000 t0 $100,000 grand so far.

Next is Habus Corpus to Federal than a Title 42 1983, 85 and 86 for many $$$. Jury trial costs $10,000 to put on at minimum. Bleed baby!!!

Again, good to see your post--hope things went well for ya.         Milestones

chumbawamba's picture

Hey Milestones!

Most excellent.  I didn't realize you were in the middle of the fight.  I'd love to get some details if you wouldn't mind posting.

As far as IRS, I hand delivered a Notice and Demand to the agent and her manager at the interview they summonsed me to in November.  I showed up on my time (6 hours after the schedule interview), handed them the document, asked them to please stop harassing me or else I would pursue legal action, then left it at that.  They followed up with a "second chance" interviewer letter, to which I replied they are insane, basically.  A few weeks later I got a Notice of Deficiency.  At this point it's just a matter of slapping a few bitches around with some additional paperwork and mopping up.

But please do share details about your situation if you would.  We need to get a chatroom going for these kinds of discussions, a permanent ZH chatroom like the old days.  It would really facilitate the exchange of information for ZH folks.


pods's picture

I think that posting this in the forum would be of benefit for those wanting to take the leap.  I think it was Kayl who had posted some stuff about a year back.  JDrose had a post before about becoming a creditor, which I took as meaning he took control of his commercial affairs with a UCC-1 filing.  He was pissed when he talked and begged to be removed from the site though.

A bit of a different approach, but it does take advantage of the underlying cause.  


Imminent Collapse's picture

I once met a guy in Key West who was a great guitarist playing at a local hotel bar.  During a break he told me he was doing basically the same thing (with a few variations) and he bragged to me that the IRS was afraid to mess with him for fear that it would alert everyone that it was possible.  I told him that they probably just hadn't gotten around to busting him yet.  A few months later, I got a call from him.  The IRS had seized his bank accounts and garnished his wages.  He was fired from the hotel gig he had going as a result of all this.  I told him to just tell them his theories (ha ha) and, of course, he already had - to no avail.

Take it from me, you don't want to fuck with the IRS.  Most of the historical erosion of personal liberties in this country has come as a result of laws supporting the powers of the IRS.  You are now at the same stage of the process as my friend in Key West was in.  It looks like smooth sailing and you are talking big, but get ready.  The storm is heading your way.  Get all your money out of banks.  Hunker down. 

Better yet, abandon your plan now while there is still time.  No shit.  Or don't.  But if you don't, when  the SHTF repost on this site to warn others not to do what you are doing.  Good luck!

Sovereign Slackass's picture

Two words for you, brother: Irwin Schiff.  It doesn't matter what you argue in court when the judge throws out your arguments.

Imminent Collapse's picture

Chumby, your legal analysis is not correct nor would it be recognized by the Courts should you decide to try it out and not pay taxes because of your theory.  Just because someone wrote a book about it doesn't mean that it is so.  Believe me, I know.  Cheers! 

proLiberty's picture

More news from the land of the USED to be free.


Abiotic Oil's picture

Harare is a but a faint echo of Salisbury, Rhodesia.

The irony is that if someone commits $3000 of credit card fraud against you in the US no federal agency will lift a finger.  They'll still want the bank to report that money changed hands but could care less if it was stolen.

Esculent 69's picture

It's control period. That's what government does best. Fucking up a wet dream is what government does second best. 

Ostapuk Ivano's picture

Long Trish Regan C cups.

tekhneek's picture

I thought the purpose of this current government was to destory business, raise taxes, destroy the middle class and usher in a "new era" of a one world government whilst globalizing the standard of living to a sub-poverty level where sustenance is dependent entirely on government?

Did I miss something...?

Ponzified Plebe's picture

Nope, that sounds about right. Especially if you wish to join the staff of Rep. (Insert Name Here), of (Insert Sate Here). They could use more justification of their positive feedback loop. Just don't tell them you read Zerohedge.

Confused's picture

Funny, I thought that was the purpose of all government.......

Azannoth's picture

That's why it's called a Federal Reserve Note as opposed to Money, You Don't Own It Fool! They do .., and for that privilege you get to pay interest to them, so you can uh em .. feel special

mjk0259's picture

Why are you using US currency then?

NotApplicable's picture

Because, it is the bestestest.