George has made another great find. This one is from US Congress on CLNs.
There is no obligation for an individual to obtain a CLN or otherwise notify the Department of State of relinquishing one’s citizenship.
Too bad Congress didn’t bother to tell US Treasury and IRS or banks and governments around the world about that hidden gem.
Calgary 411 cross-posted our thread on Dual Citizenship: “Paramount Allegiance-Predominant Claim at Brock (where I originally picked up the information from George). I am now cross-posting Calgary’s thread from Brock on this Joint Congressional Committee published report, 84-288-GPO-CPRT-JC-2-03-7-2, B. Aquisition and Loss of Citizenship
I suspect this will not help our friends in Switzerland, France, Israel or elsewhere where banks are demanding CLNs or closing accounts. Alone, it won’t win the battle for us in Canada. But, it’s one more weapon in our growing arsenal to fight this,
We are a diverse army, but together I think we are formidable. I think Flaherty, Shoom, Trudeau and the CBA know thatl–but they will never admit it to us.
“Where you are born should not dictate your potential as a human being.” (Romeo Dallaire, retired general, humanitarian, Canadian Senator)
Let’s make Romeo proud of our troops!
12 thoughts on “Relinquishing: No Obligation For CLN”
Some of us noticed a couple of years ago that 8USC1241 s. 349, which is the US law laying out the grounds for loss of US citizenship, only specifically mentions a requirement to swear an oath before a US consular officer overseas (outside the US) in the case of renunciation; no mention is made of any State Department process for any of the six other grounds for loss of US citizenship.
As a practical matter, however, if under a FATCA IGA financial institutions are required to forward financial information to the IRS on persons with “US indicia” except when a CLN can be provided or other reasonable evidence or grounds for having relinquished USC, possession of a CLN for relinquishment or renunciation is the only certain way of avoiding that information provision. Possession of an oath of renunciation of previous nationality (as was required by Canada for naturalization up until April 1973 I think) might suffice for that, though I recall reading or hearing somewhere that US officials won’t accept a renunciation oath unless sworn before a US official. What happens at your Canadian financial institution might (or might not) be another matter.
Unless and until there is a Canada-US IGA and we start getting reports of how this issue is being addressed, my guess is a CLN is the only “safe” way to go.
It is good however to have written documentation from an official US source (Congress) that at least in 1984 (and probably until now as well) there has never been a legal requirement for you to notify State Department of your relinquishment (except in the case of an actual renunciation). That is good to know in the unlikely event that a State Department vice consul questions why you’ve waited until now to apply for a relinquishment CLN, if and when you do so. I don’t think many, if any, people who relinquished USC until very recently had any knowledge of CLNs or how to get them or why they might want one. It is my impression that at least in Canada, most US vice consuls are aware of this, from what I’ve heard in reports of relinquishment interviews.
If US border officers ever start enforcing a requirement that US citizens (in their eyes, based on birthplace) only be admitted to the US on a US passport, a CLN would likely be necessary to gain entry to the US on a non-US passport showing a US birthplace. This has not been happening systematically, though in what appear to be isolated cases some people crossing the US border on a non-US passport showing US birthplace have been “cautioned” during secondary grilling or screening. See the pinned thread on this website on crossing the US border with a non-US passport. To date, everyone I’ve heard of who was “cautioned,” chose to ignore the caution, and later tried to cross the border (even when some notation appeared to have been made on the border officer’s computer) still got through without any hassles. However, these things could always change.
Another note of caution–and we may want to put this on the Crossing Border thread. I was advised by a border guard when I got a Nexus card in 2004 that I should always enter US as a US citizen. She explained if I do that, I am under no obligation to say where I’m going, how long I’m staying or the purpose of my trip. I think she was trying to be helpful, but I ignored her advise.
After my conversation with her, I learned if I enter as a US citizen, the Americans can refuse me access to Canadian consular officials if I get into any trouble when I’m in the U.S. I have no plans go do anything illegal (except sometimes I drive 10-15 miles over the speed limit on I-90, along with everyone else), but I wouldn’t want to push it. I have no idea if they can deny me access to a Canadian Consular official if I have entered on a Canadian passport with US place if birth with no CLN.
That will all soon be academic to me. My next and last trip to the US will be for a celebration of my mother’s life in the spring with her friends in my small village hometown in Pennsylvania. Ater that, I plan to never cross the US border again.
Is this really what Casey (Pennsylvania), Schumer (New York) and Levin (Michigan) had in mind with FATCA? Those are the three states I traveled to and spent considerable sums of money.
It had always been my intent to continue those trips even after my mother’s death. FATCA changed everything. Now that she is gone, I have no interest in ever again visiting United States of Arrogance. I never told her how her country was treating her daughter.
@Blaze. Your somewhat autobiographical post above struck a chord with me. I had always entered the US with only a birth certificate until they tightened things up a few years ago and told me I’d better get a US passport. (I was a PR at the time.) Later, with my newly minted US passport, I was grilled extensively about where I was going, how long I was staying, where I was staying, etc,etc,etc. I have no idea what the goon was up to, but I remember thinking at the time that it would probably not be a good idea to point out that I was a USC and had the right to go wherever I wanted and stay as long as it suited me.
Fast forward to the present, and I have crossed many times on my Canadian passport and have only experienced strictly professional, courteous, relevant questions. Nary a mention of US birthplace. (It has been such a non-issue that I really wonder if they have perhaps gotten standing orders to not hassle people with US birthplace Canadian passports.)
My Dad passed away last September and I have been down many times since to help my mother deal with the estate, taxes, and so on. I’ve had many conversations with my mother (and my dad before he passed) talking about the unprecedented attack on USCs abroad. They both fully supported me when I first mentioned it might be necessary for me to relinquish my US citizenship and they both thought that they would respond similarly if they found themselves in that situation.
My mother is fully convinced that the US government is totally out of control and is very fearful about what the future will bring to her, her children, and to her grandchildren. She may be 94 years old, but she has a keen awareness of what is going on in the world around her.
As to whether Casey, Schumer, and Levin intended for FATCA to produce the sort of outcomes that we are seeing presently, I doubt it. The problem is that they are short-sighted, vindictive morons who wield immense power. They long ago lost sight of the founding principals that once made the US great. I believe we are witnessing the beginning of the decline of the US. It’s a process that will take several generations. There is so much class hatred and regional disparity down there that it’s entirely possible the US will break up into several smaller countries.
@Maz: I entered the US about eight years ago with a United Church Minister who was a draft dodger. He used his Canadian citizenship card, but told the guard was a dual citizen. I used a Nexus card issued to me as a Canadian. (We didn’t use the Nexus line because I was the only one in car who had one). I identified myself as Canadian, but also gave him my US birth certificate.
We were taking back to Michigan a Vietnam military veteran who had been living in Canada for 10 years
Guess who got hassled and questioned the most. The U.S. military vet who was only an American citizen Go figure.
I certainly would not want to challenge a border guard who questioned me about where, why, how long, etc. A friend always enters US on her US passport and always gets the questions–including why she lives in Canada (for 44 years). Her Canadian-born husband with a Canadian passport is asked fewer questions.
In 45 years crossing the rienceborder, I have only had one bad experience with one border guard who seemed to personally offended by the fact a former American became a Canadian citizen. That was over 20 years ago.
@Maz, glad to hear your experiences. I have to go down to the US in a couple of weeks. I did my best to try to get out of it, but finally had to give it up and book the trip. I’ve had a low-level feelng of dread residing in my chest ever since. I’ve been hassled more times than not, when crossing the border into the US, about my US birthplace on my Canadian passport. I’m hoping this time to sail through without having my passport thrown back at me, or getting a lecture about how I’m not really a Canadian.
It was Max Bacus who wrote FATCA.
Obama sate department must know that foreign government hate it but he still seems to want to use this economic nuclear weapon to force countries to sign IGA
“It has been estimated that the U.S. Treasury loses as much as $100 billion annually to offshore tax non-compliance. Therefore, supplementing the reporting regimes already in place was deemed to be an effective means of increasing compliance and raising government revenue. After committee deliberation, Sen. Max Baucus and Rep. Charles Rangel introduced the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act of 2009 to Congress on October 27, 2009. It was later added to an appropriations bill as an amendment, sponsored by Sen. Harry Reid, which also renamed the bill the HIRE Act. The bill was signed into law on March 18, 2010.”
The IRS lives by it own laws. Page 19
“Compliance with Prior Tax Obligations (Test 3)
The legislation mandates only compliance with all requirements under title 26 of the US Code (that is, the IRC). The FBAR requirement is in title 31. Consequently, the failure to file FBARs should not prevent certification of compliance.
Discussions with the IRS indicate that, in its view, FBAR filing is required. However, this position is not consistent with the law.
Failure to file an FBAR may not mean failure to meet test 3; however, there are independent penalties for failure to file the form. What is likely is that the IRS will target expatriates for review of FBAR filing, and application of those penalties in cases of non-compliance.
There is a statute of limitations for FBAR filing (unlike the filing of tax returns), which applies even if the form is not filed. The assessment period is six years for civil penalties and five years for criminal penalties”
Yes, Bacus was the author of FATCA and he and Rangel introduced it.
But, Obama credited Levin as being what I will call the architect of FATCA (towards the end of the video.
Levin also wrote the letter on behalf of Congressional Investigations Committee demanding FATCA information be available upon request to US law enforcement and national security for “money laundering, drug trafficking, terrorist financing, corruption, financial fraud and many other legal violations and crimes.” (page 11)
Schumer and Casey introduced other legislation to penalize people who expatriate for tax reasons.
Blaze, In the future the USA may start pulling all the old Green card application without a formal I-407. With this opinion I may say that i do not need a I-407. I still will not own USA equity or cross the US border.
“We were taking back to Michigan a Vietnam military veteran who had been living in Canada for 10 years ”
Coul of he had problem because not filling US taxes,
That stupid 1995 US Canada treaty recognizes US taxation of US person. even though the CRA would not collect from Canadians. Canadian permanent resident should have been protected. They also hgad the moronic closer connection rule.
The Liberal Government signed that. Pierre Trudeau never made a fuss even though Chretian was his top lieutenant and he complained about Meech Lake. I would gladly take Meech Lake and throw out the 1995 tax treaty. I am not even certain what financial nuclear weapon Clinton held over Canada to sign the agreement. Be interested to see how the NDP and 2 Conservatives voted on this issue.
No, the border guard made no mention of taxes.
Did you friend even know he had to file USA taxes.