See the Glee at Renouncing U.S. Citizenship

See and hear the glee of this British woman living in Switzerland at renouncing American citizenship.

LaTasha Coates was lucky. She quickly got an appointment in Switzerland and soon after received her CLN.

That is very different than Canada where it may be a year to get an appointment (if a Consulate will even respond to a request for an appointment) followed by another long delay in receiving the CLN.

Or, you can do what Stephen did and travel to Iceland or another country to renounce. That increases the cost but it makes a very nice vacation.

5 thoughts on “See the Glee at Renouncing U.S. Citizenship

  1. Thank you both for your responses. Given the transition volatility in the US government, it seems people should accept that fatca is here to stay and for those particularly troubled by fatca, renouncing and obtaining a CLN is an option that deserves consideration.

  2. My understanding is, the only reason a CLN would not be granted, is if the person is guilty of crimes against the State. Is it now the case that the State Department checks with the IRS that the person renouncing does not owe taxes to the IRS? If this is the case, renouncing US citizenship will get become more difficult as the IRS will be able to identify more US persons globally due to fatca and issue tax bills/notices to those individuals. Can someone explain? Thank you.

    • @John

      The only reason a CLN would not be granted is if the State Department felt you were not doing it voluntarily. It is law that one can expatriate.

      I have never heard anything regarding being turned down because of some criminal history. And not because one owed tax. With regard to a passport not being renewed, the IRS notifies State of a person with a tax liability of$50k and over. So far, I have never heard that State checks with IRS first. There is no law I am aware of that says one must be tax compliant before renouncing. Many have renounced without being tax compliant.

      Once one does renounce, the clock starts with regard to when tax forms need to be filed. Again, some people do not file beforehand or at all. Many enter Streamlined, do the five years prior then the final dual-statud year with form 8854.

       

    • @ John Silver,

      [For more info and the documents I mentioned I put source links at the bottom of the comment]

      The criteria for renouncing are that it be voluntarily and intentional and the person has the capacity to do so (Immigration and Nationality Act, s. 349(a)). If the person meets these criteria, it’s a go.

      DoS is concerned with the citizenship itself, not with tax status (compliant or not) or criminal records, etc., as they’re not required to be by their mandate. So, it tends to be a pretty straightforward, routine procedure. Main hassles are getting an appointment (particularly in Canada) and the cost (exorbitant).

      The relation between DoS and IRS is basically:

      (1) Dept of State

      Dept of State basically doesn’t care about one’s tax status as the citizenship itself (and the issuance of the CLN) is not dependent on one being tax compliant.

      DoS’s involvement/connection with tax is the following:

      (a) At the consulate the person signs DS-4081, Statement of Understanding of Consequences; one of the 12 items on it is Item 10, that renouncing “… may not exempt me from US tax income taxation [etc] …”

      (b) The questionnaire, DS-4079, at q. 13 (e) asks “Do you file US income or other tax returns?” The tax question on the DS-4079 is there as an indicator of your ties and connections to the US, which is important if you’re claiming to have relinquished some years ago (in which case you’re trying to illustrate your lack of ties/connections/citizenship behaviour). For renunciations, it’s irrelevant if you have ties/connections/citizenship behaviour or not. (Note: Not all consulates require the DS-4079 for renunciations – it’s never been required, but they can use it if they want to – and less and less seem to be using it.)

      (c) Dept of State is to provide IRS with a copy of each CLN they issue as per DoS Interagency Coordination and Reporting Requirements, 7 FAM 1243(a).

      (2) IRS

      To log out of IRS and avoid covered expatriate status, IRS requires that the person file their exit tax form (8854), their final year form, and the five-years-previous-to-final-year forms, by June 15th of the year following the renunciation.

      FWIW, if a person chooses not to file, the citizenship itself remains terminated and the CLN remains valid.

      (3) Links

      Immigration and Nationality Act, s. 349(a). https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/8/1481

      7 FAM 1260, Foreign Affairs Manual on Renunciation, Department of State.
      https://fam.state.gov/fam/07fam/07fam1260.html

      7 FAM 1240 Foreign Affairs Manual on Inter-Agency Reporting Requirements, Department of State
      https://fam.state.gov/fam/07fam/07fam1240.html

      DS 4079, Loss of Citizenship questionnaire
      http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/227465.pdf

      DS 4081, Statement of Understanding of Consequences.
      http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/81607.pdf

      IRS 8854 instructions
      https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i8854.pdf

      Consulate Report Directory, Isaac Brock Society. People’s reports of their renunciation/relinquishment experiences, currently about 250 pages, arranged by consulate location.
      http://isaacbrocksociety.ca/consulate2/

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