Category Archives: Relinquishment and Renunciation

Relinquishment of US Citizenship by Persons-Born-Dual or who Naturalised in a Foreign Country as a Minor

I was very happy to report on a born-dual friend’s successful consulate meeting this week, in which he applied for a CLN based on his relinquishment at the time of taking government employment.

However, people have reported some consulate personnel erroneously telling them that a person born dual or who acquired their non-US citizenship as a minor is unable to expatriate except by renouncing.  In fact, there is no automatic disqualification of such persons from having the capacity to perform certain other relinquishing acts.

Such consulate personnel are probably conflating s. 349(a)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act with all other non-renunciation methods of relinquishing one’s citizenship.  Section 349(a) (1) is naturalising in a foreign country after Continue reading

US Senate Finance Committee Submission–Richardson, Yates and Kish

Here’s an excellent submission (Request for Tax Rule Changes) to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee.

This was written by Toronto lawyer John Richardson, University of Toronto professor Dr. Stephen Kish and (this is huge!) U.S. attorney Willard Yates.  Mr. Yates’ involvement is significant because he retired from Office of Associate Chief Counsel (International) (ACCI), Internal Revenue Service after 31 years of service.

The 32 page comprehensive submission deals with everything from problems of citizenship based taxation to the financial and psychological costs of renouncing US citizenship. Despite the complexity of issues covered, it is quite easy to understand for most of us who have been around this issue for a while (although newbies may very well find it overwhelming and frightening).

The report is also posted at citizenshipsolutions.ca, John Richardson’s Canadian website designed to counsel US citizens abroad who find themselves having to live in a FATCA and FBAR world.

Cruzing in Reverse

Canadian immigration lawyers have said U.S. Ted Cruz should be able to renounce Canadian citizenship “lickety-split” if there are no security or mental health issues.

Cruzing Out of CanadaA letter/article from Lynne Swanson (aka Blaze) to Senator Cruz asks him what’s taking so long to shake his embarrassing Canadian citizenship.  Cruzing In Reverse also tells Senator Cruz how different the situation is for “accidental American” Canadians who simply (like him) want to shake free from their country of “technical” citizenship.

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Expatriation Appointments at Vancouver – Now in ONE Meeting!

It’s been months since I’ve seen any availability for Vancouver appointments. Thanks to Cyal8rUS, who posted the following comment on the “About the Isaac Brock Society” page:  Quote “If someone with authorship privileges would be able to blog this: The Vancouver US Consulate FINALLY has new appointments available for “other” ACS services. If you have been trying to book a renunciation appointment, get there quickly.  …” End Quote  So, I posted on Brock and here.  Seems there’s been quite a change at Vancouver.

The Vancouver website says;  “If you would like to make an appointment to renounce or relinquish your U.S. citizenship, please email VancouverCLN@state.gov ”  So, I e-mailed that address a few minutes ago and got an immediate automated reply (very comprehensive with detailed instructions).  Of particular interest is this paragraph [emphasis added]:  Quote “IMPORTANT NOTE REGARDING APPOINTMENTS.  If you arrive fully prepared for your appointment, we will likely process your loss of nationality in one interview.  If you do not have the forms filled out or if you do not have all required original evidence, you will need to return for a second appointment.” EndQuote

So:  (1) only one visit is required, (2) you must book through Vancouver.CLN@state.gov (not through the online calendar).

Full text of the e-mail after the arrow. Continue reading

Relinquished before 2004? Applying for CLN now? What are the IRS consequences?

There’s no question with renunciation (Immigration and Nationalities Act, s. 349(a)(5)).  You are relinquishing your citizenship and notifying the US government of it at the same time, and that’s the date your US citizenship ends.

But what if you relinquished your citizenship by a different method of INS, s. 349(a), such as taking citizenship in another country with the intent to relinquish your US citizenship (349(a)(1))?

The State Department is clear.  No matter when you notify the US govt of your relinquishment, once your CLN application is approved, your US citizenship ended on the date you actually relinquished it (that is the date your performed the relinquishing act, eg. naturalised as a citizen of another country — this date is indicated as your expatriation date on the the CLN.)

The IRS, however, according to s. 877A(g)(4) of the US Tax Code, considers the date of your relinquishment for IRS purposes is not the date of your actual relinquishment but the date you notified the US government of it (your consulate meeting).  This was not the case prior to 2004, however [the relevant section was 7701(n) in 2004 and it was replaced by 877A in 2008].

So, what if you relinquished your US citizenship long ago, but only recently learned of US law and policy changes which make it important to be able to prove you are not a US citizen, and wish to obtain Certificate of Loss of Nationality (a document you probably never even heard of before)?  What if the current law regarding IRS and citizenship termination did not exist at the time you relinquished?  Logic  leads one to the conclusion that laws passed after a person ceases to be a citizen are irrelevant.  The IRS has never made a definitive statement on this issue, however their instructions for the 8854 (expatriation tax form) are only directed at people with expatriation dates “after June 3, 2004.”

Tax lawyers Michael J. Miller and Ellen Brody have just published an excellent article on this matter, Expats Live in Fear of the Malevolant Time Machine, in which they point out the legal, as well as common sense, absurdity of a retroactive application position.  It’s very clear reading with useful references to legislation and case law as well.