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  #21  
Old 20.10.2013, 10:59
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Re: Renunciations in Bern

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It's quite clear on the page dealing with renuncation on the US embassy website:

G. IRREVOCABILITY OF RENUNCIATION

Finally, those contemplating a renunciation of U.S. citizenship should understand that the act is irrevocable, except as provided in section 351 of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1483), and cannot be canceled or set aside absent successful administrative or judicial appeal. (Section 351(b) of the INA provides that an applicant who renounced his or her U.S. citizenship before the age of eighteen can have that citizenship reinstated if he or she makes that desire known to the Department of State within six months after attaining the age of eighteen. See also Title 22, Code of Federal Regulations, section 50.20).

http://bern.usembassy.gov/service/renunciation5.html

Once it's done, it's done.

I did try a while ago to find out if anyone had been successful with a judicial appeal, but the only case that came up was one some 40+ years ago when a lot of people had been persuaded to give up their citizenship by the religious cult they were part of. Subsequently they had their US citizenship reinstated.
Nothing is permanent. Any rule created can also be revoked. Rules may also not be enforced or there may be exceptions.

This rule was probably created to scare the mega wealthy from renouncing. So far, I doubt that they ever encountered an individual who had to renounce due to flawed US policy, like my situation. If I seriously wanted to live in America, all that I have to do is to tell my story to some of the huge American families that I'm related to. I'm sure that many of my millions of American distant relatives would support my case.
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  #22  
Old 20.10.2013, 11:09
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Re: Renunciations in Bern

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Nothing is permanent. Any rule created can also be revoked. Rules may also not be enforced or there may be exceptions.

This rule was probably created to scare the mega wealthy from renouncing. So far, I doubt that they ever encountered an individual who had to renounce due to flawed US policy, like my situation. If I seriously wanted to live in America, all that I have to do is to tell my story to some of the huge American families that I'm related to. I'm sure that many of my millions of American distant relatives would support my case.
They may well do. But whether you'd succeed in these anti-tax cheats days is another question. Frankly, it's probably cheaper and easier to get a green card.

It cost me just under CHF1,500 to do the 6 years back filing of my FBAR forms this year and will cost just over CHF1,000 to do next year's plus the 8854 form. I didn't need to file anything else so God knows what the cost would have been if I had.
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  #23  
Old 20.10.2013, 11:19
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Re: Renunciations in Bern

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They may well do. But whether you'd succeed in these anti-tax cheats days is another question. Frankly, it's probably cheaper and easier to get a green card.

It cost me just under CHF1,500 to do the 6 years back filing of my FBAR forms this year and will cost just over CHF1,000 to do next year's plus the 8854 form. I didn't need to file anything else so God knows what the cost would have been if I had.
If I were to do such a type of activism, then it would be in maybe 40 years after all of this tax-cheat lunacy became long forgotten.

I actually pay the US $3000/year in US property taxes regardless if I am a US citizen or not. The only financial difference between being a US citizen or a non-US citizen, is that I spent $450 to renounce.
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Old 20.10.2013, 11:56
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Re: Renunciations in Bern

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Nothing is permanent. Any rule created can also be revoked. Rules may also not be enforced or there may be exceptions.

This rule was probably created to scare the mega wealthy from renouncing. So far, I doubt that they ever encountered an individual who had to renounce due to flawed US policy, like my situation. If I seriously wanted to live in America, all that I have to do is to tell my story to some of the huge American families that I'm related to. I'm sure that many of my millions of American distant relatives would support my case.
Swisspinoy, a good friend tried to reclaim US citizenship a few years ago, well before the recent anti-expat fol-de-rol. (She renounced decades ago, before the dual taxation treaties, under 'orders' from her Swiss husband. Back in those days, a good Hausfrau followed her husband's dictates.)

Now an elderly widow, she wants to move back to the US. Despite having her whole family in the US, despite keeping close ties to the US, despite having her family's congresscritters lobbying her case - no dice. The best she can do is to apply for a visa; on the off chance it is granted then move back to the US and go through the naturalization process.

US policy is that renunciation is irrevocable, one should make one's decisions with that firmly in mind. It would be foolhardy to assume otherwise, especially if one thinks that there is even a remote possibility of wanting to live in the US again.
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Old 20.10.2013, 12:53
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Re: Renunciations in Bern

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Swisspinoy, a good friend tried to reclaim US citizenship a few years ago, well before the recent anti-expat fol-de-rol. (She renounced decades ago, before the dual taxation treaties, under 'orders' from her Swiss husband. Back in those days, a good Hausfrau followed her husband's dictates.)

Now an elderly widow, she wants to move back to the US. Despite having her whole family in the US, despite keeping close ties to the US, despite having her family's congresscritters lobbying her case - no dice. The best she can do is to apply for a visa; on the off chance it is granted then move back to the US and go through the naturalization process.

US policy is that renunciation is irrevocable, one should make one's decisions with that firmly in mind. It would be foolhardy to assume otherwise, especially if one thinks that there is even a remote possibility of wanting to live in the US again.
meloncollie, I've read of such cases. I would only want to live in America if Americans respected their heritage enough to want for me to live there. With the current anti-Americanism being hyped up in America, I'd rather retire to the Philippines. The Philippines is like an America without all the anti-Americanism. Over there, I'm always welcomed with open arms. Why live in America where one is hated because of one's American culture, when one can be happy instead around friendly people?
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  #26  
Old 20.10.2013, 13:58
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Re: Renunciations in Bern

THIS is one reason why I hesitate to renounce, too. If something happened to my husband, I told him I wouldn't stay here on my own. It's a bridge I just cannot burn and an avenue I cannot close off, no matter what the cost, and I have no desire to pursue a pathway to Swiss citizenship.

Currently, I pay $350 a year to an accountant in the US to do my US taxes. Given the complexity of the ever-evolving tax laws and the ease with which one can make a costly mistake, I consider it a small investment in my peace of mind and money well spent.

I am curious, Swisspinoy, as to why you feel unwelcome in America. What anti-Americanism in America is being hyped up? This is not an argument. I am genuinely curious what you mean, and if you could elaborate.

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Swisspinoy, a good friend tried to reclaim US citizenship a few years ago, well before the recent anti-expat fol-de-rol. (She renounced decades ago, before the dual taxation treaties, under 'orders' from her Swiss husband. Back in those days, a good Hausfrau followed her husband's dictates.)

Now an elderly widow, she wants to move back to the US. Despite having her whole family in the US, despite keeping close ties to the US, despite having her family's congresscritters lobbying her case - no dice. The best she can do is to apply for a visa; on the off chance it is granted then move back to the US and go through the naturalization process.

US policy is that renunciation is irrevocable, one should make one's decisions with that firmly in mind. It would be foolhardy to assume otherwise, especially if one thinks that there is even a remote possibility of wanting to live in the US again.
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  #27  
Old 20.10.2013, 14:33
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Re: Renunciations in Bern

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I am curious, Swisspinoy, as to why you feel unwelcome in America. What anti-Americanism in America is being hyped up? This is not an argument. I am genuinely curious what you mean, and if you could elaborate.
I am welcomed by my friends, family and the people whom I encounter. But, I am unwelcomed by a US government policy which encourages hatred against the American people. This anti-Americanism can be seen all over in the US media. It is expressed in terms like "good riddance", "don't let door hit you on the way out", "tax cheat", "terrorist", etc.

Basically, the US government is teaching the American people oppose and hate Americans. This is why renunciations are irrevocable, since the US government insists that Americans must oppose and hate fellow Americans. It is a disease. A sickness. It is called citizenship-based taxation.

With such propaganda, arrogance and unnecessary hostility, I'd rather live in Europe or Asia than to support the current anti-American US government which encourages Americans to oppose and hate American heritage.

Last edited by SwissPinoy; 20.10.2013 at 17:16.
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  #28  
Old 20.10.2013, 15:00
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Re: Renunciations in Bern

Ah, thank you for that clarification. I was confused by your comments as well. So, if I understand you correctly, you mean


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I am welcomed by my friends, family and the people whom I encounter. But, I am unwelcomed by a US government policy which encourages hatred against American people who live overseas or those who have never actually lived in the States. This anti-expat can be seen all over in the US media. It is expressed in terms like "good riddance", "don't let door hit you on the way out", "tax cheat", "terrorist", etc.

Basically, the US government is teaching the American people oppose and hate Americans who live abroad. This is why renunciations are irrevocable, since the US government insists that Americans most oppose and hate fellow Americans. It is a disease. A sickness. It is called citizenship-based taxation.

With such propaganda, arrogance and unnecessary hostility, I'd rather live in Europe or Asia than to support the current anti-expat US government which encourages Americans to oppose and hate those who may have never even lived in the US but have American heritage.
I totally sympathize and hope you don't mind me "clarifying" your message. The cherry on the cake of this maltreatment of expats is the requirement to file personal account information with the Financial Crimes Network. Nice touch.
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Old 20.10.2013, 18:51
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Re: Renunciations in Bern

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I totally sympathize and hope you don't mind me "clarifying" your message. The cherry on the cake of this maltreatment of expats is the requirement to file personal account information with the Financial Crimes Network. Nice touch.
Since the US government began persecuting overseas Americans, Americans abroad have increasingly turned their backs on the US government. A friend told me a story how his attitude had changed from positive to very negative towards the US government. Several years ago he became suspicious that a customer was a front company for a sanctioned Middle Eastern country. He decided to pass this information to a US intelligence agency feeling it was his patriotic duty. In view of the Obama administration's criminalization of Americans abroad, however, he said that if such an incident were to occur now that he would stay silent. You don't do a favor for someone who is ready to stab you in the back at any minute.
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  #30  
Old 21.10.2013, 21:32
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Re: Renunciations in Bern

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Ah, thank you for that clarification. I was confused by your comments as well. So, if I understand you correctly, you mean

I totally sympathize and hope you don't mind me "clarifying" your message. The cherry on the cake of this maltreatment of expats is the requirement to file personal account information with the Financial Crimes Network. Nice touch.
The reasoning for the confusion is that I tend to post comments in many articles on the issue, refuting generalizations made by many stateside Americans. Often, they view expats as being individuals with foreign loyalties, unAmericans, anti-Americans, greedy tax cheats, traitors, etc. Some even hate dual citizens. As such, hating US expats can be easily viewed in America as being American patriotic. One proves their loyalty to America by attacking expats with racist hatred. I say racist because the only race is the human race and anything beyond that is a subdivision of the human race.

I counter this racism by stressing that expats are Americans. Doing so causes the expat-critics to appear anti-American for opposing Americans (living abroad). It is thus near impossible for them to refute my arguments and those who try risk getting banned (as has happened). My personal situation is perfect for that, since I don't match most of the stereotypes. I'm not rich, I'm tax compliant, I'm a left-leaning liberal, I only owed the US taxes after renouncing and not prior to that, but I didn't have to pay an exit tax and I left the US to flee unemployment.

In the other direction, I point out that Swiss citizens (or any citizen) are local citizens regardless if they have a US passport or not. Basically, the domicile is what matters, not the citizenship. When I lived in America, I was American. Now, I live in Switzerland and I am Swiss. I will only live in America again if more Americans stop being anti-American. Sadly, that won't happen in my lifetime because many Americans love hating America.

Every day that I don't live in America is another day that Americans are learning to be self-hating anti-Americans who would rather destroy their nation than to respect their heritage. And, destroying America is what the US government is excels at doing, thanks to the American vote.
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Old 21.10.2013, 21:53
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Re: Renunciations in Bern

citizenship does not only come with rights (including rights of residency), it comes with some rather important obligations that run much deeper than the obligation to stop at red traffic lights or even to vote. and fyi, American policy on dual citizenship for naturalized Americans is considerably more flexible than the policy in many EU jurisdictions, including Germany - the only thing that upsets dual citizens with US passports is the fact that the US passport comes with tax and disclosure obligations. oh, and as to the disclosure obligations, my obligations to disclose financial information as a resident of Switzerland were far more cumbersome than my obligations to disclose financial information as a US citizen.
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Old 21.10.2013, 22:15
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Re: Renunciations in Bern

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citizenship does not only come with rights (including rights of residency), it comes with some rather important obligations that run much deeper than the obligation to stop at red traffic lights or even to vote. and fyi, American policy on dual citizenship for naturalized Americans is considerably more flexible than the policy in many EU jurisdictions, including Germany - the only thing that upsets dual citizens with US passports is the fact that the US passport comes with tax and disclosure obligations. oh, and as to the disclosure obligations, my obligations to disclose financial information as a resident of Switzerland were far more cumbersome than my obligations to disclose financial information as a US citizen.
The reason why I used to be a US citizen is because my family helped to create America and fought in every single American war. So, basically, America exists because of people like me.

The reason why I am no longer a US citizen is because people like you have degraded and condemned US citizenship, reducing its value to money while defending crimes against the innocent, such as national origin discrimination. Such thinking doesn't care about American history, American heritage or American ancestry. Rather, it only cares about the money. It only cares about how much it can get out of other people. That is not my America. America has become so heavily addicted to greed and the lust for money that it cannot accept that many individuals were forced to renounce due to banking discrimination caused by American policy.

crazygringo, why is Puerto Rico excluded from this tax-addiction that many Americans are degrading US citizenship with? Any American who lives in Puerto Rico is not taxed by the American government and yet they are still meeting their "obligations" as American citizens. Why isn't America making a greed-fuss about Puerto Rico instead of making a fool out of itself in places like Switzerland?

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Old 21.10.2013, 23:46
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Re: Renunciations in Bern

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The reason why I used to be a US citizen is because my family helped to create America and fought in every single American war. So, basically, American exists because of people like me.
I think Crazygringo has the very typically egocentric view of America possessed by most of that country, and I don't at all agree with his point of view... But America was not created by people like you. If anything, it was created by your ancestors, by people who didn't give up on their country and look for solace outside the country but took up arms or in some other way drove change to create the country they wanted.

I also want to get rid of that damned blue book as quick as I can, but I don't make the claim that people like me who run from an oppressive government, rather than fighting it, are looking out for anyone's interests but our own.
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Old 22.10.2013, 00:27
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Re: Renunciations in Bern

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If anything, it was created by your ancestors, by people who didn't give up on their country and look for solace outside the country but took up arms or in some other way drove change to create the country they wanted.
That's what I said. My ancestry helped to create America and I'm the living evidence of their accomplishments. If people like me didn't exist, then there would be no America. Citizenship status does not mean that one "gave up a country". Rather, such could mean that one is fighting using different methods, just like how my ancestors did the same during the American revolution. If my ancestors fought against the British using British methods of war, would they have won? Probably not. The best battle is fought using the least expected means.

I never stated that I "gave up" any country. Rather, stated that I might live in America again if more Americans learn to respect American heritage. The real question here is if America gave up the country?

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I also want to get rid of that damned blue book as quick as I can, but I don't make the claim that people like me who run from an oppressive government, rather than fighting it, are looking out for anyone's interests but our own.
Since renouncing, I've been discussed in the Wall Street Journal, LA Times, LA Daily Journal, BBC World Radio and I'll be on the air in the US tomorrow. How do you define "run" or "fighting it"? The best battle is fought where it is the least expected and one can be a citizen of any country to fight for a just cause.

Often, people misunderstand citizenship. With my hundreds of years of Swiss and American heritage, I do not need citizenship to be a native.
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Old 22.10.2013, 02:49
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Re: Renunciations in Bern

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I think Crazygringo has the very typically egocentric view of America possessed by most of that country, and I don't at all agree with his point of view... But America was not created by people like you. If anything, it was created by your ancestors, by people who didn't give up on their country and look for solace outside the country but took up arms or in some other way drove change to create the country they wanted.

I also want to get rid of that damned blue book as quick as I can, but I don't make the claim that people like me who run from an oppressive government, rather than fighting it, are looking out for anyone's interests but our own.
I think you mean "ethnocentric" rather than "egocentric", and I don't feel that way at all. were I a Swiss or German citizen I would feel precisely the same way - citizenship should mean something more to those accepting it than just the benefits they are entitled to. I'm pretty confident that if you investigate the citizenship requirements for Switzerland or Germany (for example) you will find that Swiss and German authorities share my sentiment.

the only difference with the US is the taxation issue, which existed long before I was born and will not be changing anytime during my lifetime.
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Old 22.10.2013, 02:52
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Re: Renunciations in Bern

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With my hundreds of years of Swiss and American heritage, I do not need citizenship to be a native.
well, even with my hundreds of years and Swedish and German heritage, the Swedish and German immigration authorities feel differently. and, if you were to ask, I trust you would find the American and Swiss immigration authorities would feel differently, as well.
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Old 22.10.2013, 05:03
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Re: Renunciations in Bern

I understand that the Americans on here view the issue from a personal perspective, they feel hassled and unappreciated, but for me as a (typically pragmatic) Swiss the problem lies elsewhere:

Expats are economic and social agents for their respective countries; in a globalized economy a country can only survive and prosper if some of its industrious and talented people emmigrate to the export markets of its industries. Germany would never consider its expats in China un-German, the very notion is ridiculous and would be laughed at. They appreciate the fact that these people keep workers in Germany employed. But the American public somehow doesn't seem to have understood the fact that expats are not traitors but vital for the economic (and probably cultural) success of any nation, and if American companies abroad have to hire expats from other countries it simply loses that benefit.
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Old 22.10.2013, 06:24
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Re: Renunciations in Bern

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well, even with my hundreds of years and Swedish and German heritage, the Swedish and German immigration authorities feel differently. and, if you were to ask, I trust you would find the American and Swiss immigration authorities would feel differently, as well.
My possible Swedish ancestry might be over 2000 years old and my German ancestry is over 200 years old. As such, it has been reduced in relevance. My Swiss and Amerian roots are fresh, native and relevant. That is quite a difference. If a nation doesn't want to respect a native as a citizen, then why would the native want to live under such a government?

As I posted in an article, I renounced US citizenship due to America's treasured national origin discrimination. National Origin Discrimination is a federal crime in the United States. As such, if Americans are dumb enough to not want to respect their heritage, then it is dumb to live in America. I'm perfectly happy with being denied the ability to live in America if the US government desires such. Such might anger my relatives in the US, but otherwise I don't see it as being a problem. It doesn't make any sense for a native to live under a government where they are not wanted.

Last edited by SwissPinoy; 22.10.2013 at 06:52.
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Old 22.10.2013, 08:51
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Re: Renunciations in Bern

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Also, I don't know about what costs everyone has - I just buy turbo tax every year and do my taxes, cost of less than $100. Granted, at the moment I am not working so it is easier, but even for the couple of years my husband still had a green card I did the taxes, except for the year we moved, we let a pro do it that year - as there were too many weird situations and I had a small baby at the time and didn't have the spare time to figure it out myself
It actually costs about $40-50 for Turbo Tax. (Quite possibly even less after April 15 because the demand is down so big sales start popping up)

I use Turbo Tax and I was quite sloppy the first few times I did it. I wasn't dishonest, just rushed through the form. Turbo tax is incredibly user friendly, but that can be dangerous if you don't understand Us tax laws to some extend (as I do now). It suggested I file a physical presence test instead of bona fide test. A proper accountant would not have done that. I was oblivious so I just sent it in like that. About 2 years later, I got a letter from the IRS that rejected my return and demanded $14,000+ in back taxes, penalties and interest with an almost expired (due to international mail) 30 day window to pay or contest or a lien would be placed on my bank accounts. I got on the phone immediately and to their credit they were professional and suspended the deadline until i refiled my return. A few months later the judgement was reduced to $0.

My advice to anyone using turbotax or self preparation is to spend 10-15 hours studying the tax forms, especially 2555. Read the vast knowledge base on the internet about what you can and can't do. Then go ahead and use turbotax. If still wary, give your prepared return to an accountant to review in the first year. He might make corrections or additions that you can use in subsequent years. Its still cheaper than having him do it from scratch.

There are many things that I stay away because it would be way too complicated to do the taxes on them, so any gain would be offset by the taxes and preparation costs. Examples: foreign mutual funds including Pillar 3 retirement funds, owning a house in the USA, establishing a trust, having my own business.....etc
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Old 22.10.2013, 09:48
Medea Fleecestealer's Avatar
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Re: Renunciations in Bern

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I think Crazygringo has the very typically egocentric view of America possessed by most of that country, and I don't at all agree with his point of view... But America was not created by people like you. If anything, it was created by your ancestors, by people who didn't give up on their country and look for solace outside the country but took up arms or in some other way drove change to create the country they wanted.

I also want to get rid of that damned blue book as quick as I can, but I don't make the claim that people like me who run from an oppressive government, rather than fighting it, are looking out for anyone's interests but our own.
Actually, they did. Apart from Native Americans everyone else's ancestors have "given up on their country" and moved to America. They didn't fight to change or improve things in the land of their birth, they left.

But this is getting off the subject of renunciations in Bern, procedure, time taken, etc. So back on topic please folks. Start another thread for discussions on immigration/citizenship and all things American.
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