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  #61  
Old 21.08.2014, 22:30
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Re: Renunciations in Bern

A couple of posters over on IBS have said they were told by Canadian consular staff that the $450 fee will be going up soon so be warned.
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Old 21.08.2014, 23:12
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Re: Renunciations in Bern

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A couple of posters over on IBS have said they were told by Canadian consular staff that the $450 fee will be going up soon so be warned.
Global News reports that the earliest renunciation appointment date at the US Consulate in Toronto is January 2015! Canadians with US citizenship are starting to get the message:

"In an e-mail Tuesday, the Toronto consulate said the earliest date they could book for a renunciation is January 22, 2015.

Until recently, appointments to renounce U.S. citizenship in Toronto could be made within three to six weeks, said Toronto-based cross-border tax accountant Kevyn Nightingale, who specializes in tax advice for people giving up U.S. citizenship."

http://globalnews.ca/news/1519628/wa...p-get-in-line/

The Obama administration's terror campaign against US citizens abroad rumbles on.
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Old 22.08.2014, 01:07
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Re: Renunciations in Bern

If you are in Canada just drive down to the boarder and hand in your documents there. They certainly have the manpower available there to process requests like this .

You'll be asked to complete a form and sign it.

They might scratch their head while trying to wrap their brains around such a request but never mind, I believe they are required by law to process your documents when they are presented at the border.
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Old 22.08.2014, 02:03
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Re: Renunciations in Bern

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If you are in Canada just drive down to the boarder and hand in your documents there. [...]
You must have meant "border".

But there is a good joke about "border / boarder":

.....Teacher: Jimmy, where is the Polish border?
.....Jimmy: In bed with my mother; that's why I did not get no breakfast.
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Old 22.08.2014, 08:40
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Re: Renunciations in Bern

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If you are in Canada just drive down to the boarder and hand in your documents there. They certainly have the manpower available there to process requests like this .

You'll be asked to complete a form and sign it.

They might scratch their head while trying to wrap their brains around such a request but never mind, I believe they are required by law to process your documents when they are presented at the border.
Great idea, but unfortunately the law is specific that you must renounce in front of a consular official.


"A person wishing to renounce his or her U.S. citizenship must voluntarily and with intent to relinquish U.S. citizenship:
  1. appear in person before a U.S. consular or diplomatic officer,
  2. in a foreign country (normally at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate); and
  3. sign an oath of renunciation
Renunciations that do not meet the conditions described above have no legal effect."

http://travel.state.gov/content/trav...tizenship.html
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Old 22.08.2014, 11:59
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Re: Renunciations in Bern

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A couple of posters over on IBS have said they were told by Canadian consular staff that the $450 fee will be going up soon so be warned.
A comment by "Over the hedge" on Isaac Brock Society yesterday said that the renunciation fee was going to be increased to either $2,400 or 2,800:
"Both the clerk and the Consular encouraged me to renounce not relinquish as my relinquishment would be denied and I would have to come back later to renounce and then the fee would be going up to I think they said 2800.00 but it might be 2400.00 I stopped listening after they repeated no relinquishment one too many times. I insisted they forward my file to Washington."

There's also a new blog posting that compares consular renunciation fees by country. Jamaica is the currently highest and the US is nr. 2:

http://isaacbrocksociety.ca/2014/08/...omment-2702136
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Old 22.08.2014, 12:10
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Re: Renunciations in Bern

Yes, I saw that MennoFloyd. As the $450 fee now is supposed to be 25% of the processing costs, those figures are even more worrying because 4 x $450 is only $1,800. Makes me wonder, if the fees do go up so much, whether it would be unconstitutional as it would clearly interfere with many US citizens' right to renounce because they couldn't afford to.
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Old 22.08.2014, 14:48
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Re: Renunciations in Bern

Hi Everyone,

Does anyone know what happens to the social security benefits accumulated in the US when one renounces?

Regards,
V
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Old 22.08.2014, 14:49
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Re: Renunciations in Bern

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Hi Everyone,

Does anyone know what happens to the social security benefits accumulated in the US when one renounces?

Regards,
V
You can claim them regardless of whether you're a citizen or not.
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Old 10.09.2014, 00:11
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Re: Renunciations in Bern

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You must have meant "border".

But there is a good joke about "border / boarder":

.....Teacher: Jimmy, where is the Polish border?
.....Jimmy: In bed with my mother; that's why I did not get no breakfast.

Too funny, just saw this now. Thanks for the good joke
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Old 10.09.2014, 01:48
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Re: Renunciations in Bern

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Great idea, but unfortunately the law is specific that you must renounce in front of a consular official.


"A person wishing to renounce his or her U.S. citizenship must voluntarily and with intent to relinquish U.S. citizenship:
  1. appear in person before a U.S. consular or diplomatic officer,
  2. in a foreign country (normally at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate); and
  3. sign an oath of renunciation
Renunciations that do not meet the conditions described above have no legal effect."

http://travel.state.gov/content/trav...tizenship.html
Very interesting comment Medea. Our documents which were signed at the US/Canadian border seem to meet each of the above requirements. I was certainly directed over to immigration officials to process our requests. Are you suggesting that the officers representing the US immigration department at the borders not authorized to act on behalf of the U.S. in these matters? My experience was contrary to that. The immigration officials who processed our requests certainly behaved as if they were fully capable of making these determinants and made quite a stink about being sure that every "t" was crossed and every "i" was dotted on the paperwork. They obviously made telephone calls to make sure they had all the right paperwork and could issue our paperwork appropriately. They really were scratching their heads in disbelief that we would do such a thing as give back our green cards. Nevertheless in the end we walked away after about and hour with the formal renunciation papers that do meet the above mentioned requirements (FYI we were green card holders, lottery winners, who never ever lived in the USA).

I'd also like to point out that when you are at a border you are not technically entered into the USA until you are processed and authorized to enter by the official so as such this point [*]in a foreign country (normally at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate); most likely could be challenged by presenting your self at the border.

Perhaps I'm wrong but don't all or at least most stations along the Canada/US border have some level of immigration officials on hand to deal with the wide variety of issues to deal with foreign aliens and citizens alike? I'm no expert on the matter, I'm simply suggesting that there are other options that could possibly work for others in similar situations. Best to do your own homework but my experience was that its quite tough to get a clear answer from a real live person in the US immigration department by just trying to call or email and luckily enough for me I was still close enough to drive to the border.
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Old 22.12.2014, 12:57
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Re: Renunciations in Bern

"Avoid Bern"
Hodgen Law website has posted a letter from a US citizen in Switzerland who decided to travel to Vienna to renounce, due to inability to schedule a renunciation appointment in Bern. Bern simply didn't respond:

http://hodgen.com/avoid-bern/

The thugs working outside of the Bern Embassy are also mentioned. Some thing I've noticed is that the contract security detail seems to be made up of mostly foreigners (non-Swiss). I could wonder if they have the proper work permits to be working in Switzerland. Might be like Walmart with its contract cleaning crews who were illegal aliens. Perish the thought that the US Embassy would employ illegal immigrants.

Meanwhile, Amb. Suzi continues roaming around Switzerland in search of photo opportunities. Since she has no skills in running an embassy, it might be best that she stay out of the way.
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Old 22.12.2014, 13:10
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Re: Renunciations in Bern

That bears no relationship to my experience with them in 2013. They responded promptly to my e-mails and I fixed an appointment very quickly. Getting into the embassy is a pain, but again I never found anyone to be thuggish or rude.

Swissish, sorry I hadn't seen your comment. The difference, as you say, is that you were Green Card Holders, not US citizens. Yes, the border control can deal with Green Card Holders who want to give these up when they leave the US, but they can't witness a renuncation by a US citizen. That has to be done as outlined at a US embassy/consulate in a foreign country in front of a Consular official - usually the Consul or Vice-Consul.
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Old 23.12.2014, 10:03
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Re: Renunciations in Bern

Someone in Switzerland posted this on the US Regulations.gov website that requested comments on the increase in the renunciation fee from $450 to $2,350. The underlined sentence below mentions the rudeness experienced at US embassies and consulates:

“On August 4, 2014 I got in contact with the US embassy in Berne, about renouncing my US citizenship. I was then told that I have to wait at least 3 weeks before I could renounce my citizenship because everybody is given a waiting period to rethink their decision. I was not told, that the fee of $450 would be increased to $2,350 by mid September!
On September 23, 2014 I told them that 3 weeks had well passed by now and I still stand by my decision to renounce my citizenship. That’s when they sent me the fine prints about the renunciation with the new fee.
I demand the opportunity to renounce my citizenship for the old fee. Why do you people have no moral values? How can you go home at night and face your children when you are treating people this way?
Apart from that I just want to let you know how heart broken I am about how US citizens are being treated abroad. I am 25 and I grew up in Switzerland. I only ever spent one year in the USA as an exchange student. I automatically became a US citizen when I was born in the USA while my Swiss parents lived there for half a year.
All my life I was so proud of being an American citizen and it was a dream of mine to some day emigrate to the United States. But instead the US government is constantly making my life difficult. We have to pay taxes in the US, even though, we do not live there. No other country’s citizens have to do that. The embassies and consulates are always rude and never make our lives easier.
Hoping that a miracle will happen and my message will be heard by someone.”

Also, in fairness to the Bern Embassy, a likely reason that the outside guards are so nervous and aggressive is that the embassy compound reportedly houses the European Headquarters of the CIA. The top CIA officials in Europe work there controlling operations which would range from intelligence gathering to less savory operations such as kidnappings, murders and "enhanced interrogations" (tortures). There could be survivors and members of families of those missing, tortured and murdered who might have a bone to pick with these top CIA officials and, therefore, the high level of security.
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Old 04.02.2015, 16:27
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Re: Renunciations in Bern

I am not sure where the reports of Bern consulate workers being jerks come from. I just got my appointment, it was quite painless and they even called me back straight away when the person was not at their desk. It takes 2 weeks to get an appointment.
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Old 11.02.2015, 09:10
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Re: Renunciations in Bern

This is from an article in yesterday's Wall Street Journal on Americans renouncing their citizenship: "Record Number Gave Up U.S. Citizenship or Long-Term Residency in 2014":

"A record 3,415 individuals renounced their U.S. citizenship or long-term residency in 2014, according to a list released by the Treasury Department on Tuesday.

The 2014 number was up 14% from 2,999 individuals in 2013, which was also a record."

Although we all know what a burden US citizenship is, this comment in the article was astonishing:

"According to a recent survey of 1,546 U.S. citizens and former citizens living abroad, 31% of participants have actively considered renouncing their U.S. citizenship and 3% are in the process of doing so. Many who were considering the move cited increasingly onerous and intrusive financial reporting requirements. The survey was conducted between Dec. 5 and Jan. 20 by Amanda Klekowski von Koppenfels, a researcher at the University of Kent in the U.K."

Suggestion to Obama: Wage war on ISIS, not on US expatriates.
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Old 11.02.2015, 10:19
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Re: Renunciations in Bern

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This is from an article in yesterday's Wall Street Journal on Americans renouncing their citizenship: "Record Number Gave Up U.S. Citizenship or Long-Term Residency in 2014":

"A record 3,415 individuals renounced their U.S. citizenship or long-term residency in 2014, according to a list released by the Treasury Department on Tuesday.

The 2014 number was up 14% from 2,999 individuals in 2013, which was also a record."

Although we all know what a burden US citizenship is, this comment in the article was astonishing:

"According to a recent survey of 1,546 U.S. citizens and former citizens living abroad, 31% of participants have actively considered renouncing their U.S. citizenship and 3% are in the process of doing so. Many who were considering the move cited increasingly onerous and intrusive financial reporting requirements. The survey was conducted between Dec. 5 and Jan. 20 by Amanda Klekowski von Koppenfels, a researcher at the University of Kent in the U.K."

Suggestion to Obama: Wage war on ISIS, not on US expatriates.
Probably well under-reported figures too. Not sure if the Register includes relinquishers as well as renunciants these days or not. I know IBS reckons there are around 5/6 relinquishers for every renunciant.

This article from last year is also interesting.

http://www.overseas-exile.com/2013/0...es-higher.html

Also the FBI NICS Active Records gives a figure of 27,511 people who gave up their citizenship as not being eligible to buy firearms.

http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/nic...nics-index.pdf

In the FBI's NICS Criminal Report 2013 page there's a figure of 23,807.

http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/nic...rations-report

So I make that an increase between 2013 and 2014 of 3,704, slightly higher than the Treasury one.
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Old 11.02.2015, 10:42
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Re: Renunciations in Bern

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Probably well under-reported figures too. Not sure if the Register includes relinquishers as well as renunciants these days or not. I know IBS reckons there are around 5/6 relinquishers for every renunciant.

This article from last year is also interesting.

http://www.overseas-exile.com/2013/0...es-higher.html

Also the FBI NICS Active Records gives a figure of 27,511 people who gave up their citizenship as not being eligible to buy firearms.

http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/nic...nics-index.pdf

In the FBI's NICS Criminal Report 2013 page there's a figure of 23,807.

http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/nic...rations-report

So I make that an increase between 2013 and 2014 of 3,704, slightly higher than the Treasury one.
There is no question that the IRS figures under-report the number of Americans who gave up US citizenship. Last year Global News wrote an article on the difference between the FBI NICS figures, which should include renunciations only, and the IRS figures, which supposedly include renunciations, relinquishments and abandonment of greencards by long-term holders:

http://globalnews.ca/news/1072303/ov...last-year-fbi/

According to Isaac Brock Society for 2014:

FBI NICS statistics: 3,433 (renunciations only)

IRS statistics: 3,415 (renunciations, relinquishments, L-T greencard abandonments)

A Freedom of Information Act report on greencard abandonments shows about 17,000 per year - this report apparently includes all greencard abandonments, both long-term and short-term:

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B7Vq...T2s/edit?pli=1

For what it's worth, here's the 4 Qtr 2014 "name and shame" list produced by the IRS, which should appear in the US Federal Register today:

https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-insp...2015-02850.pdf
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Old 11.02.2015, 18:55
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Re: Renunciations in Bern

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Although we all know what a burden US citizenship is, this comment in the article was astonishing:

"According to a recent survey of 1,546 U.S. citizens and former citizens living abroad, 31% of participants have actively considered renouncing their U.S. citizenship and 3% are in the process of doing so. Many who were considering the move cited increasingly onerous and intrusive financial reporting requirements. The survey was conducted between Dec. 5 and Jan. 20 by Amanda Klekowski von Koppenfels, a researcher at the University of Kent in the U.K."

Suggestion to Obama: Wage war on ISIS, not on US expatriates.
Müllhollander, Prof. von Koppenfels issued this press release on the Kent University website today. An interesting finding is that "there is, similarly, very little difference in renunciation intention between those with lower incomes and those with higher incomes." This means that Fatca and all the other Müll are hitting all USCs abroad more or less equally.

"New Survey Shows US Citizenship Renunciation Intentions Not Linked to Income


11th February 2015

Figures from the US Treasury Department show that 3,514 US citizens renounced their citizenship in 2014; this is the highest figure to date.
A recent University of Kent (at Brussels) study surveyed 1546 US citizens and former citizens (from 5 December 2014 to 20 January 2015) on this topic. Of the US citizen respondents, 31% have actively thought about renouncing US citizenship and 3% are in the process of doing so. The study shows that, in contrast to what is commonly thought, income is not a key factor in their doing so.
Of those who have renounced or relinquished US citizenship (142 of the total respondents), nearly half (43%) have annual pre-tax household incomes of under $100,000 (USD). There is, similarly, very little difference in renunciation intention between those with lower incomes and those with higher incomes: of US citizen respondents with annual household incomes under $100,000 (USD), 28% are actively thinking of renouncing; of US citizen respondents with incomes above $250,000 (USD), 33% are actively thinking of doing so.
The University of Kent study, led by Dr. Amanda Klekowski von Koppenfels, shows that many overseas Americans are feeling increasingly pressured by US financial reporting requirements and that maintaining US citizenship is costly in terms of accountants' fees. One respondent noted: "I can't pay an accountant 2000 in order to pay the USA $0.00 in the end." Fear of "draconian" FBAR (Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts) penalties is also widespread, as this pensioner noted: "Annual income under $4,000; potential FBAR penalties $30,000 per annum for 3 small accounts! I am old and dependent on savings; one paperwork lateness could leave me facing starvation."
Numerous respondents also noted severe difficulties in retaining or opening investment accounts, bank accounts and, in some cases, securing mortgages, as local banks increasingly refuse US customers which negatively affects their ability to plan for retirement. Some 39% have lived abroad for over 20 years, and over two-thirds (67%) say they are unlikely to return to the US.
All US citizens living outside of the US are required to comply with both taxation on global income and financial reporting requirements. Certain groups of US citizens and former US citizens feel particularly targeted, as a respondent in Canada explained: "Canada is home to many border babies, born in the US because that was the location of the closest hospital, and 'accidentals' like myself who left the US as young children with no say in where they were born."
This University of Kent survey the first academic study of its kind, and the largest look at the attitudes of Americans living abroad on this topic to date shows that income is not the key motivating factor in prompting renunciations, but that increasing reporting requirements, fears of "draconian" penalties and increasing inability to hold a bank account are factors prompting renunciation.
A longer summary of initial findings is available."

http://www.kent.ac.uk/brussels/study...ews/?view=1973

Last edited by MennoFloyd; 11.02.2015 at 19:17. Reason: grammar
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Old 11.02.2015, 18:59
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Re: Renunciations in Bern

Of course, that's all a myth - the Treasury/State Dept said so.
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