Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Help & tips > Finance/banking/taxation
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 14.10.2013, 18:47
Newbie 1st class
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 23
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Olstand has no particular reputation at present
Renunciations in Bern

This whole FATCA thing is making me so furious, I would renounce tomorrow if I could!

Has anyone inquired about renouncing US citizenship in Bern or has an appointment to renounce? Approx. how long is the waiting time?

Also, if anyone has renounced recently, how long did it take to get your CLN?

I may have to go to the US for a short trip next year. Will it be a big problem if I go between renouncing and getting the CLN? i.e. if I enter on my other passport without having the CLN on me?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 14.10.2013, 21:52
latigresse's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: ZH
Posts: 664
Groaned at 27 Times in 22 Posts
Thanked 693 Times in 320 Posts
latigresse has a reputation beyond reputelatigresse has a reputation beyond reputelatigresse has a reputation beyond reputelatigresse has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Renunciations in Bern

I have two friends who renounced last year. They had to make an appointment, but they didn't have to wait months on end or anything. Maybe just two or three max, I think.

They said there was no interview, no questions about why they were doing it. They just had to fill out some kind of questionnaire, sign some papers, fill out some kind of tax form plus the 8854 form, and pay a fee (450 francs), and the whole process took a few minutes. The clerk took their US passports and said they would receive the cancelled passports back from the State Department in a few months. They were told they could travel to the US on their Swiss passports provided they got the ESTA and would be allowed to stay up to three months.

It all sounded a bit anti-climactic and almost disappointingly simple, after all the brouha one reads about renouncing.

But, good luck to you, whatever you decide.
__________________
"Sell crazy someplace else, we're all stocked up here." ~ Jack Nicholson in As Good As It Gets
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 14.10.2013, 22:34
Medea Fleecestealer's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Misery-Courtion
Posts: 13,471
Groaned at 169 Times in 134 Posts
Thanked 9,605 Times in 5,488 Posts
Medea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond reputeMedea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond reputeMedea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond reputeMedea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond reputeMedea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond reputeMedea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Renunciations in Bern

I can confirm what latigresse has said, apart from the bit about the tax forms. These are not needed! I e-mailed the embassy about renouncing just before Christmas 2012, but didn't get around to making the appointment until the end of January. I renounced on the 4th of March and collected my CLN from the embassy on the 11th April. From appointment to collection the process took 3 and a half months. The staff were very helpful at all stages. They've dealt with so many now I suspect it's become a routine procedure for them.

As far as the passport thing goes, it depends if your other passport shows a US birthplace on it. If so, there may be problems if you don't have a US passport or CLN. It really depends on where you enter and how the border control people are feeling on the day.

Two things to remember. First, at present with the US shutdown processing of renunciations in Washington will be slower. Second, US law states that you must use your US passport when entering/leaving the States so if you can wait until you have your CLN so you can take a copy of it with you when travelling.

On the tax side, whether you are up to date with your tax filing or need to back file you will have a year from the date of renouncing (not the approval date, the actual date you take the Oath of Renunciation) to file your 8854 form. They shouldn't ask for this at the embassy because it's nothing to do with them or your renunciation. It's a separate matter entirely and is between you and the IRS, not the embassy.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 15.10.2013, 17:42
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Vaud
Posts: 506
Groaned at 3 Times in 3 Posts
Thanked 332 Times in 217 Posts
slingb is considered knowledgeableslingb is considered knowledgeableslingb is considered knowledgeable
Re: Renunciations in Bern

Quote:
View Post
...
As far as the passport thing goes, it depends if your other passport shows a US birthplace on it. If so, there may be problems if you don't have a US passport or CLN. It really depends on where you enter and how the border control people are feeling on the day.
.....
.
Just a comment: on the ESTA application online form there is a question "in which country you were born". This is a new question (maybe 1+ years old), so you cannot hide your birthplace anymore - so it doesnt matter if it's specified on the new passport
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank slingb for this useful post:
  #5  
Old 15.10.2013, 18:11
Medea Fleecestealer's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Misery-Courtion
Posts: 13,471
Groaned at 169 Times in 134 Posts
Thanked 9,605 Times in 5,488 Posts
Medea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond reputeMedea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond reputeMedea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond reputeMedea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond reputeMedea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond reputeMedea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Renunciations in Bern

Didn't know that slingb, so thanks for pointing that out.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 15.10.2013, 21:14
jezzie.m's Avatar
Newbie 1st class
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Zug
Posts: 19
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 11 Times in 9 Posts
jezzie.m has no particular reputation at present
Re: Renunciations in Bern

I renounced about a month ago in Bern. First you must email them about renouncing and then they will create a file for you and send an information package by email. Then you can call them to make an renunciation appointment - appointments to renounce can be scheduled within a 2-3 weeks from your call.
It was an easy process, just sign a few documents (not form 8854 - you submit that yourself after) and voilà - no more American. I haven't yet received my CLN, but I don't expect to for a month or two. They said it takes about 3 months or more to process because the State Department is really busy right now.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 15.10.2013, 21:40
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Zürich
Posts: 139
Groaned at 24 Times in 7 Posts
Thanked 80 Times in 47 Posts
Lammhaxe has slipped a little
Re: Renunciations in Bern

Quote:
View Post
This whole FATCA thing is making me so furious, I would renounce tomorrow if I could!

Has anyone inquired about renouncing US citizenship in Bern or has an appointment to renounce? Approx. how long is the waiting time?

Also, if anyone has renounced recently, how long did it take to get your CLN?

I may have to go to the US for a short trip next year. Will it be a big problem if I go between renouncing and getting the CLN? i.e. if I enter on my other passport without having the CLN on me?
Hello, i personally do not pay double tax (unless i become super rich, which than the french government start taking from me), so I do not know the feeling, but is it that bad to push someone to renounce the citizenship?

Or is there more administration issues caused by Fatca, like bank harassment to open or close accounts, permits etc...
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 15.10.2013, 23:04
Medea Fleecestealer's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Misery-Courtion
Posts: 13,471
Groaned at 169 Times in 134 Posts
Thanked 9,605 Times in 5,488 Posts
Medea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond reputeMedea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond reputeMedea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond reputeMedea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond reputeMedea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond reputeMedea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Renunciations in Bern

Quote:
View Post
Hello, i personally do not pay double tax (unless i become super rich, which than the french government start taking from me), so I do not know the feeling, but is it that bad to push someone to renounce the citizenship?

Or is there more administration issues caused by Fatca, like bank harassment to open or close accounts, permits etc...
It's the banking problems, the cost of US tax returns every year even if you have a zero return, etc. There are plenty of threads on the problems FATCA has/is causing.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 16.10.2013, 16:10
Newbie 1st class
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 23
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Olstand has no particular reputation at present
Re: Renunciations in Bern

Quote:
First you must email them about renouncing and then they will create a file for you and send an information package by email.
What do you mean by "create a file for you"? Does that mean you're on their books forever as wanting to renounce if you just want the information package?

I'm still tossing up on whether to renounce or not - some days I'm adamant I will, other days I'm not so sure it's a good idea, esp. with the potential trip to the US next year for which the dates would be set (i.e. I couldn't bring forward or postpone).
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 16.10.2013, 16:24
jezzie.m's Avatar
Newbie 1st class
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Zug
Posts: 19
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 11 Times in 9 Posts
jezzie.m has no particular reputation at present
Re: Renunciations in Bern

Quote:
View Post
What do you mean by "create a file for you"? Does that mean you're on their books forever as wanting to renounce if you just want the information package?

I'm still tossing up on whether to renounce or not - some days I'm adamant I will, other days I'm not so sure it's a good idea, esp. with the potential trip to the US next year for which the dates would be set (i.e. I couldn't bring forward or postpone).
I found the idea of having 'a file' strange. However, that's the impression I got. The documents they prepare and email for you are personalized with your name on them. And I called to make the appointment, it took her a minute to, in her words, "pull up my file".

It's definitely a hard decision. I am also semi-worried about how I'll be treated if I visit the United States. But then I also think that I've never entered the US on an American passport (and my birthplace is written as in the US) - I've always used the Canadian one. When I lived in Canada, I lived quite close to the US so I crossed the border or flew into the US quite often. Never was questioned about not carrying the US passport. So I doubt that you will have that much trouble, but granted - I don't know if having renounced would make the US border/customs searches more thorough.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 16.10.2013, 16:54
Medea Fleecestealer's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Misery-Courtion
Posts: 13,471
Groaned at 169 Times in 134 Posts
Thanked 9,605 Times in 5,488 Posts
Medea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond reputeMedea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond reputeMedea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond reputeMedea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond reputeMedea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond reputeMedea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Renunciations in Bern

Quote:
View Post
What do you mean by "create a file for you"? Does that mean you're on their books forever as wanting to renounce if you just want the information package?

I'm still tossing up on whether to renounce or not - some days I'm adamant I will, other days I'm not so sure it's a good idea, esp. with the potential trip to the US next year for which the dates would be set (i.e. I couldn't bring forward or postpone).
There's nothing sinister about it, if that's what you're worried about. These are the forms they will send you:

http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/81606.pdf

http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/81607.pdf

They will also send you a letter (that's the personalised bit with "Dear Mr ??" on it) explaining what you need to do if you want to go ahead and renounce, a document explaining renunciation (which is also on their website http://bern.usembassy.gov/service/renunciation5.html) and a short questionnaire with basic questions like name, address, where born, how you got US citizenship, etc.

If you decide you don't want to go ahead, then e-mail them back and tell them. They'll probably delete your file as they're not likely to keep stuff that isn't going to be used. And they won't pass any info on to the State Department or IRS.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 16.10.2013, 17:12
Medea Fleecestealer's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Misery-Courtion
Posts: 13,471
Groaned at 169 Times in 134 Posts
Thanked 9,605 Times in 5,488 Posts
Medea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond reputeMedea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond reputeMedea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond reputeMedea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond reputeMedea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond reputeMedea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Renunciations in Bern

The main thing is to CALM DOWN! Look at your situation objectively, weigh up the pros and cons to decide the best way forward for you.

I admit I was shocked to find out I should have been filing US tax returns for decades, but when I sat down and thought about it I realised it was more about me not really being as American as I'd thought I was. I've spent most of my life out of the US and that's shaped the way I think and feel. I'm not American in outlook/views and the only thing that made me one was the fact I was born there. As it had almost caused problems for us buying a property here and had the potential to cause more problems in the future I decided it wasn't something I really wanted or needed to hang on to. So in the end the decision was easy, although obviously still made me a bit sad. But I wouldn't change my decision; America had become no more than an occasional place to visit, apart from some relatives I have no ties there. My life was and is based in Europe now.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Medea Fleecestealer for this useful post:
  #13  
Old 16.10.2013, 18:07
Newbie 1st class
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 23
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Olstand has no particular reputation at present
Re: Renunciations in Bern

The other issue for me is that I don't intend to stay in Switzerland permanently or long-term. If I were and my other passport was a Swiss one, it'd make sense to renounce for sure.

So theoretically, I could just return home and pretend to live in ignorant bliss...
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 16.10.2013, 18:09
Dack Rambo's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 2,439
Groaned at 178 Times in 105 Posts
Thanked 1,551 Times in 765 Posts
Dack Rambo has earned the respect of manyDack Rambo has earned the respect of manyDack Rambo has earned the respect of many
Re: Renunciations in Bern

Quote:
View Post
I'm still tossing up
you should have stopped that at your age
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 16.10.2013, 20:02
Medea Fleecestealer's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Misery-Courtion
Posts: 13,471
Groaned at 169 Times in 134 Posts
Thanked 9,605 Times in 5,488 Posts
Medea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond reputeMedea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond reputeMedea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond reputeMedea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond reputeMedea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond reputeMedea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Renunciations in Bern

Quote:
View Post
The other issue for me is that I don't intend to stay in Switzerland permanently or long-term. If I were and my other passport was a Swiss one, it'd make sense to renounce for sure.

So theoretically, I could just return home and pretend to live in ignorant bliss...
Don't think the FATCA banking problem is confined to Switzerland because it's not. It requires banks worldwide to report their American clients so unless your bank at home doesn't know you're also American you'd have the same problem as here.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 20.10.2013, 07:57
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Zürich
Posts: 309
Groaned at 109 Times in 79 Posts
Thanked 141 Times in 91 Posts
SwissPinoy is considered unworthySwissPinoy is considered unworthySwissPinoy is considered unworthy
Re: Renunciations in Bern

Quote:
View Post
This whole FATCA thing is making me so furious, I would renounce tomorrow if I could!

Has anyone inquired about renouncing US citizenship in Bern or has an appointment to renounce? Approx. how long is the waiting time?
The best thing to do is to call the embassy, explain to them that you are thinking about renouncing and then ask them what the wait time is. When I did that, they told me that it was about a month. When I finally renounced, though, I got an appointment in 3 days because they had an empty slot due to a cancellation.

Quote:
Also, if anyone has renounced recently, how long did it take to get your CLN?
It took about 2 months.

Quote:
I may have to go to the US for a short trip next year. Will it be a big problem if I go between renouncing and getting the CLN? i.e. if I enter on my other passport without having the CLN on me?
No, just bring along the receipt. It isn't your fault that it takes them 2 months to punch holes into the blue passport, so they can't blame you for their own problems. That would be stupid. Yet, then again, American foreign policy is incredibly stupid.

It shouldn't be too difficult to decide if one should renounce or not. If one really wants to live in the US someday, then don't renounce. If one doesn't want to be burdened with all the paperwork and filing fees for the next 50 years, then renounce.

I disagree that renunciations are irrevocable, though. US policy is currently so incredibly stupid, that one would have to be a complete utter moron to deny an individual with American heritage the right to live in the US. But, then again, with the debt being idiotic, FATCA being stupid, the treasury being dishonest and all of the other insanity going on right now, I suppose that it really can be possible for Americans to be stupid enough to oppose American heritage. Yet, if Americans really insist on being stupid enough to not want for us to live there, then why in the world would one anyone ever want too be so completely idiotic to live in a nation where one is not wanted? One of the reasons why I renounced is because renunciations are irrevocable. Irrevocable nonsense is just stupid, just like all of the other stupidity related to renounciations. Americans should renounce simply because the whole renunciation thing is just stupid and the US government is too stupid to recognize its insanity on the issue.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank SwissPinoy for this useful post:
  #17  
Old 20.10.2013, 08:13
drmom's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Somewhere in SG
Posts: 2,333
Groaned at 13 Times in 13 Posts
Thanked 2,181 Times in 1,045 Posts
drmom has a reputation beyond reputedrmom has a reputation beyond reputedrmom has a reputation beyond reputedrmom has a reputation beyond reputedrmom has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Renunciations in Bern

Quote:
View Post
Don't think the FATCA banking problem is confined to Switzerland because it's not. It requires banks worldwide to report their American clients so unless your bank at home doesn't know you're also American you'd have the same problem as here.
But the problem is worse in Switzerland than, for example, in Germany where I also have had accounts with my husband. In Germany, I have always just signed the forms and reported to the IRS my accounts, but it is the Swiss banking regs that have made things different.

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

Of course, I only have US citizenship, so I don't really have an option, although I figure I could probably qualify for German citizenship if I needed to...
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank drmom for this useful post:
  #18  
Old 20.10.2013, 08:32
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Zürich
Posts: 309
Groaned at 109 Times in 79 Posts
Thanked 141 Times in 91 Posts
SwissPinoy is considered unworthySwissPinoy is considered unworthySwissPinoy is considered unworthy
Re: Renunciations in Bern

Quote:
View Post
But the problem is worse in Switzerland than, for example, in Germany where I also have had accounts with my husband. In Germany, I have always just signed the forms and reported to the IRS my accounts, but it is the Swiss banking regs that have made things different.

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

Of course, I only have US citizenship, so I don't really have an option, although I figure I could probably qualify for German citizenship if I needed to...
The most that I ever paid to file was $75. Last year, I filed for free (except for postage). Yet, I renounced anyways due to the national origin discrimination. Maybe things will get better, maybe not. Some individuals have been required to hire professional services to do tax filing, and that's not cheap.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 20.10.2013, 10:26
Medea Fleecestealer's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Misery-Courtion
Posts: 13,471
Groaned at 169 Times in 134 Posts
Thanked 9,605 Times in 5,488 Posts
Medea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond reputeMedea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond reputeMedea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond reputeMedea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond reputeMedea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond reputeMedea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Renunciations in Bern

Quote:
View Post
I disagree that renunciations are irrevocable, though. US policy is currently so incredibly stupid, that one would have to be a complete utter moron to deny an individual with American heritage the right to live in the US. But, then again, with the debt being idiotic, FATCA being stupid, the treasury being dishonest and all of the other insanity going on right now, I suppose that it really can be possible for Americans to be stupid enough to oppose American heritage. Yet, if Americans really insist on being stupid enough to not want for us to live there, then why in the world would one anyone ever want too be so completely idiotic to live in a nation where one is not wanted? One of the reasons why I renounced is because renunciations are irrevocable. Irrevocable nonsense is just stupid, just like all of the other stupidity related to renounciations. Americans should renounce simply because the whole renunciation thing is just stupid and the US government is too stupid to recognize its insanity on the issue.

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.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users would like to thank Medea Fleecestealer for this useful post:
  #20  
Old 20.10.2013, 10:58
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: SZ
Posts: 7,615
Groaned at 18 Times in 17 Posts
Thanked 15,920 Times in 5,232 Posts
meloncollie has a reputation beyond reputemeloncollie has a reputation beyond reputemeloncollie has a reputation beyond reputemeloncollie has a reputation beyond reputemeloncollie has a reputation beyond reputemeloncollie has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Renunciations in Bern

Quote:
View Post
Also, I don't know about what costs everyone has -
One of the big firms wanted CHF 5000+ to do our taxes; we went with a smaller firm who does it for a bit under 3000.

Ouch.

But I am terrified of the consequences of making a mistake, so I guess that's the price of peace of mind.

The blue book is expensive, no doubt... but as we will never qualify for Swiss citizenship renunciation is not an option. Even if it were an option, though, I wouldn't consider it. Home is where the heart is - and my heart still lies along the shores of Lake Michigan.
Reply With Quote
The following 5 users would like to thank meloncollie for this useful post:
Reply




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Bern apart search hard -consider Thun? Could I find a flat in Bern for 1600 total? annastorm Housing in general 25 03.01.2014 00:02
"free" parking in Bern (or close to Bern) mcballa Transportation/driving 0 02.01.2013 17:05
Pregnant, moving to Bern. Any other bumps in Bern? taramc13 Family matters/health 2 05.05.2011 21:37
[Serbia / Bern] Seeking to buy a used bicycle in bern kovle Items for sale 5 03.08.2009 10:05


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 13:40.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0