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  #21  
Old 30.08.2014, 11:51
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Re: US State Dept hiking renunciation fees to $2,350

Off topic, but here is an article on dual citizens in Canada that plan to sue the Canadian government over giving bank data to the Americans (FACTA).

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...ticle19399762/
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Old 30.08.2014, 12:24
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Re: US State Dept hiking renunciation fees to $2,350

Genevalunch has a detailed article on the renunciation fee topic:

"US jacks up cost of renouncing citizenship

August 29, 2014 by Ellen Wallace
Americans, stay home! Save your government some dollars!

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND / EDITOR’S NOTEPAD –

Those who’ve thought about it too long are going to find this a bitter pill to swallow: The US government has just issued a change in price for the cost of renouncing citizenship or giving up a long-term green card. US citizens who have been renouncing in record numbers have had to pay $450 for administrative fees until now.

The new fee: $2,350, effective 6 September but probably going into effect only 12 or 13 September. The change is a 422 percent increase, according to the Federal Register."

Rest of article at this link:
http://genevalunch.com/2014/08/29/us...g-citizenship/
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Old 30.08.2014, 12:48
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Re: US State Dept hiking renunciation fees to $2,350

Relinquishing your citizenship should not be cheap. I think people should be walked through the procedure and consequences in minute detail because I actually disagree, some people are stupid and prone to rash decisions with very long term consequences.
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Old 30.08.2014, 13:22
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Re: US State Dept hiking renunciation fees to $2,350

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Relinquishing your citizenship should not be cheap.
US citizenship relinquishment is still "no-charge"; renunciation will cost $2,350 shortly.

A Forbes columnist commented: "Critics note that it’s (renunciation) more than twenty times the average level in other high-income countries."

http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertwo...enship-by-422/

The US is, of course, an exceptional country.
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Old 30.08.2014, 13:39
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Re: US State Dept hiking renunciation fees to $2,350

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Relinquishing your citizenship should not be cheap. I think people should be walked through the procedure and consequences in minute detail because I actually disagree, some people are stupid and prone to rash decisions with very long term consequences.
Making it expensive doesn't make people less prone to making rash decisions. Some people have US citizenship but feel no connection to
the US whatsoever and have never been there, why should they have to jump through hoops to rid themselves of what is nothing more than a giant pain in the ass in the form of a blue passport?

As much as I want to, and despite having dual citizenship and no plans of living anywhere other than here, I'm not going to give up my US citizenship, but I think it should be easy to do so, with nothing more than a nominal fee and a thorough explanation of the ramifications...
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Old 30.08.2014, 15:47
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Re: US State Dept hiking renunciation fees to $2,350

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US citizenship relinquishment is still "no-charge"; renunciation will cost $2,350 shortly.

A Forbes columnist commented: "Critics note that it’s (renunciation) more than twenty times the average level in other high-income countries."

http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertwo...enship-by-422/

The US is, of course, an exceptional country.
"Exceptionalism" seems to be very American.

The price of "expatriation" is far, far higher for a "covered expatriate" (i.e. someone with over $2 million in assets or $157,000 in annual income http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Inter...patriation-Tax

Persons subject to this fee and these taxes are not limited to US citizens and US noncitizen nationals. The net is much wider.

While under international law it is for every country to determine who are its citizens, other countries are not always bound to accept such claims.

Unlike Switzerland, the USA does not know who its citizens are unless they hold a valid passport or have availed themselves of certain attributes of nationality, including as a practical matter a history of Social Security, taxes, driving license, credit history, military and government service, US residence -- the kind of things that leave a written record. As I will write in my essay, a person with no assets, income or heirs in the USA, and absolutely a person who was not born in the USA and does not hold a US passport has little to worry about. (Someone who used to hold such a passport might find that used as evidence; the relevant dates matter.)

Know that the IRS is a collection agency. It does not waste time with persons, especially persons abroad, where there is little or no prospect of collecting any money. They don't (yet -- some States do) sell off their claims for pennies to private-sector collection agents who violate all the norms of prescription (statute of limitations) and even bankruptcy discharge when it suits them. Those guys are gangsters.

There is a problem, however, and while I am about to leave this forum for good (I don't like some of the trolls and the forum is just not useful for me, and I have never accepted clients from the Internet and do not do so now) I am drafting an essay for the finance and tax section of this site on my views (and why those who rely on US-based advisors are bound to get expensive and sometimes incorrect advice, viz: OVDP). Ironically, or perversely, the only way I (and any other US-conncected or, bizarrely UK-connected) professional can give honest, correct advice is not to charge. That's because the enforceable professional standards of ethics there require (in effect) that paid professionals enforce the law for the IRS. To give out an opinion for free, on the other hand, is a matter of free expression.

As I will say in my essay, the USA has asserted itself exorbitantly (think: FATCA, PFIC, FBAR...) on the basis that no foreign country, and no foreign financial services provider, can do without the US market and the US dollar as numéraire and reserve currency. Things are about to get worse: already "tax evasion" has been connected to terrorism, money-laundering, mail fraud, wire fraud, and common-law fraud, although cross-border enforcement has been rare. A look at the new model tax treaty and the new model extradition treaties (viz: US-UK) should be scary. The Marc Rich case is informative: he thought he was rid of US citizenship but he was not; he didn't know or didn't care that the NSA was monitoring all his business in oil with Iran in violation of the Trading with the Enemy Act; but at least he had good friends and got a Pardon (although that didn't affect his civil liability nor his civil and criminal liability for non-payment of state tax).

There are surprises ahead. It will be interesting to see whether the European Court of Human Rights chooses to weigh in (in due course) on whether the huge fees and taxes demanded for the sole purpose of renouncing US citizenship is a barrier to the established human right to change one's nationality (and never mind that Greece hasn't allowed ethnic Greeks to do so (Turks and Slavs and sometimes Jews they used to expatriate when there was an Art. 19 of their Nationality Act, but that's long gone now. Google: Ramadanoglou for an example.))

I am Swiss but I am not licensed to give advice in Switzerland. Your mileage may vary. Good luck.

For the trolls: I have a Doctorat en droit from a well-known European university (founded a long time ago by the Pope, but that's another story) in international law, specialising in nationality and taxation. If you want to disagree, go ahead but I won't be reading it. And for the guy who didn't like what I said about Social Security and NIC Class II, go to the HMRC Web Site and read about the exclusion for those who were subject to Class I, as well as the nationality and residence issues. And bear in mind that these posts are rapidly written rarely proofread, and it is unjust and nasty to pick on someone trying to be helpful merely because a subordinate clause may be inauspiciously drafted. Maybe if I'd written in French it would have been more clear. (The fact remains this: one can game the UK pension system still. And in some cases the Swiss and the American, but it all depends on circumstances. The Americans will ask for proof of nationality (or other right) when you claim benefits; the others do not.)

Cheers, and bye.

Last edited by Potrzebie; 30.08.2014 at 16:08.
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Old 30.08.2014, 16:15
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Re: US State Dept hiking renunciation fees to $2,350

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Not that this is a route for me, but, what are the effective differences between renunciation and a relinquishing of citizenship?

Is relinquishing more of a "It's not you, .., it's me" type of out?

Just curious.
I haven't read this entire thread, so perhaps this has been answered. I found a nice link here: http://hodgen.com/relinquishing-u-s-...-expatriation/


Sounds like they're pretty much the same result; just different in how you get there.

Last edited by DantesDame; 30.08.2014 at 16:33.
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Old 30.08.2014, 16:51
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Re: US State Dept hiking renunciation fees to $2,350

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"Exceptionalism" seems to be very American.

The price of "expatriation" is far, far higher for a "covered expatriate" (i.e. someone with over $2 million in assets or $157,000 in annual income http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Inter...patriation-Tax

....
You made a whopping error in this sentence. It is if you paid 157K USD in income TAX in 2014, not if you EARNED 157K. That is a huge difference. The overwhelming majority of Americans will not fall into the "covered expatriot" category, meaning there is no exit tax to pay.
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Old 30.08.2014, 17:58
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Re: US State Dept hiking renunciation fees to $2,350

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The overwhelming majority of Americans will not fall into the "covered expatriot" category, meaning there is no exit tax to pay.
Unfortunately I don't feel so re-assured what concerns the future. This exhorbitant fee hike was made overnight. It wouldn't surprise me if the USD 2Mil threashold is not removed in the future. Several senators have repeatedly tried to slip in legislation to increase the exit tax from 15% to 30%. FATCA has very successfully lined up all the available funds on the table and I suspect that there won't be any restraint in using them.
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Old 30.08.2014, 18:12
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Re: US State Dept hiking renunciation fees to $2,350

Today's Wall Street Journal has an article on the renunciation fee increase:

"U.S. Fee to Drop Citizenship Is Raised Fivefold

The fee for individuals to renounce U.S. citizenship is jumping to $2,350 as of Sept. 12—more than five times the current charge of $450."

http://blogs.wsj.com/totalreturn/201...ised-fivefold/

Excerpt:
"According to a State Department spokesman, the wait time for an expatriation interview has increased to as much as six months in some areas, while it is as short as two to four weeks in others. He added that three-quarters of all renunciations are processed by consular offices in Canada, the U.K. and Switzerland."

Last edited by MennoFloyd; 30.08.2014 at 18:27.
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Old 30.08.2014, 18:33
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Re: US State Dept hiking renunciation fees to $2,350

"two intensive interviews with the applicant"

What a load of BS.

A two minute Q/A session is all.

Well, there was also the 5 minutes on the phone to set up the renunciation, so I guess that counts as two.

Tom
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Old 30.08.2014, 20:10
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Re: US State Dept hiking renunciation fees to $2,350

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You made a whopping error in this sentence. It is if you paid 157K USD in income TAX in 2014, not if you EARNED 157K. That is a huge difference. The overwhelming majority of Americans will not fall into the "covered expatriot" category, meaning there is no exit tax to pay.
I am deeply apologetic for having quickly, but wrongly, cut and pasted from this
Your average annual net income tax for the 5 years ending before the date of expatriation or termination of residency is more than a specified amount that is adjusted for inflation ($147,000 for 2011, $151,000 for 2012, $155,000 for 2013 and $157,000 for 2014).
http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Inter...patriation-Tax

But your hostile tone is why I have left the forum.

The fact is, that here in London where I happen to be, nobody I know has assets under $2 million. $5 million is more typical. And my home in Switzerland is worth more than $2 million although if they let me deduct the mortgage and don't count my pension assets (I think they will) I'm f***** even for estate tax.

I guess, in the circles I communicate with, who are scarcely wealthy by any normal standards, there is "hidden wealth" because we all bought homes in the 1970s.

There is a US/Canada lawyer named John Richardson who knows more than anybody else about these subjects. He speaks of people who were pushed into OVDI even though they were not US Persons. The system is crazy. And the pursuit of professionals who make mistakes (is that what you were onto in criticising my typo?) makes them afraid to do anything but what is -- it turns out -- most profitable for them and for the IRS: OVDI.

True, most people would pay no expatriation tax. But for most of them there is no point in renouncing in the first place. The IRS is, as I have written many, many times, a collection agency. They will not, repeat not, target those with no assets, no income, and no heirs in the USA. There is, further, a lot to be learned from Professor Jack Towsend's Tax Crimes Blog http://www.federaltaxcrimes.blogspot.ch

And for the future, if you want to learn something and encourage participation by those who know something (but who make make honest typos and other mistakes) I would suggest you be gentle. Did you find fault with the rest of what I wrote? The assumption most people will make is that it's all rubbish. (And for the State Pension guy who took such umbrage over a simplification of the Class I, II, III rules: I was there when then-HEW Secretary Joseph Califano told the British Government that if they didn't come to terms on a Totalization Agreement, the US would retaliate. Yes, we make mistakes on these largely-trivial forums. But some of us, a few of us, are old enough and experienced enough to have something worth reading. One of my professors in Grad school (James Angell) was there at Bretton Woods. Years later, when I got another mid-career degree, there was a Belgian professor (sorry, in a senior moment I've forgotten his name) who was there at the foundation of the European Union. I have always felt blessed by that. At the end of my oral exam for the course I told him so, sort of "les derniers moments sur l'escalier".

Trolls are all over the Net. Why should I give free advice (and if I make mistakes it's with the knowledge my malpractice cover isn't relevant) when guys (or gals, I didn't check) like you make me feel bad? I try to give links so people can check the source, just as I footnote prodigiously my law review articles. In this case maybe I forgot.

I'm old. Give me a break.

Last edited by Potrzebie; 30.08.2014 at 20:23.
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Old 30.08.2014, 20:29
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Re: US State Dept hiking renunciation fees to $2,350

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I haven't read this entire thread, so perhaps this has been answered. I found a nice link here: http://hodgen.com/relinquishing-u-s-...-expatriation/

Sounds like they're pretty much the same result; just different in how you get there.
In the eyes of the US Government, which is all that counts unless you are counting on another government of nationality to come to your defense and you have no assets, income or heirs and never visit the USA, there is no distinction between "renunciation" and "relinquishment".

That said, many people lost their citizenship before 1985 and any of those who did not "avail themselves of an attribute of US citizenship" are not affected by the Supreme Court decisions in Vance v. Terrazas, etc.

There are many people who thought they were US citizens and are not; just as the reverse is also true.

The "Expatriation to Avoid Tax" rules are increasingly broad. With millions (could be 2 million could be 7 million, nobody knows) American citizens abroad, most of whom have never filed a tax return, the issue is one of collection. Even the new (and coming) scary extradition laws and the assimilation of tax evasion to money laundering and terrorism (trust me, it's on; but Switzerland is not the EU and not the UK, and there's less danger until you cross a border) are unlikely to put persons of doubtful status at risk.

Why? Because the IRS has no standing to pursue a case seeking to prove status. Unless you've done it for them.
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Old 01.09.2014, 09:27
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Re: US State Dept hiking renunciation fees to $2,350

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True, most people would pay no expatriation tax. But for most of them there is no point in renouncing in the first place.
Actually, there are plenty of reasons, getting a bank account, having a shared bank account with a non-US person, getting a job with signatory powers, not having to spend time and money filling out reams of paperwork just to show you no nothing, etc.

Tom
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Old 01.09.2014, 09:54
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Re: US State Dept hiking renunciation fees to $2,350

I`ve read this whole thread - amazing - "How the mighty have fallen", into a pathetic money grabbing excuse of a (previously considered) great nation.

Running out of citizens, running out of cash? Running out of excuses for new wars?
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Old 01.09.2014, 10:06
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Re: US State Dept hiking renunciation fees to $2,350

Registering children born to Americans abroad is voluntary. Careful thought should be given before doing this as you are condemning your child to a lifetime of form-filing slavery and a high fee to renounce citizenship. Below are two comments to the WSJ article "U.S. Fee to Drop US Citizenship Raised FiveFold" where the parents regret it:

"May America burn in hell
From a Norwegian dumb enough to let his American wife register their three children as US citizenship as well as Norwegian"

"Like the Norwegian who commented earlier, I have become the greatest fool for registering my 3 kids at the local American Embassy (“birth abroad”). This will be a 10K mistake. I renounced last year and I will donate the difference between $450 and the new $2350 fee to Issac Brock societies legal fight against several aspects of USA encroaching on Canadian sovereignty. This is the war of 1812 exactly 200 years later… and guess who won that war?"

http://blogs.wsj.com/totalreturn/201.../tab/comments/
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Old 01.09.2014, 11:06
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Re: US State Dept hiking renunciation fees to $2,350

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Registering children born to Americans abroad is voluntary. Careful thought should be given before doing this as you are condemning your child to a lifetime of form-filing slavery and a high fee to renounce citizenship.
Oh the beauty of things in hindsight! I actually have to thank the US Government for posting the totally obnoxious and real B**ch+ counseler officer to work at the American embassy in Bern in 2002 for saving my children a lifelong of misery. I will certainly buy that incompetent "lady" a bottle of champagne, worth every penny.

+ I really do not like this word and only rarely use it but believe me this lady deserved it. I have never met someone so unprofessional in my life, and my non-american spouse was not sure whether to laugh or cry at the experience and treatment. shocking to say the least
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Old 01.09.2014, 11:15
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Re: US State Dept hiking renunciation fees to $2,350

Today's Toronto Star has an article on the increased renunciation fee:

"The cost of cutting ties with Uncle Sam soar:

Americans living in Canada are in a rush to renounce their citizenship in the face of Washington’s invasive tax grab.

By: Tim Harper National Affairs, Published on Sun Aug 31 2014

OTTAWA - Thomas Jefferson is famously believed to have defined the price of freedom as eternal vigilance.

The price of freedom from Uncle Sam is a lot steeper.

Faced with a historic number of Americans renouncing their U.S. citizenship, Washington has decided to grab some cash from their one-time citizens on their way out, raising the processing cost to sever ties from $450 (U.S.) to $2,350.

It appears a fivefold increase will not slow the stampede.

At the U.S. consulate in Toronto, where an appointment to renounce citizenship was usually available within two-to-four weeks, the next opening is now mid-February, 2015."

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2...im_harper.html
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Old 01.09.2014, 11:15
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Re: US State Dept hiking renunciation fees to $2,350

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Registering children born to Americans abroad is voluntary. Careful thought should be given before doing this as you are condemning your child to a lifetime of form-filing slavery and a high fee to renounce citizenship.
How much should I budget to kennel our 6 week old daughter while we head home, west, for Christmas? A little over two weeks, total.

*pulls tongue out of cheek* I think your point is worth considering, but obviously only possible to those with options to choose from.
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Old 01.09.2014, 11:20
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Re: US State Dept hiking renunciation fees to $2,350

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Registering children born to Americans abroad is voluntary.
Yes, however the US could still claim them as US citizens even if unregistered.

Tom
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