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SOVEREIGN MAN

Facts and Myths about Renunciation of US Citizenship

Us-passport

I was reading the Financial Times on board a recent flight from Vienna to Vilnius. Right smack dab on the front page was an article about the growing movement of Americans who are renouncing their US citizenship.

As the article goes,

“At the US Embassy in London, there is a waiting list that none of the officials likes to discuss. On the list are Americans hoping to give up their citizenship, as they seek shelter from the Internal Revenue Service.”

The rest of the article drives home a prescient point: renunciation of US citizenship is an emerging trend that, while still in its infancy, is growing.

So why are so many people doing this, or at least considering the option?

There are a few reasons. For many, it’s about money. They live, work, and invest overseas, and none of their income is earned from US sources; yet, the US government still has its hand out for a portion of their profits.

To many expats, this is unjustifiable and abusive: forcing people to hand over a portion of their labor and receive no benefit in return is akin to slavery.

Expats who renounce US citizenship are freed of this parasitic relationship; they can focus their efforts on things like providing value and growing their businesses, and not thinking about ridiculous and unproductive tax strategies.

For other people, the decision to renounce is rooted in a serious disagreement with the direction that the country is headed. They don’t like war, socialism, big government, or the erosion of civil liberties.

While no country is perfect, they realize that there are much greener pastures elsewhere. Their renunciation is a declaration of independence– a declaration of self-reliance in a turbulent world.

In time, I’d like to open a larger discussion about this issue because it’s such a growing trend. Today, though, I thought I’d dispel a few myths about expatriation because I hear these sorts of things all the time.

My personal favorite is the commonly held belief that if you renounce your citizenship, you will end up on some list… and they won’t let you back into the country.

This is simply untrue. If you already have another passport from a visa waiver country (like Canada or Germany), you could enter the US the very next day.

If your other passport is from a non visa waiver country (like St. Kitts or Panama), then you would have to go through the process of applying for a US visa at a foreign consulate just like everyone else.

The thing is, one of the primary missions of consular officials at foreign embassies is to determine whether visa applicants might intend to overstay their visas and illegally reside in the United States.

Clearly, someone who has just renounced citizenship is in no danger of becoming an illegal alien. As such, it’s pretty easy to apply for and receive a 10-year multiple entry visa, unless you’ve managed to land on a terrorist watch list or have a serious criminal record.

This leads me to the second commonly held myth about renunciation– people think that if you renounce US citizenship, you can only spend a short amount of time in the US each year as a foreigner.

This is also untrue. Most multiple entry tourist visas are good for 90-days per visit; they can be extended through application, or simply by exiting and re-entering the country at a later date.

The biggest thing you have to watch out for, though, is falling back into the US tax net. Generally, after 4-months a non-resident foreigner would become subject to tax on his/her worldwide income. This is common in many countries– New Zealand, for example, has a six month window for non-residents.

Another big misconception is that renunciation reduces your capability to travel. Sure, a US passport is pretty convenient in that you can travel to quite a few places visa-free, but there are easy alternatives.

St. Kitts, for example, has an simple economic passport program that provides visa-free travel to Canada, Europe, Hong Kong, and dozens of other countries. Brazil and Singapore are also great options, and fairly easy to obtain.

The point is that visa-free travel need not end because of renunciation; in some travel cases, renunciation can even be a benefit. After all, no one has ever hijacked a plane and threatened to kill all the St. Kittsians.

Lastly, there are a lot of misconceptions about loss of benefits. If you have retired from the US military and renounce citizenship, you -will- lose your retirement pay. Check out DoD Financial Management Regulation Volume 7B, Chapter 6 for more information.

Social security, on the other hand, is not forfeited; one would continue to receive checks as a non-citizen, at least until Social Security finally goes bust.

I plan on discussing this topic a lot more in my free newsletter Sovereign Man: Notes from the Field. You can sign up with your email below, for free.

About the author: Simon Black is an international investor, entrepreneur, permanent traveler, free man, and founder of Sovereign Man. His free daily e-letter and crash course is about using the experiences from his life and travels to help you achieve more freedom.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • http://twitter.com/MikeSmarr Mike

    Simon,
    Thank you for sharing your information with the world. It is sorely needed.

    Any idea if the non-forfeiture of Social Security includes Social Security Disability benefits?

    Keep up the great work!

    Thank you for your time,
    Mike

    • Technonel

      I am also grateful for this thread. I had no idea you could renounce your U.S. citizenship. As a socialist who identifies as gay, the increasing conservative and Christian citizens are slowly eroding civil rights and social programs.

      • Gunny2862

        Pick a Muslim country any of them that use Sharia as their basis of law – Spend a year there openly living your lifestyle – no, don’t, because if you did you wouldn’t be alive to come back and tell us how it went.
        There is no other country on earth where you, especially with your lifestyle choice, can live as freely in all respects as you can as a Citizen of the US of A.

      • Oh please!

        Why must you make such ridiculous statements? Canada? UK? Ireland? France? Germany? Denmark? Brazil? Australia? Austria? At least a third of the world’s nations offer the same lifestyle rights as we are fortunate to have here in the good ol’ USA. I love America but I sure do get tired hearing people assume it’s the only place on earth with human rights. Perhaps the author of this comment needs to travel a little. Try and tell me Amsterdam is an oppressed place to live.

      • Daruka1947

        I have read all the comments here and some people don’t know their ass from a hole in the ground. I am dual citizen US/NL and haven’t lived or worked in the USA since 1989.  I am officially a ”bona fide”  overseas resident as per the IRS.  I pay taxes to the NL which are higher than in the USA but I get so much more for  the taxes.  like living in a country that is LIGHT YEARS ahead of the USA in modern infrastructure, etc.

        I spent 40 years in aviation before retiring and have been to over 70 countries and have lived and worked in 4 of them, paying into their systems.

        I get SS from Germany, Luxembourg, USA, and NL.

        Totally legal.

        You couldn’t pay me a million bucks to move back to the Useless Snakes. 

        As for renouncement, better to let sleeping dogs lie.  My USA passport has been expired for over 10 years and actually my NL passport gets me to any country on earth and welcomed with a smile.  Try THAT with a USA passport. 

      • Softbank

        One problem not mentioned about the US taxation of its overseas citizens is retirement. In the country where I live, you get a very large lump sum when you retire, and then a very small monthly pension. In my case, because I have lived here only 20 years, my lump sum will “only” be the equivalent of two years’ salary. In this country, that is totally tax free, but to the American IRS it’s income. So in my retirement year I will get that 2 years’ salary + my normal salary + a very large tax bill from Uncle Sam. But no US social security (fair enough, I didn’t work there) or anything else to compensate them for the bite they want. Throwing away the passport is the only way for me to have enough money for a decent retirement.

      • Geez!

        I, most certainly must agree with Oh please!
        I am currently GAY and living in IRELAND because they recognized my relationship wiht my partner. That’s right. I had to leave my home country in order to have the same rights that straight americans get.
        And I love how people like you always choose muslim nations or north korea as a basis for their arguments.

      • Jibiti

        Try livin in Africa as an Open gay person, you wont have the time to go talk on Oprah.

      • exexpat

        Lifestyle choice? Orientation is not a choice– or do you recall the moment you decided your orientation?

      • jrh19

        That is not true. Technonel would do just find here in the Netherlands.

  • Blewis28

    Even if you had a passport allowing visa-free travel to the US, you could not literally come back “the next day” after you renounce. You would need to first wait a few months to receive your CLN (certificate of loss of naturalization)

    • http://www.QWealthReport.com pmac

      I’ve heard this argument before but I don’t think it is correct. I cannot find any law that requires this. They ‘might’ ask for it at the border crossing (in practice unlikely)… so just tell them you haven’t received it yet. The renunciation takes legal effect from the moment you do the act.

    • Jibiti

      Can the renounced US CITIZENSHIP be regained again, say if I am natural born US citizen? Or do I have to marry a US Citizen and start like every other immigrants? I know in Canada you can lose ur citizenship and regain it by marriage.

  • Linda

    The more I read here the more I think and ponder:-)

    I have 3 passports. Country A is African — where there is a non-functioning and corrupt govt, no water for weeks, no gas sometimes for months….and you can buy a human head if you know where to look….and how to ask…no kidding!

    Then there is Country B in Europe….where there is way too much government and rigidity to be comfortable for me. That is why I struggled to get US citizenship (Country C) that I see as a fair midway point between the two. But I have to say you guys are making me think. I never checked into the possiblity of being taxed by B even though I live in C. And even if I leave the shores of C, I may be taxed by the new paradise D and B and C….unless I renounce my hard earned citizenships from all.

    Well so far I am enjoying the wealth of information I am reading here… including the comments from all of you. Keep it up guys. There is nothing as redeeming as being educated by folks who are in the know.

  • Campblairs

    great information….i was under the impression that if i resigned my US citizenship, i would lose my social security money….as little as that might be….thanks, blair

  • Vegas Cathy

    I asked the SSA when I called about filing for my SS…if you renounce your citizenship, you can still collect your benefit. He emphatically said, “No, you cannot”…even laughed as he said it like I was some type of crazy person.

    Staying in the US would be crazy, in my opinion. :)

    I also told him they were out of money. No, no, he said they were “fully” funded until 2037. Yeah, right…

    • Nick

      The person you spoke to simply gave you the wrong answer. Not every employee at SSA knows all the rules.

      Basically, you get Social Security benefits if you earned them while you were legally working in the USA. That is, if you earned the credits while you were a citizen, or a foreigner with a visa that allowed you to work.

      There is a report by the Congressional Research Service here:
      http://trac.syr.edu/immigration/library/P1077.pdf

      • Vegas Cathy

        Ha ha…that’s what happens with government workers. Ever call the IRS with a question? Call five times, same question, five different answers.

  • David Evans

    Great info Simon. I have had just a taste of slavery taxes and to share would be to say that: Being a citizen of the USA in 2008 I traveled to Canada to perform as a program manager on a large Pharmaceutical building project. I live in Arkansas and at the end of the day I was not in the country for a year but had to pay taxes on the entire amount paid to me in Canada, both on a federal and State level. My biggest point is that if you are a USA citizen it is the law that you file your earned income with the IRS and then they take their huge hunk just because you are a citizen of the USA………nothing more because you received no services relative to the IRS cost.
    I look forward and appreciate your insights and understandings. I am working to find the best first step.

    David

    • Vegas Cathy

      And that’s what REALLY aggravates me! The US Government literally steals money from their “citizens” even though they are not even living in the US. I don’t believe any other country in the “free world” does this to their citizens.

      They revolted in 1773 because of a 4 percent tax. Boy, we’ve come a long way, huh?

  • Redpill

    Simon, I’ve seen you mention several times that someone who has freshly renounced their citizenship would not be seen as someone likely to illegally overstay their visa. However, I think I may disagree. I could foresee a trend of individuals renouncing their US citizenship yet finding a way to continue living in the U.S. and conduct their business discreetly while still being around their family and friends.

    To throw in an extra variable, say you have a couple and the person who earns the income (assumably through a flexible non W-2 sort of manner, but still legally) renounces their citizenship while their spouse retains their citizenship for purposes of property ownership and otherwise keeping domestic financial affairs running smoothly.

  • John L

    Completely unrelated, but I was wondering about your economic/political views. In your previous posts, you’ve called yourself an anarchist. I take it you are an anarcho-capitalist? I’ve been reading For A New Liberty by Murray Rothbard lately and it has deeply shaken my belief in the need for the state.

  • spa

    I read these comments with interest. I have duel citizenship US/UK and have lived in London for 30 years. The problem with renouncing citizenship is not these misconceptions you mention but the fact that your worldwide assets must be marked to market and the cap gains tax paid to the US as if they were sold. This is an immense burden! If you have ever filled out FBAR all accounts reported can be cross-checked. I have been in England so long that I understand how tax works here and would prefer to only deal with one tax juridiction but the US has made it virtually impossible to resign if one must pay cap gains on worldwide assets to do so.

    • james baxley

      My wife lives in the UK and the US govt/TSA wont let her in the country so we can be together. So, I just received my VISA to move to the UK and will be moving within a matter of months. Do you have any advice on what I should do. I have a plan but can always use more advice from someone who’s presently been through the system.

  • john

    Simon, once again you are blessing us with little gems of knowledge that have so many myths attached… Can’t wait to hear more… Many Thanks John

  • Ben

    I read somewhere that because there were so many the IRS decided to charge $450 for the privilege of renouncing US citizenship. They tax you right until the end.

    • james baxley

      If you don’t plan on coming back to the US and have no family ties left, just don’t file US taxes.

  • Expat

    You can apply for Social Security at an American Embassy/Consulate and you do not lose those benefits if you have paid into the system.

    Medicare qualifies also as long as you have a Visa to travel back to the USA.

    What about those that finally renounce and escape the US Police State, but have a minor or trumped up ‘criminal’ record. This makes leaving the ‘Empire’ an even more difficult decision.

  • Donportlin7

    Simon, you are correct about receiving social security after renouncing US citizenship. However, it is my understanding that the US government will take a 30% bite from your check each and every month and I’m not aware of any avenues in getting it back.

    • Gerald747

      The “withholding” tax (you can’t get it back) will be 30% of 85%, which is 25.5%. There are exceptions for the “residents” of certain countries (e.g., Canada).

  • nomis

    Simon,
    Help a fellow who is trying to determine if he even has the minimal tools/puzzle-pieces to play in this international sovereign-man league…please be brutally honest with your perspective

    PROFILE: late-bloomer, educated male 50ish, net-worth $300-$400K [not wealthy by any definition], decent health, decade worth of decent judgement in US domestic ventures, liberty-and-truth seeker, finally willing to concede that US will probably crash

    • Zan

      Before Simon or anyone like me could give you meaningful advice, you would need to tell more. Do you plan to continue working or retire or can you do your occupation anywhere? What type of lifestyle do you want? Do you want to continue to live in the US or other first world countries OR are you willing to move anywhere reasonable? How many are in your family and how often will you want to come back to the US to see the family you don’t bring?

      Now let’s say you and your wife are minimalists with no family and who simply want to get off the rat race… then yes, you have plenty. First step is to get most of your non-realestate out of the USD… I personally like gold and Simon has written an excellent booklet on Gold on this website. Getting a second passport does not have to be so expensive… do a little googling. Finally, there are many third world countries where you can live and teach English… a favorite location is Dalat, Vietnam… the city is beautiful.. you could live a very nice minimalist lifestyle for $600 a month including fresh flowers daily and a maid. A modernish 3 bedroom apartment is $150. The weather is perfect year round, so no heating or AC is ever needed. If you prepare yourself with credentials to teach English as a second language, then you could live without dipping into your savings.

      So, the answer is really dependent on what you want out of life and how many flags you want to plant… but you have enough if you do most of the planning yourself and do not want to jet around the world like Simon.

  • Don Chian

    Hey Simon:
    Would Norway be a good country from which to get a 2nd passport? My wife’s great grandfather emigrated from there to the US and she still has relatives living over there … any path thru’ ancestry?
    Thanks for a great newsletter, your knowledge continually amazes me.

  • TL

    I believe the people of St Kitts are known as Kittitians.

    • Rsmith9733

      It’s not Kittens?

  • olderworker

    Won’t these people have to pay taxes at a higher rate in the U.K.? (In the example given in the third paragraph?)

  • Maven

    Yes, let’s pretend that this is a huge trend.

    • Jimgreen

      Can’t be that big of a trend if people are crossing the desert and swimming across the Rio Grang to get here

      • Shellfizzle

        You’re talking about illegal immigrants. The article is talking about spoiled natural born U.S. citizens! And there is a trend.

      • Rickote

        Enlighted U.S. Citizens, no spoiled my friend.

      • Tikayyan

        “Enlightened”? Pure comedy. Good riddance to them.

      • Jenn

        I heard someone say before long, Americans will be sneaking in to Mexico..lol

  • Klowrie

    I know of a native born us citizen who is extremely anti-us, everything: policies, people, and geography. This person, however, does not wish to renounce us citizenship because she would have to pay much higher taxes to the country in which she spends most of her time. She would rather pay lower us taxes.

    • http://twitter.com/JustAGurLnSwedn JAG

      I am the TOTAL opposite… I’m a US citizen, Although NOT a huge fan of the US….. I would RATHER pay taxes in my country where I reside 360 days a year for the last 5 years and plan to stay til I die…. than to pay an additional dime to the USA….

  • Cbw_1968

    A good read! The irony is that the law compelling expats to pay income tax was initiated under Mr. Rangel’s watch, which is why I really hope they send him to jail. We as a people need to decide whether we’re willing to throw out/fire our government and stop participating in a contrived two party system that exists to strip us of our disposable income and choices in how it is spent. Also, a government that no longer protects us from indigenous lobbying interests (HEALTHCARE/BIG PHARMACY/FINANCE/INSURANCE) that are clear violations of the Sherman Antitrust act (hence the exemption from it). The price for true freedom is paid in blood. It is naive to think that it could not come to that which is why Congress will attempt to strip citizens of their right to bear arms. Watch, that battle is coming very soon. More scary stuff from Big Brother to come…

    • Lindesingel94

      Well, Mr. Grassley would like to eliminate completely the foreign earned income exclusion.

  • Buttonmelip

    Many may not be aware or this but: When you file taxes at the end of the year and it is determined that you own money to the IRS, There is a penalty fee assessed for the amount owed when you file. If you come out owing at the end of the year, my advice is to have additional money withheld to reduce or ellimiant the penalty fee.

  • guest

    I have just completed the process and can confirm most all of what is said above (and below – I had to pay the USD450 at the point of renunciation). Getting a renunciation appointment is not easy; the embassies in Canada were uniquely unhelpful. As such, I flew 8 hours once I found an embassy prepared to receive me – in Bahamas. Getting citizenship elsewhere is a process that needs planning and is not cheap. I have spent approximately a million dollars to secure two good passports, most of which goes into the coffers of country where you apply. Finally, there is a big emotional hurdle to get over (telling your parents, explaining to your children, etc) but once it was over, I actually felt relieved.

    • Simonecyclone

      bravo!you are a “real”PATRIOT!!!!!

    • Guest

      I just don’t understand why you needed to spend a million dollars to get two other “good” passports when the US passport is a good passport. I mean unless you love going to North Korea or something.

      I’ve lived overseas and had many emotional battles with accepting things that aren’t perfect about America, but I never considered renouncing my citizenship because of it.

  • Lawn_dude

    If someone is motivated by their conscious fine but if your goal is simply to protect your fat cat investments…..your a fart.
    Most of us are struggling to find a hand full of rice or a place to lay our heads. If you were fortunate to be born into a situation were wealth has been made available to you you should be grateful.
    Do not fool yourself into thinking you EARNED that money. You did NOT work hard to get it. You only think you did.

    • 3GImmigrant

      I may be moving to New Zealand in a couple of years to live with and eventually marry my boyfriend. I’ll be working as a social worker, which is real work by the way . . . I don’t think I should be taxed by two different governments if I haven’t been living in the US for years at a time.

      • Remersonh

        There are some great tax advisors out there. From my experience as an expat – the first XX thousand dollars of income are NOT taxed by the USA. (It was $85,000 USD for me. Can’t say what it is currently.) There are caveats to that … one being how much time you actually spend in the USA. Like I said, get a tax advisor, and you’ll be much better off.

      • james baxley

        But, you get absolutely no deductions or earned income deductions. Then they compare your wages to you earned in your new country to what they would be after converted to US dollars. This is where they get you. I received my VISA for the UK last month and will be moving there within a few months. When the pound is converted to dollars, the pound gains at this writing around 42% . . . so my wages in the UK would increase by nearly 42% which means I am so much closer to the $85,000.

      • exexpat

        Do they still require the $40,000 in the bank that they used to to move to NZ? If you are still a US citizen, you still will be taxed. What would stop you from drawing SS when you retire or from having medicare pay your med. bills? Why wouldn’t you have to pay to 2 countries if you are reaping the benefits of two countries?

      • Abacktoourrootsamerican

        What benefits do you reap from a country in which you are not living, not working and have no children living or working or going to school in? The only thing I do in the US is shop and spend money when I am there. And many residents in the US do reap benefits by physically being in the US and they pay NO taxes unless they work in the US or overstay. Is that a fair system??

    • wilson mader

      really?  So how did I become rich and the other 99% didn’t?  I worked while others were working for someone else.  I saved and invested my money into great investments because I actually knew where the invesments were….How?  I worked by getting educated and reading.  Sooooo….I did earn it.  I have 2 brothers that live on the street…..they didn’t work!  Bye

      • Angie

        And had you done that same research, education, and investing while living in another country, oh let’s say… China, or India, or hell – even France… you’d still be a peasant right now. You were able to achieve 1% status BECAUSE you were in America, not IN SPITE OF being in America. So becoming “rich” (which I highly doubt you are; because rich people aren’t sitting around on message boards telling others how rich they are – but I digress…).

        It doesn’t mean you were particularly clever, and everyone else were losers. People just as brilliant and clever as you lost everything because they weren’t as lucky as you were in their investments. I think his point in questioning whether you actually EARNED the money was quite valid.

  • Cparke

    I think a key issue this article fails to mention is that INA 212(a)(10)(E) provides a ground of inadmissibility for “Former citizens who renounced citizenship to avoid taxation,” as follows: “Any alien who is a former citizen of the United States who officially renounces United States citizenship and who is determined by the Attorney General to have renounced United States citizenship for the purpose of avoiding taxation by the United States is excludable.”

    So, applying for a U.S. visa or admission right after renouncing U.S. citizenship could open up an inquiry into the reason for the renunciation, such as what the tax implications of the action were, and if found to be primarily for tax purposes, could result in a permanent bar to re-entry.

    For the foregoing reasons, I don’t think it is entirely a myth as the author suggests that you won’t wind up on a ban list. That is a distinct possibility.

  • Brooke

    Some of you people are just plain silly …

    The US will send a freaking ex-president to bring you home.

    Somali boat rescue … good luck finding another country that can pull that stunt off. They dropped seals into the ocean in pitch black, got them up on the rear deck of the frigate, and had them sit absolutely still with sniper rifles waiting while both ships rolled in the waves. They executed perfect dual-snipe in rolling seas … in the dark … uhhh … Saint Kitts … what?

    Sometimes really unexpected things happen. I recommend watching the Anthony Bourdain “No Reservations” episode when he was in Beirut and it went from a travel episode to an “oh fuck now what” episode as Israeli bombs started going boom.

    He called the hot-dog he was eating on the Marine transport “the best hotdog I’ve ever eaten”. Doubt you’ll find him considering giving up that passport anytime soon.

    I’m by no means an American fan boy, but saying citizenship is valueless to ex-pats is a great insult to all the families of America’s best who went to bring others home, but didn’t make it home themselves.

    When things are bad for you personally the State Department (sick, broke, robbed blind) will repatriate you and get you home alive.
    If you do what you are supposed to and tell the US embassy “Hey I’m in the country and I’ll be around here”. When unexpected shit really hits the really big fan, even if it’s just you stuck in the boonies alone and scared they will look for you.

    How ever many Legions of Army Rangers, Marines, Seals, Airmen, even CIA needed it takes … it’s coming for you … YOU … No matter how many well you might advertise yourself as a US hater and all … they’re coming to bring your sorry ass home.

    That’s one hell of an insurance policy and after being stuck in Thailand when things got a bit “messy” … no way in hell I’m giving that sucker up.

    I’d rather live overseas … but I agree with Anthony … the Marines do have the world’s best hot-dogs.

    • Floejoe4

      I totally agree with you. I am sure most of these folks “wishing for greener pastuer” have never lived outside the country. I say go, just go if you want to. That is another freedom that we have in this great country.

      • Gene

         ”That is another freedom that we have in this great country.”

        No it isn’t, because they don’t simply let you “just go”. They have their hooks if you and they don’t let go easily. You obviously don’t know much at all about the ex-pat process or how the US does business.

      • http://www.facebook.com/andrewjameshenderson Andrew Henderson

        Yep; don’t make over $150k a year for five years, don’t qualify for the estate tax, don’t have various foreign assets, or they may let you NEVER leave. Of course, you do, as Joe said, have the privilege of simply living somewhere else, and continuing to pay the US their ransom because you were evacuated from a birthing canal there…. ah, the sweet smell of freedom.

    • Hammerdiane

      As long as there’s media coverage, so that America looks bad for not protecting its own if you’re ignored. Otherwise, you do, in fact, have a fair chance of being ignored. Do your homework. It happens all. the. time.

    • CA Free

      And no other country in the world protects it’s citizens over seas. That’s just not a fair analysis. I have family in the U.S. military and appreciate them but, this is a totally different issue. Some of us are having to try and protect our children’s financial future here and the U.S. has pushed us into a position of renounce or be fined and charged forever more. I do not have four thousand dollars a year for a tax attorney and that money would come out of my Canadian husbands income from his Canadian job. Being an American is a financial burden on your foreign family now. That’s way too unacceptable. The chances of me needing the U.S. to send in the Marine’s are zip.

      • Hatchette

        “And no other country in the world protects it’s citizens over seas.”

        You misspelled “persecutes”.

      • AtticusinCanada

        LOL!

    • CA Free

      Canada’s embassy services helped my son when he was in China just fine thankyouverymuch. And I highly doubt I will find myself in Somolia. No Reservations is one of my favorite shows ever but, I assure the Canadian Embassy offers it’s citizens safe havens just like the U.S. does. Oh, and they don’t pass laws that infringe on the rights of other countries citizens.

    • http://www.facebook.com/andrewjameshenderson Andrew Henderson

      Typical “American exceptionalism” arrogance. No other country on earth can possibly help its citizens… but, oh wait, you’ve never tried. As to the wonderful US Embassy, I’ve dealt with two of them, and I’ve never seen such self-serving, bureaucratic, domineering pricks in my life. I wouldn’t trust them to hold my hair back while I vomit in a foreign country let alone save me.

  • guest

    Having lived abroad, I am glad to be back in the US! Although we as a nation do have our problems, I can not think of a more open society where the common person has the power to change things.

    • Guest

      Ever hear of Canada?

    • Abacktoourrootsamerican

      Boy that’s an understatement. Just look at how Obama and his crew have changed things. The thing is how do we like the change??

      • Western Canadian

        Better than under “Dub-Ya”. Either of them

      • CA Free

        No Obushma is the exact same and worse in some cases. Read the legislation and don’t just believe what you are told about it.

    • AtticusinCanada

      Canada.

  • inforodeo

    you also can’t purchase a firearm in America ever again, and you will be ineligible for most government jobs, including some at the county level, should you ever change your mind.

    • Anonymous

      Same thing happens if you’re convicted of a felony (violent or not). Even after time has been served and you’ve paid your debt to society. Could get it expunged but if it was in a small county (like the one my husband was convicted in for what’s legal in plenty of other states/counties) you’ll get trapped in an endless hamster wheel of paying/going through the motions only to have it get thrown out by the judge so you have to pay all over again. Just another way to make money for the system.

  • Thefrogprince

    What if I never leave the USA, never plan to ever leave……..so, today I decide I don’t want to be a citizen any more and renounce my citizenship, from now on I belong to no country. The USA cant kick me out and they cant let me stay…………

    • Melanieeee

      you can’t renounce your citizenship unless you are outside of the USA

    • Jibiti

      Hahahaha!! This posting is the funiest 1 to me, wished I could renounced it inside the U.S and still live in it. Greed!!!

  • Someone

    Is giving unlicensed legal advice a crime in wherever you are right now? Because it is here in the states…

  • http://online-familytents.com Patricia

    I am interested in the Polish passport information you mentioned. My grandmother was Polish, I was born German but have naturalized US citizenship since I was a child. Though I lived in Germany and Belgium, I am now living in Spain. A Polish passport/citizenship would be interesting for me.

    I just today signed up for your newsletter. Could you send me info please on the Polish passport?

    Thank you!

    • Guest

      Dear Patricia,

      I have dual citizenship: Polish and American. I am Polish-born citizen with a valid passport.

      For that inrmation, please contact Polish Embassy in Washington, D.C.

  • Know-It-All???

    Why renounce, when all one needs to do is establish legal residence in a territory of the USA? No FED taxes there!

    If Puerto Rico is not to your liking, there is:

    American Samoa
    Baker Island
    Guam
    Howland Island
    Jarvis Island
    Johnston Atoll
    Kingman Reef
    Midway Islands
    Navassa Island
    Northern Mariana Islands
    Palmyra Atoll
    Virgin Islands or
    Wake Island,

    where you are still a citizen of USA, but pay no Fed taxes.

    What do you give up? No representation in Congress and no voting for POTUS / VP, but of course you also give that up if you renounce.

    I presume you would have unlimited travel times or stays, to and from the ’50′ (or the 57, depending on your personal numbering system), since you would would not be crossing an international border… I don’t think you even need a passport. Also assume that you’d keep any military retirement.

    One other little problem… For Puerto Rico, be sure to bring a copy of your real, original Birth Certificate because under a new law, as of July 2010, Puerto Rico no longer recognizes or accepts ‘COLB’s due to epidemic fraud on COLBs!

    You can’t even get a Puerto Rican Driver’s License with a COLB.

    • SueInBoston

      So, since I don’t have a copy of my original BC, and can only request a “copy” which I guess is a CoLB, then I can’t live in Puerto Rico? Many people don’t have, or can’t get, original birth certificates. Are you SURE that is true? What does one do, then, in my position?

    • Marshe

      I can’t speak about the other territories, but I lived and worked on Johnston Atoll for 9 years and paid plenty of federal taxes. People I know who lived and worked there and tried to claim an exemption from US federal taxes ended up getting lawyers and fighting the IRS on this with no success and ended up paying hefty fees.

    • AtticusinCanada

      You do realize most expats are not rich and can’t just up and move and leave their jobs? Most of us are low to middle income people living long term in higher tax countries. We cannot just up and move to some island bringing our foreign spouses with us who would have no job when they landed.

  • GraceCFL

    Interesting article and most of it true, except you forgot to also mention that more Americans applied to immigrate to Canada during W’s terms in office than at any other time in US history. War, tax reasons and socialism weren’t any of those. 10,000 Americans immigrated to Argentina before Obama won, were they afraid of socialism or taxes? Nope. They wanted cheaper healthcare, nice weather, good food, and a cheap apartment in Buenos Aires or beach condo. I’d really like to know HOW MANY Americans renounce their citizenship each year and what the exact reasons are because these people leaving I mean come on now, Canada’s taxes are higher, and I don’t see millions leaving because of war or scare tactics about socialism either.

    • Dgmageller

      I left to Canada after W was re-elected. One point is that even if you renounce (which I’m not doing), you must file a US tax return for (I think) another 10 years following renouncement, and pay any taxes due as if you were still a citizen. In other words, the US gov’t is saying you can’t renounce for tax reasons. I know US citizens who live in Canada (no, not draft dodgers, younger than that) who simply don’t carry a US passport, don’t ever use their US SS# and they hope for the best ie. never file. I use my US passport to enter the US. Period. Rest of the time, when I travel abroad, I travel as a Canadain. I feel much less a target that way and people are friendlier. Go figure.

      • Expat1234

        Dgmameller you are terribly misinformed and might lead people into a disastrous situation. Canadian and all other international banks will very soon send automatically all financial information to the IRS on ANYONE who was born in the USA (it is on your passport and you can’t change it). In Switzerland banks either refuse Americans as clients or they transmit your information to the IRS. This is going to happen everywhere in the world I’m afraid with the coming of new information sharing. You cannot just move to another country, become a local and start to forget to file your 1040. They will be able to find you very easily and most countries like Canada and many European countries have signed treaties allowing the IRS to come onto their soil and enforce IRS penalties and confiscations etc… If you were born in the USA there is no way out for you except the legal way: regularize your situation and expatriate officially. Oh and about that US passport you “only” use to get into the US – wait till it expires, they have already started flagging foreign residents renewing their passport outside the USA, to the IRS. It says so on the passport renewal forms. You cannot hide and hope for the best, if you do that you are stupid.

      • james baxley

        Before a person can receive a VISA, their passport cannot expire before the said person will be eligible for citizenship in their new country.

      • Ctravel

        Terribly incorrect. The IRS has NOTHING to do with passports, which is a department of state matter. There WAS a proposal to link owed taxes to passports but that was struck down as being unconstitutional. Key word WAS. You CAN NOT be denied a passport or passport renewel because you owe taxes, unless it is a criminal case in which case you would be owing hundreds of thousdands which is not the case for 95 percent of those abroad. Or if you owe child support. Knock it off with the scare tactics and get your facts straight. IRS can not keep someone from a passport and I doubt they even communicate with the Dept. of state. IRS will not be doing footwork in any other country, incorrect in that regard too The best they can hope for is to ut pressure on big time banks to freeze the accounts of citizens who did not file for having over 10,000 in assets …in CERTIAN countries that have agreed to the Fatca.

      • CA Free

        It’s five years back and you can do it ahead of renouncing. I wasn’t “required” to file as I made zero income but, I am doing it anyway just to show on paper I owed nothing. I am not renouncing because of “taxes” but, rather because of FBAR fines on money I never had any access to that passed through a joint checking account and due to FATCA. My spouse makes all of our income. He is not American and he won’t be reported on to the United States giving away his private account numbers and other banking information as required by the “Hire” legislation.

    • CA Free

      Obama’s policies have not been better than Bush and with regard to penalties and fines on people who don’t even live in the U.S. AND their foreign family members he’s been worse. Way worse. I am not fond of either. I”m happy I live in Canada and never thought of renouncing until this latest FBAR and FATCA crap. I am not renouncing due to “taxes” as I owed none but, to protect my family from future draconian practices. Under “HIRE” my foreign spouse can be penalized and so can my foreign son. The entire thing is being framed as going after “over seas tax cheats” but, ninety percent of us did not owe ANY taxes to the U.S. due to paying higher taxes in our country of residence. Under these new ridiculous rules even if you did not know you had to file a separate paper *and they did NOT tell us* called an FBAR you are fined ten thousand for every year you did not file it. All it is is a paper reporting any account your name is on. I was a stay at home mom to a disabled child. I made no income of my own but, my foreign husband who never was American made his income in Canada at his Canadian job. I was told by the IRS I did not make enough to file and at no time was I told that I had to file an FBAR with a different Treasury dept section. I would have owed nothing for filing this paper had I known about it. Who in their right mind would think you would have to report a foreign persons account when you the American in the family made ZERO of that money? So now when you file it you can be fined ten thousand for each year you did not file the piece of paper. This is utter nonsense and will wipe out the savings of many people living on fixed incomes or who are just middle class people with little to no savings. Fine, go after the “big fish” but, that is not what is really happening here. And to cover their butts for doing this the U.S. press has framed the whole thing as “going after tax cheats and criminals.” These people are law abiding people and this is a penalty grab and not about taxes at all. I am renouncing so that I will be no further burden to my Canadian spouse and child. They cannot afford it and neither can I. It is not something I would have done before but, it’s also VERY expensive to have an international tax return done each year. We simply cannot afford it. I would owe no tax but, I’m paying someone to prepare my return and no it is not like filing with H and R block in the U.S. International taxes are complicated and expensive. That’s a loss of income to my husband who is not even American. Further, the U.S. is one of the only countries hat taxes people who do not even live there and haven’t lived there for decades. We don’t use the roads, schools, police or fire services yet we pay for them. To me an over seas tax cheat ought to be someone living in the U.S. who off shores money to avoid tax. That’s NOT the situation most expats who do not live there are in. We pay high taxes to countries we live in and would owe nothing to the U.S. at all. It is disgraceful the U.S. frames us in with criminals calling us “tax cheats” in the press. I will never forgive them for putting people through what I am seeing happen due to FBAR and FATCA. Never.

  • Kent Norton

    :you”"Social security, on the other hand, is not forfeited; one would continue to receive checks as a non-citizen, at least until Social Security finally goes bust.?” Me: is this part of the larger discussion you are not telling us about. So are you renouncing or joining the French Foreign Legion just before your last SSI check? Please give a drop date///

  • BobMD

    So I just renounce my citizenship, then live in the U.S. illegally along with 30 million others. Presto, no more taxes!

    • Nathan Sexton

      You’re a complete idiot if you think 30 million people are living here illegally. Go read a book.

      • Wolfie

        Yup, and even illegals pay more taxes that they can’t claim at all.

      • Jdawg

        4% of the U.S. population is here illegally. So it’s “only” 12.4 million.

      • spm5066@yahoo.com

        Your an idiot if you believe less than 30 million go step over a homeless vet to rescuse a dog from your local shelter, go home and pat yourself on the back for your humanitarianism. BTW- been to Calibario (formerly California) lately?

      • CA Free

        I think if someone is going to call another person an “idiot” then perhaps they could use the word “You’re” rather than “your” which is incorrect.

      • Jake

        I believe the 30 million figure. I was born and raised in Southern California, and after living here for so many years, it is not unbelievable to say there are 30 million illegals in the country.

      • sb

        if not 3o mill. then above that with their off spring.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steven-Tow/100002244722349 Steven Tow

        you’re a bigger idiot if you don’t believe it.
        the figure is accurate,and i definately know

      • james baxley

        It’s closer to 35 million.

  • Dwitcraft

    Another article I read on this topic said citizenship renouncers have unlimited right of return(but the tax issues seem likely).

    Consider another scenario of a vis renouncer. If you live and marry overseas, it is IMPOSSIBLE to get a tourist visa for your spouse. The govt. demands that you apply for an immigration visa($1000s), wait 1-2 years, then the visitor must remain in the US long enough to qualify for citizenship(3 years now) in order to return in the future. If you travel outside the US on a greencard, for more than 6 months, the immigration petition is invalidated and you must start again(very unlikely to get immigration visa for previous abandon). If you marry overseas, you must visit the US without your spouse, or your citizenship.

    • LivedinBrazil

      Could you please mention where you got this information? I am a US citizen who lived abroad for many years with my non-resident foreign spouse, who visited the US on a tourist visa.

  • Abacktoourrootsamerican

    Great article by Simon Black. But I’m sorry “Know it all” but you don’t know about taxes while living overseas. I have lived and worked overseas for 20 years, including some of the countries that you list. There is no such thing as tax-free while carrying a US passport. If the country you live in has a higher tax than the US and a tax treaty with the US then you would only pay the taxes of the host country. However, if you live in a tax-free country then you would pay federal income taxes to the US on all income earned anywhere, anyhow with an overseas dedcution.

    • Coucou

      In France, we pay way more tax and we still pay in the US! because there are stuff that France believes are deductible that the US does not believe deductible. You also have the unfair AMT.
      In a nutshell, this is an abusive organized raket. What the IRS does is what the mafia does! litterally!

      • UncleBenny

        There is also the case where one has income from both the host country and the US, especially “unearned” income (such as investments income, pensions, etc.), which is not eligible for the Earned Income Credit on From 2555. Unless your US-based income can be “re-sourced by treaty,” you pay US taxes on it and then claim a tax credit (if any) on your host country’s tax return. The credits may or may not wipe out your US obligation.

  • 3xBeam

    “Social security, on the other hand, is not forfeited; one would continue to receive checks as a non-citizen, at least until Social Security finally goes bust.”

    That’s disgusting. :(

    • JJ

      “That’s disgusting. :(”
      And why do you say that? If you worked here in the US your whole life you were OBLIGATED to contribute into the fund. Why shouldn’t you be able to receive your benefits, even if you move to another country and go through this process?

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1192115238 Drake Kammerdiener

        because you renounced your citizenship, you forfeited all the money you put into the social security fund….

      • Coucou

        Drake,

        You are out of line. It is just unbelivable to have people think this way. Thank god! it is not the case.

      • UncleBenny

        Wrong. You don’t even have to be a citizen to take part in Social Security.

      • Vitalik Buterin

        You quit your job at a company, you’re no longer entitled to your corporate pension?

    • AtticusinCanada

      Not everyone will get social security. I elected to not get it as I didn’t think it was “right” since I hadn’t lived in the U.S. for thirty years plus. However, I am questioning my generous decision to forfeit any right to my S.S. to benefit the program now. Since the U.S. has decided to impose it’s tax and fine law on my Canadian spouse I might just collect what’s my due anyway.

      • james baxley

        Im getting my SS as soon as I am 55 . . . SS is a lot when you are living in the Philippines as I will be doing when I retire. . . especially when I own my own land and farm.

  • Hammerdiane

    Nobody’s renouncing citizenship because they “don’t like socialism”. The only people who subscribe to the comically uninformed notion that America is becoming anything close to an actual socialist state (I live in an actual one, by the way) are the kind of people who will never live in a foreign country, and who usually only leave their own towns if there happens to be a Skynard concert on the other side of Mississippi state lines.

  • Dickgazinya

    I left the US and moved to New Zealand. Couldn’t imagine moving back to the gulag that is my former country.

    • Miken

      As soon as I turned of legal age I left for U.A.E. to work and then to Thailand. Never go back, alive.

  • Rick

    It is quite interesting the largest group of Americans leaving and coming to America is Mexicans. They got their citizenship and many return back to Mexico. Jews, American Jews are a different story. They do not renounce their US citizenship but just leave and live in the PROMISED LAND, Israel and do not pay tax. The Mexicans who are US citizens who return to Mexico also do not pay tax. SO the article is half true. You can just leave and do not have a job and how can you pay tax to IRS!!

  • Guest

    I think this is OK. Many immigrants are coming to the U.S. Immigrants who are hard working, family-oriented such as Mexicans. So we lose some people who have left a long time ago, and gain new immigrants, who are the new blood line of this country, and are our hope to make the U.S. great again, because obviously conservatives have failed this country, so it is time righ wings and Republicans step aside, and let immigrants give a shot at what they failed.

    • CA Free

      It wasn’t conservatives who introduced huge FBAR penalties and passed FATCA and I’m NOT a conservative but, the truth is many people are being forced to renounce over this “Hire” legislation who didn’t want to do that. It’s heinous and unforgivable and you can blame who you would like to but, facts are facts. Carl Levin is a democrat with no heart or feelings about what he is doing to innocent families abroad. NONE. I won’t soon forgive the situation he has put us all in OR Obama who signed off on it. This isn’t a left or right issue, this is a right and wrong issue. Period.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1316111692 Wolfman Jones

        Carl Levin is a Jew!

        If you have the means to get out of America, you might want to consider getting out, while the getting is good.
        Jesse Ventura lives in Mexico, Jim Rogers lives a good portion of the year in Singapore, President George W. Bush, supposedly, bought land and set up a compound in South America (Bolivia or Ecuador, I believe), and many other wealthy people are leaving America. This nation will likely resemble the Israeli Concentration Camp Gaza in a few years, or, more likely, a few months. After all, the Jews run nearly everything in America now.
        “I don’t see much future for the Americans… It’s a decayed country. And they have their racial problem, and the problem of social inequalities… My feelings against Americanism are feelings of hatred and deep repugnance… Everything about the behavior of American society reveals that it’s half Judaized, and the other half negrified. How can one expect a State like that to hold together?”- Adolf Hitler (German Chancellor, leader of the Nazi party, 1889-1945)

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steven-Tow/100002244722349 Steven Tow

        wolfbreath,you are a racist putz.nice new word,judaized.gaza is a concentration camp.if you knew the truth,and have lived and travelled and fought there like i did against terrorists,then maybe you’d have one oz. of credibility.your heading,carl levin is a jew shows all how stupid you are,and i suggest you change your tune.so what stupid country have you left for,or are you just all talk.i promise i’m not,just keep it up.

      • Not a Moron

        Hahaahaaa…. Morons arguing on the internet

    • Anthony Harkin

      Makes me think of the Mexican my brother hired to do landscaping. He came back to find the Mexican asleep in the wheelbarrow!

  • Coucou

    You have to open this discussion with the new event happening of form 9839.
    We are going to renouce US citizenship and I know about 10 other people that think about renounciation.
    3 main reasons:
    1. the unofficial main one: the burden of the IRS for sure
    2. the social development of other countries: I cannot stand the US politics anymore. There is no other alternative. I am through with this
    3. Education is super expensive in the US.

  • Expat1234

    Great article. I was born in the US but never worked there. I am a European citizen and resident, earned all my money in Europe from European sources. Every year I face penalties and have to pay accountants to keep up on my US tax obligations. It is not normal or acceptable! I have to pay extra taxes, cannot take advantage of my home country’s tax incentives (if my home country give a retirement incentive for example it will be taxed by the USA if not in my home country) etc. And the killer is the estate tax which will essentially combine with my home country estate tax to confiscate 90% of what I own. And now I cannot renounce my US citizenship without seeing 15% of my retirement savings confiscated (even though these savings have been taxed and will be further taxed in my home country)….

    • Donna

      I am in the exact same situation. I have not lived in the U.S. for over thirty years. I would love to renounce my citizenship however I would still have to file a return for ten years and I”ve been told if they believe you are renouncing to avoid paying tax money that you are not allowed to return to visit the country. I still have family there. Also, when my mother died and left me an inheritance the U.S. took a huge chunk of that out of money she had already paid taxes on. I have no political interest or faith in the U.S. any longer and never expect to again. I do NOT want to be an American and am perfectly happy in Canada. They only make it so hard to renounce due to money. And yes, your name as someone how has renounced is listed. It’s disgusting. I feel like a slave to the U.S. rather than a citizen.

    • EO

      can you not remove any funds and assets you have in america, tell them to fuck off and not pay anything? What can they do, you no longer live there.

  • Donotconsent83

    I see some confusion even here about renouncing US citizenship. US citizenship only means that you are a citizen of the District of Columbia. So no one can prevent you from exiting or entering your particular State or the united States of America. The United States refers only to The District of Columbia. You do not need a Visa to reenter your own Country. Giving up your US citizenship simply means you are no longer willing to be a slave of the District of Columbia, period. Anyone who wants to challenge this contact me, Tom at
    donotconsent83@yahoo.com

    • Lucifursam

      Exactly! That’s because the US is a corporation and not a place. Not too many people seem to understand that, and even fewer know that this all has to do with a little thing called “Admiralty Law”.

  • Switzer

    Anyone considered the legality of paying US taxes will residing abroad?  I’m coming at this from the angle that I cannot vote for a US Senator or Congressman, thus I cannot influence how my taxes are spent.  This is essentially taxation without representation and I thought, a guiding principle of America.  At least it was to those in colonial America. 

  • Expat4ever

    “Taxation without Representation: The
    Persecution of America’s
    Expats”

     

    America’s
    Founders and Signers of the Declaration of Independence are rolling in their
    graves over the ignorant hypocrisy of the US Government.

     

    America
    would not exist if great men like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin
    Franklin, Patrick Henry, Thomas Paine, John Hancock, Paul Revere, John and Sam
    Adams and others had bowed to the tyranny of the British
    Empire.    

     

    Today’s politicians in the city bearing Washington’s name
    are a disgrace in taxing Americans abroad who have no representation in US
    Congress and receive no benefits from the US Government. They are completely
    ignorant of their own country’s history.  

     

    Americans abroad do not use US highways, bridges, dams,
    schools, hospitals, fire, police, courts etc. They are not able to receive unemployment
    benefits or Medicare. They receive NOTHING from the US government other than a travel
    document, which they pay for.

     

    The battle cry of the American Revolution was NO TAXATION
    WITHOUT REPRESENTATION! 

     

    Like the British Stamp Act and other Intolerable Acts, FATCA
    and all the other legislation coming out of US Congress targeting Americans
    abroad will inevitably result in tidal wave of Renunciations of US Citizenship.

     

    Americans abroad are awakening to the true nature of the US government. Like
    the colonialists in America,
    some will accept it, but many will not and make their own Declarations of
    Independence.  

     

    The increase in Renunciations of US Citizenship will be
    ignored at first, but before long, it will become a major source of embarrassment.
    Former US
    Citizens are already comparing themselves to East Germans jumping over the BERLIN
    WALL.  

     

    And to top it off, the US Government has recently tried to build
    the wall higher by subjecting those choosing to renounce their citizenship to an
    EXIT TAX, similar to the Estate Tax.

     

    Like the slaves of the Roman Empire,
    Americans abroad now have to buy their own freedom.

     

    America’s
    Founders roll in their graves!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kevin-Niicole-Horton/1773920401 Kevin Niicole Horton

    A FEW QUESTIONS
    Who’s hooked on prescription drugs?
    Who’s hooked on welfare?
    The second highest high school drop out rate in the world?
    Obese?
    Who has been UNEMPLOYED FOR 3.5 YRS?
    Who has an aging population 1 foot in the grave the other on a banana peel?
    Has reverse mortgages?
    Living in subsidized housing & a multitude of other Gov. Subsidies?
    WHO HAS 13,000 CITIZENS DYING ANNUALLY FROM GUNFIRE BY THEIR FELLOW CITIZENS?

    WHO HAS 800 MILITARY BASES ARIUND THE WORLD?
    More soldiers killing themselves then dying in action?

    THE WAR HAS BEEN HERE THE WHOLE TIME!!!

    Who’s troops are EVERYWHERE but their HOMELAND?
    Where does it cost 1 MILLION DOLLARS a year per troop & theirs
    100,000 troops there? AFGANASTAN
    LARGEST PRISON POPULATION IN THE WORLD?
    YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK
    1.25 MILLION GANG BANGERS WITH ASSAULT RIFLES ON THEIR STREETS?
    Who does all the manual labor?   MEXICO
    Cup of coffee?     INDIA
    Bus ride?            INDIA
    TANK OF GAS?     INDIA
    Hotel room?       INDIA
    LIQUOOOOR STOOOORE?
    Who delivers the USA’s babies? INDIA
    Who keeps their hearts beating? INDIA
    Ever seen gang of Indian kids?
    WHO HAS THE GREATEST UNIVERSITIES IN THE WORLD?  THE USA
    WHOS IN THEM? 
    WHEN THE RIOTS START HERE THERE IS NO ARMY HERE TO STOP THE RIOTS
    WHEN THE RIOTS START HERE THERE IS NO ARMY HERE TO STOP THE RIOTS
    NICE FXER UP PROPERTY

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kevin-Niicole-Horton/1773920401 Kevin Niicole Horton

      you have to leave the USA to renounce your citizenship. You cannot resign your citizenship if your in the USA & were born here you need to leave the USA & resign your citizenship at an embassy IF YOU RESIGN YOUR CITIZENSHIP IN  A COUNTRY WHERE YOU CAN’T WORK YOU BECOME STATELESS. I’m a legally blind person who has worked as a sign artist my entire life that receives no government subsidies. I am a hard working self sufficient independent person. If your an Australian business person & would allow me to work for you or assist me in finding a work sponsor allow me the opportunity to work in your nation I’d be eternally thankful.

  • BSacks1975

    I moved to NZ 6 years ago. I am applying for NZ citizenship now.  Once I get my passport, I am going to walk down to the US Embassy and hand in my US passport while saying “no thanks, you keep it”.

    The USA is becoming the worst country on Earth. To think that 10 yrs ago I was actually proud to be part of it…  What was I smoking back then?   Ouch!

    • disqus_ZrxaGjUzMQ

      i do not plan to apply for us citizens, am going back to PHILIPPINE

      BYE BYE USA NO THANKS

  • warpheads

    If I knew then what I know now…or if I had the money to leave, I’d GTFO of the U.S. in a heart beat and never look back in regret.  The average Americunt isn’t allowed to make enough to get out or many would.  Not a “political protest”…it’s a slave state, the people are stupid and continue to belive in this tinker-bell bull shit crap about it’s history and such, it’s a dog-eat-dog mentality with idiot peasants fighting over a .50 cent raise at min. wage jobs while slaves to credit debt to make their neighbors think they’re something they’ll never have the intelligence to pretend to be with a government that exists only to support the banking empire so a small hand full of rich sick fucks can pretend to be god for a short life span.  What sickening shit.  I despise this fucking country and can’t do anything about it.  And hell yes there are better places than this hunk of shit fantasy/junk yard called america.  But I’m stuck here.   If you can get out do it while you can. 

    • Anthony Harkin

      Quite the potty mouth, aren’t you?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/S3FG6BYM4YZO6MFEAC2572Q26Q Charles

    To each and every one of the whiners here:

    Arrivederci, adios, bye-bye, and don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

    • Laura Secord

      Many U.S. citizens living abroad would dearly love to hang onto their U.S. citizenship. Wealthy expats are the exception rather than the rule. Most of us are simply middle class citizens living abroad, trying to make ends meet like everyone else. I pay taxes to the country I live in and call home (upwards of 35%  income tax, on top of 13.5% goods and services taxes). But then I’m supposed to pay the U.S., even though I haven’t lived or worked there for over ten years? The U.S. went to war for over taxation without representation. U.S. expats are taxed twice, and without representation. Voting is general, and we aren’t counted in the census. Please travel and see the world before you condemn. And by the way, I would love to “have the door hit me in the arse on the way out.” But I can’t afford to do so–I’m not one of the wealthy elite.

      • Joco

         I am a former ex-pat and someone opposed to many things my government does; however, living abroad is a choice for U.S. citizens.  That choice comes with consequences.  If you retain your U.S. citizenship, the U.S. still pays to protect you.  You always have that “out” in case you want to get out of Dodge.  People who live in New Jersey, but work in New York must pay taxes in New York, even though they do not get to vote in New York.  If they wish to have a voice, they can move.  It is the same with U.S. citizens abroad.  Your lack of representation is a choice, not an obligation. 
        Regarding those complaining about having to pay for things with which they do not agree, the United States is a democratic republic.  That means you vote and sometimes you lose.  In democracies, compromise is often required to get anything done.  It isn’t efficient.  It can be maddening, but as the saying goes, “it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government
        except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.”

      • AtticusinCanada

        I am so tired of this ludicrous assumption “It’s a choice” B.S.!!!!!! I didn’t have a choice at all. Oh, I could have let my spouse move to the U.S. instead and leave his dying father and very elderly mother here in Canada all alone. Yes, some “choice” Had I done that I would be a heartless monster. My parents were twenty years younger than his and he was all the support they had at the time. Oddly, It was my upbringing in the U.S. that gave me the moral fortitude to move to a country far away and one that I found “too cold” in order to do right by these people. I did the right thing morally and the ONLY “choice” involved was to leave two elderly people alone with zero support or not. Some “choice!”

      • Angie

        That still makes it your choice! No government entity ASSIGNED you a Canadian spouse with Canadian parents, did they? US citizenship is not “forced” on anyone – even if you were born and raised here. At any time after your 18th birthday, you can say “no thank you.” It’s that simple.

        If you live, work, and play in another country (according to YOUR preferences), why do you even NEED American citizenship? You don’t! The only thing that will change is the mutual sense of entitlement and expectation both from government and citizen that no longer wish to affiliate with the other. In this scenario everybody wins, so please leave – with our blessings!

      • AtticusinCanada

        My spouse and child do not have the choice of being considered “U..S. persons for tax purposes, Angie.

        And no Angie, it is not that “simple” You are assuming that someone who doesn’t live in the U.S. is somehow less American than those that do. If that is the case then the U.S. should disallow anyone moving outside the country.

        And yes, it was my choice morally to not let my husbands father die alone so thank you for pointing that out with your very empathetic comment.

        And the reason you still need American citizenship or may want it is that it IS your birthright. Many people still have lots of American family and ties that don’t sever just because they don’t live there. Everything is not so black and white you know.

        I’m done with this conversation as you clearly have zero idea what you are talking about but, rather enjoy arguing and pointing out what is “wrong” with others on the internet. So I conceed. You are so right, The U.S. is not forcing anyone to renounce or causing harm to anyone. You win, internet troll.

      • Angie

        Um, I’ve spent 17 of the last 20 years living outside of the US (4 countries total), and have met more of your type than I care to admit. You aren’t THAT special, trust me.

        Like you, I prefer to reside outside of the CONUS, but I don’t pretend that it’s anything other than what it is – my PREFERENCE for the European way of life.
        You come across as a whiny, pouty child. I am relieved to no longer share a nationality with you. Have a nice day.

      • AtticusinCanada

        Angie, you are absolutely “rude” and make comments based upon your assumptions and you know what? You can be wrong. You are the one assuming a certain “specialness” here, not me.

        I don’t “prefer” to live outside of CONUS. You know what? Your situation doesn’t automatically project onto the situation of every other person. And likewise, I am very glad not to have you in my life as you come across as a cluster b narcissist who can only relate to the world through their own experiences and own view. You have a nice day too.

      • james baxley

        So if I live in London, exactly who is the US govt protecting me from?

    • alex ferdman

      don’t worry about door, worry about illegal immigrants.

  • Fataneh farzad

    I can not find my citizanship

  • Wat_wab

    wow very interesting ppl giving up there US citizenship I..I…I  dont know what to say

  • Steven

    One thing the author left out as well as the commentators is the following reason a lot of Americans are renouncing:

    If you are a US Citizen, an expat, and have a foreign spouse you are screwed.  Until you obtain an ITIN for your foreign spouse you are AUTOMATICALLY placed into the worst tax bracket possible – Married Filing Separately.

    So now your tax status is determined by an unelected GS worker at the IRS deciding if your spouse can get an ITIN.  There is no appeal process should you be denied.

    Next a lot of FOREIGN spouse are refusing to cooperate with the ITIN process.  Why?  Because they are not US Citizens subject to any U.S. Laws or Taxes and their financial data is NOT America’s business.

    Isn’t it just grand that the U.S. Gov’t has become so greedy that it thinks it can now stick its hands into the finances of NON U.S. Citizens living in a sovereign country.

    Additionally because Congress just passed a law requiring FOREIGN banks to disclose accounts of Americans many banks in Europe and elsewhere are cancelling those accounts because they do not want to deal with America’s BS and intrusion into a sovereign nations affairs. So now expat’s are finding it extremely hard to open an account in a foreign country so we can at least pay our rent and other living expenses.

    The U.S. is the only country that taxes its citizens on world wide income.  As far as the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion it only applies to EARNED INCOME so retirement pay, Social Security, etc ARE NOT excluded.  Most of us are in fact just plain old Joe’s trying to make ends meet on our fixed retirement incomes cause we can no longer afford to live in the U.S.

    I can’t renounce because I do have military retired pay.

    I would if I could even though I fought in Vietnam and Iraq and have a father (WW II – Korea) and a younger brother (Vietnam) buried in the same grave in a national cemetery.

    When someone with my background says he would leave the Congress and the American People need to start to listen.  Soon there will be no one to tax.

    Then what?  Where is the money going to come from?

    • http://www.orchidpark.net/ Joopthedutchman

      This should go viral as an open letter to Congress.
      BTW, to other readers here:I have a place in the Philippines (orchidpark.net) where I would like to bring expats together to get economies of retirement. A Retired Hotel manager could operate it as a resort.

    • http://www.facebook.com/andrewjameshenderson Andrew Henderson

      I empathize with much of your sentiment, yet you are incorrect to say that the US is the only country to tax “its citizens on their worldwide income”. In fact, it is the only country that taxes non-resident citizens on such income. Much of the developed world uses a residential system of taxation which taxes worldwide income of those who live in the country, be they citizens or simply “ordinarily resident”.

  • Fred Meyer

    “To many expats, this is unjustifiable and abusive: forcing people to
    hand over a portion of their labor and receive no benefit in return is
    akin to slavery.”

    You should be smarter then that.  Forcing people to pay any taxes for war, invasion, occupation, government malfeasance, drones, civil rights abuse, waste, pollution, incompetence, pork barrel favoritism and on and on, is actually “slavery”.

    It’s not just the expat that has a justifiable complaint, it’s everyone.  Nobody should be forced to pay for crap they do not want, need or support.

    • http://www.facebook.com/andrewjameshenderson Andrew Henderson

      I’d say it’s not slavery… it’s worse. However, how do you propose a democratic republic allow dissenters to opt out of any societal mandates, be they taxation or otherwise?

  • GamerFromJump

    Given the new attacks on expats, like EX-PATRIOT, this article needs an update.

    Those of us with the ability to leave, but extended families in the US, might eventually face a choice to either leave and never see them again, or stay and be slaves of the government for life.

  • Spike

    Americans who renounce their citizenship risk being placed on the “Name and Shame” List of the IRS. Check this.

    • Gene

       And this is bad WHY exactly? Does anyone spend any time at all reading these lists? This is not something I’d be all that worried about.

  • exasperated expat

    Please update this article, as I would be interested to see how things have (d)evolved. 

    Spending over $1500 a year (and rising) for a specialist accountant to fill out my U.S. tax returns is f’d up, given that I have no income in the U.S. and pay 30-40% of my income to the local tax authority and have pretty much no financial assets except a meager private pension and a small fraction of my home. What peeves me is the fact that even if I wanted to, I STILL CANNOT RETURN to the U.S. because my “marriage” is not recognized by the U.S. federal authorities, yet I have to report all of the details (yet more forms this year) of our joint accounts. But I keep the passport because I am well and truly panicked that, if not now then possibly in the future, I would face problems re-entering the states to see my my elderly parents and growing extended family. 

  • Dirk den Hartog

    The happiest day in my life was when I got my original Dutch citizenship back. I am naturalized USA citizen, but the Dutch said , that because I was a minor when I got it under my father, that I had no choice, thus they awarded me my birth citizenship back.

    I asked them , ”what about my USA citizenship”?  They said , thats none of our business.

    I haven’t paid any USA taxes since I became Dutch again,.  Also haven’t filed. Because I pay my home country’s  taxes. 

    I am not going to renounce but would love to.  I HATE the USA , and I USED to love it, 45 years ago .  Spending 14 months in Vietnam, opened my eyes.

    Americas is going down the tubes.  And people are allowing it to happen.

  • sb

    out of 300 mil. plus The number was 1,800 . 1,800 people AND That made front page news? the way the world is going, no place is financially secure.

    • nomadcapitalist

      The idea that “no place is financially secure” is largely a projection by people from a country that isn’t financially secure. They figure if it sucks in their most wonderful of countries (usually a sign the person is from the US) then it must suck everywhere. Not true.

  • $2417856

    I am trying to find information regarding how my federal government pension would be affected if I renounce my US citizenship to become a citizen of France. It’s not the taxes so much as the social condition of this country. The US priorities are all out of whack in my opinion. In France and much of the EU, people, education, and healthcare come first. War and the manipulation of third world countries and oil rich totalitarian governments is much farther down the list. Would the US simply buy me out with a gross amount or would I receive pension payments which would then be taxed under the French schedule? I want to walk away at 57 and enjoy life in a country which truly celebrates freedom of thought and expression without the polarized Mickey Mouse that’s been going on in this country since the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980. Just let me out…

    • Angie

      So you would like to completely sever ties with the US government, save for your GENEROUS (far more generous than average Americans are receiving) taxpayer funded retirement.. Hmmm… Interesting… Well to answer your question, to be “done” with the US government means to be DONE with the financial ties that bind you – to include your pension. Thankfully. And I say this as a military retiree also looking to relocate to France…

      • blaze68

        He earned his retirement pay. To now say that because he lives on different soil that he now ‘didn’t earn his pay’ is absurd.

        On a different note, I am a retiree from the AF and looking to buy a sailboat and sail abroad. I am not thinking to renounce my citizenship as I don’t want to lose my retirement pay but honestly, the retirement pay was for my 24 years of active duty NOT what I do after I retire.

  • guest

    Excuse me, but unless you are in the 39% tax bracket, we have some of the lowest taxes in the world. Nordic countries 40-50% Swiss 35% Belize 15-25% so if you are a middle class citizen, you are not going to get a better deal. Even in NZ and Australia they charge 25-30% on a lowly saving account!

    • Chris H

      Unless you work overseas, in which case you must not only pay taxes in your host country, but you must also continue to pay US taxes as well despite the fact that you are earning and spending your income entirely outside of the USA. The USA is one of the only countries in the world backwards enough to do this, and it constitutes a significant disadvantage to US citizenship for those of us working abroad.

  • Emmanuel Sanchez

    I was arrested for talking back to a cop no laws were broken. Now they made up like 5 false charges I am sapost to go to court at some point this month If I don’t beat all the charges i will most likely get put on probation . I was wondering since i don’t have a date yet if i left the country and renounced my citizenship could i be freed from these fabricated charges?

  • Lisa Van Biene

    I am from the uk with usa dual ftom my father, I have never lived or worked in the usa, I am currently applying for residency in New Zealand, do I have to declare my usa citizenship, it just seems a big hassle as I will neec police checking which is an added cost all for a country I have never resided in???

  • Really, Zan?

    Zan, someone must be brain dead to believe in your tax protest arguments. Everyone who has tried has failed, and/or gone to jail. I’m sure you’ll respond back with “I haven’t filed/signed a return in years…” Congratulations. You’re a ticking time-bomb, buddy.

  • Zan

    Ok, ok. After reading the comment of “spa”, I can see a very valid reason to renounce a US passport. If one is living/working/investing in a first-world, US tax-treaty country such as the UK, and holds a UK passport, then renouncing US citizenship sounds like a valid strategy.

    On the other hand, if one is skipping around the world planting multiple flags and maintaining a low profile… I still don’t see the point of renunciation.

  • Lordmonkeydragon

    You are incorrect. I refer you to the 16th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and the Internal Revenue Code.

  • Zan

    If you will re-read the above, I am certainly not implying a tax protest. I am suggesting that one can use their 5th amendment constitutional right to not file a return under penalty of perjury while at the same time maintaining a very low profile to stay off the IRS radar. I agree that it is foolhardy to fight the IRS in most cases. 95% of the cases in US Tax Court are lost… that kangaroo court is a fools game.

    “Carefully” planned privacy along with not filing a return, is a legal means of avoiding the IRS long arm. “Carefully” planned privacy cannot include one who works, has a US base pension or has assets in the US or a US tax-treaty country… if one does not have carefully planned privacy, they would be foolhardy to not “voluntary” file a return.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=581817537 Douglas Barbieri

    You should read this article:

    http://theemptiness.info/2010/07/the-constitution-is-empty/

    Like Mike P. said:

    “When you use the constitution as the principle you work from you are defeating yourself. If you play poli-tricks at all in hopes of shrinking the state or making the state
    better’ you are defeating yourself. These are all games and traps the state has set up for you. They play these games far better than you ever will be able to, and they laugh at you and mock you in your futile efforts to play along.”

    I think it best to just leave the system rather than try to use arguments to try to win against them. Ask Irwin Schiff how well it worked for him. I believe his address is a US penitentiary.

  • Ryan

    Willful failure to file a tax return is a crime. You *might* be able to invoke 5th on specific questions, provided you have a good faith belief that the answers might incriminate yourself, but you still have to file the return.

  • Ryan

    If the form of return provided called for answers that the defendant was privileged from making he could have raised the objection in the return, but could not on that account refuse to make any return at all…. It would be an extreme if not an extravagant application of the Fifth Amendment to say that it authorized a man to refuse to state the amount of his income because it had been made in crime. But if the defendant desired to test that or any other point he should have tested it in the return so that it could be passed upon. He could not draw a conjurer’s circle around the whole matter by his own declaration that to write any word upon the government blank would bring him into danger of the law.
    —Oliver Wendell Holmes, United States v. Sullivan, 274 U.S. 259, 263-64 (1927).

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