Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Want to Ditch Your U.S. Citizenship? The line starts way over there.

FT reports:

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...

With many executives living away from their countries of origin, the reasons to change citizenship range from clarifying tax status, making it easier to cross borders, particularly in the case of passport holders from emerging markets who find themselves working in countries such as the US for a prolonged period of time, or discovering that over time their allegiances have changed...

The backlog at the US Embassy, where no appointments are available until February, stems from a rise in the number of American expatriates living in the UK who have been seeking to escape paying US tax on their worldwide income and capital gains...


  1. I guess these people don't realize that the US gov't requires you file your taxes for 10 years after you have renounced your citizenship. They instituted that rule after one of the Campbell's soup heir renounced his citizenship for Ireland to avoid paying billions in estate taxes.

  2. If one is no longer a citizen, no longer a resident, not even a visitor, the complexity and costs of any enforcement upon such a person rise exponentially with time. There is easier and meatier prey than ghosts.

    In a certain country it is very difficult to obtain a security clearance (access to secrets and such) for anyone who've spent long periods of time abroad. It is simply too hard, too long and too expensive to collect enough information. And that is assuming no counter-effort and cooperation. So if you don't comply to that rule, don't show up, and don't report, what would IRS do? Send drones looking for you, like da man said once? :)