About the renunciation process

About the renunciation process

Renouncing US Citizenship Introduction

Renouncing US citizenship would be one of the biggest decisions of your life and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. While every person has a different story, based of our experience we’ve seen three kinds of situations.

Renouncing US citizenship would be one of the biggest decisions of your life

The first group are those who have a strong desire to permanently leave the USA. For some the thought of starting over in a new country (or countries) can be an exciting endeavor, anticipating the pleasures associated with living abroad. Usually these people are the explorers of the world with a nomadic life style and don’t want to be anchored to the US.

Others in this category are the ones discontent with the current political situation of the US. There are quite a few who disagree with US domestic and foreign policy so much (whether they be anti-Trump, anti-Clinton, or anti-whoever) that they rather not be associated with the country anymore and prefer to migrate to a new land.

The second are the so-called accidental Americans and/or those with US passports with no strong ties to the country. A British client of mine, for example, was born in the US and therefore had both a US and UK passport. He had no family, friends, or any other ties to the US besides owning a US passport. Now he has permanently settled in Hong Kong, but by owing the US government tens of thousands of dollars in taxes each year just for holding the passport, he decided to renounce. Believe it or not, there are many people in this exact same situation.

The third and final set are the flag-waving patriots who love their country, are proud to be American, and are absolutely ruined about having to give it all up. The reason? Well, they’re virtually forced to. Jane, a US citizen about to give up her passport in Paris, was interviewed by the BBC in a 2016 article. She had this to say: “I’m very proud of being an American. It’s what I am when I look in the mirror. If it weren’t for Fatca [the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act]… I’d never be doing this. Never ever. It’s just breaking me in half.”

If it weren’t for FATCA, I’d never be doing this

Sadly, many good, honest Americans affected by FATCA who’ve started businesses and/or families abroad are faced with three choices – leave it all behind and go back to the US, continue paying or filing US tax, or continue their lives abroad by renouncing US citizenship.

Whether or not one (or more than one) of these scenarios describes your situation, the point is clear: In today’s globalized world, people are no longer bound by a set of national borders. Throw FATCA into the mix, and you can see why so many Americans are taking the dive. For the reasons mentioned above and many others, it’s clear why the number of individuals renouncing US citizenship is growing year by year.

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