Abjure all allegiance and fidelity to the US

Abjure all allegiance and fidelity to the US

Step 3: How to renounce your citizenship?

“How to renounce American citizenship?” is one of the most asked questions. In some offices, you can renounce in one day. Others will require two or three meetings. For the sake of simplicity, we will assume two meetings. If you’re lucky enough to get everything done in one day, meetings #1 and #2 will be combined into a single day.

How to renounce American citizenship: Meeting #1

After booking the appointment, you will have to go in for an initial interview. Make sure to bring your US passport and your second passport. They’ll ask you the obvious questions, along the lines of “Why do you want to give up your US citizenship?”

You’ll also need to present the documents they emailed you, or they’ll just have you fill them out in person. For these papers, make sure you know basic information such as your US home address, Social Security number, etc. You’ll also be asked to fill out a questionnaire.

You may or may not be asked to submit your tax records for the previous five years, or Form 8854. By law, the State Department cannot except forms on behalf of the IRS, but we’ve heard of many cases where they do. Nonetheless, it’s best to have Form 8854 completed before the first interview and have several copies of it. If they ask for it, we recommend that you give it to them, as there’s no real harm that can be done if they have it (if anything it will speed things up).

If you do not submit Form 8854, you’ll most likely have to sign a paper saying that you’ve already submitted it to the IRS, or that you plan on doing so. Do not try to be sneaky and say you’ll submit it but never do – this will only lead to further complications down the line and you’ll still be liable to US tax. The same goes with the exit tax that’s associated with your final tax statement – make sure you pay it so you never have to worry about the IRS ever again. Remember, the IRS can audit you if you don’t submit your tax records, citizen or non-US citizen.

The IRS can audit you if you don’t submit your tax records, citizen or non-US citizen.

Once you’ve gotten the paperwork out of the way, you’ll move into the interview. During the interview, a representative from the State Department will ask you another set of questions, mostly along the lines of “Why do you want to renounce?” (They will actually ask you this question more than once…).

When answering, it’s not the best idea to state that you wish to avoid the double tax. Under the so-called Reed Amendment, “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” is inadmissible to the United States. If you wish to state your dissatisfaction with FATCA, and add other factors such as “my spouse is non-American,” “I wish to retire on a foreign tropical island,” etc., that might be a better response.

(It must be reiterated that RUSCO does not promote or encourage individuals to renounce their US citizenship for the sole purpose of taxation. Contrarily, as stated on the home page, our number one goal is to assist US citizens abroad with financial solutions so they can retain their citizenship. If the individual disregards our advice and still wants to renounce and has other valid reasons for why they wish to do so, we’ve provided information for him or her to understand the process a little better.)

After all this, it’s time for the second interview. Remember, this could be the same day, or some time after your initial interview.

How to renounce American citizenship: Meeting #2

During round two, the officer will have you sign copies of all the paperwork you completed during the first meeting, and he or she will also probably ask you much of the same questions they asked during the first meeting, “Why do you want to renounce?” (yes… again!) and “Are you sure you want to renounce?”

You will have pay 2,350 USD to “process” the paperwork

The last part of the interview process is the renunciation ceremony. During the ceremony, you will have to stand up, face an American flag, raise your right hand, and say the Oath of Renunciation to “abjure all allegiance and fidelity to the US”.

The last thing you need to know about how to renounce American citizenship is that you will have pay 2,350 USD to “process” the paperwork. Yes, believe it or not, you have to pay to give up your citizenship. There used to be no fee for renouncing, then it was raised to 450 USD, but now the total is 2,350 USD.

The reason, according to Washington, is that it was necessary to raise the fee because there was so much cost involved with processing the paperwork. In the opinions of others, they raised the fee to try to discourage the ever increasing numbers of citizenship renunciations.

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