The excuse for flogging this horse: it ain’t dead yet! Plus, this stuff needed to be pulled together.
When I posted Form 8854 on 13 June 2012 I facetiously hoped for two professionals to come up with diametrically opposed views.
Michael J. Miller soon weighed in with some very useful comments, based on actual off-the-record conversations with IRS. That information seemed to be received with joy, because it was so what people wanted to hear.
Petros followed up with a second thread on the topic on 19 June 2012: Please read this post if your actual expatriation date is before 2004 (Updated)
Some of you have been over there already, but I only recently came across the Phil Hodgen comment (to his own magisterial Why People Expatriate) that describes the core question as
A vexing problem … [that will] … require someone to be a crash-test dummy to test this in the Federal courts.
Hodgen says he might dedicate a separate posting to this in the future. In the meantime, does anyone feel like pursuing a new career as a crash-test dummy? Without someone steppping up to hit the wall, only perpetual uncertainty for all US persons in the affected class!
Not diametrically opposed exactly, but definitely messier now, definitely more equivocal than univocal.
May the dialectic continue to swerve and clatter its way toward the never-settled approximation of what actually is. If a troubling issue seems too neat, and relatively resolved, the result can’t be real.