Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner has RENOUNCED! Renounced the evil ways of his earlier life of sin, that is. He has sworn off those wicked days of yore in which he repeatedly flouted the Homeland’s tax laws, and has been walking the straight and narrow path, rendering unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s.
And today, Caesar demanded a list of names. Yes, for the second quarter in a row, Mr. Secretary has brought us — in a timely fashion — the Quarterly Publication of Individuals, Who Have Chosen To Expatriate, as Required by Section 6039G. This list contains names of former citizens and green card holders who are
on Chuck Schumer’s hit list no longer U.S. Persons. (To be clear, Geithner’s name is not one of them). He still hasn’t fixed the superfluous comma in the title, or the misspelling of HIPPOPOTAMUS, but hey, no one’s perfect, right?
However, even though Treasury Timmy met his publication deadline, it remains an open question whether he has published the names of all of the individuals with respect to whom he received information in the preceding quarter or quarters. The number of names in this quarter’s list is much smaller than in previous quarters. Furthermore, absent from the list are a number of people known to have given up U.S. citizenship in 2011 and early 2012, including Belizean anti-crime activist Yolanda Schakron, Jamaica’s former Commissioner of Customs Danville Walker, and notorious Canadian terrorist Peter Dunn of Isaac Brock’s Army.
The only name which is present as expected is that of South Korean Grand National Party political organiser Chris Nam Moon-key, who renounced late last year. And of course thanks to the speed of bureaucracy, people who actually renounced during the second quarter, such as Hong Kong’s new Technology and Communications Bureau Secretary Nicholas Yang and New Territories East Legislative Council candidate Erica Yuen, are not in this quarter’s list either; they might show up in October, if ever.
Others who renounced after 1996 but have never had their names published include South Korean actress Leslie Kim (better known by her stage name Han Ye-seul), Jackie Chan’s son Jaycee Chan Jo-fong, Taiwan-based environmental activist Robin Winkler, former Lithuanian president Valdas Adamkus, Ukrainian First Lady Kateryna Chumachenko-Yushchenko, Japanese ice dancer Cathy Reed, and writer Adam Bilzerian of St. Kitts (whom we’ve discussed previously).
Anyway, many congratulations and thanks to Mr. Geithner for his success in his ongoing struggle to obey the Internal Revenue Code. A few more quarters of this and his compliance rate might even rise from an “F” to a “D minus”!
Update: Laura Saunders of The Wall Street Journal is the first in the mainstream media with the story: “Taxpayers Who Renounced Citizenship Fell Sharply”. Pretty good coverage of the issues.
Expatriations surged to almost 1,800 in 2011, a sixfold increase from 2008. Experts say the increase was related to a recent drive to enforce U.S. tax laws concerning foreign accounts … The U.S. also has a broad definition of who is a citizen—including all those born on U.S. soil. As a result, there are many “accidental citizens” who don’t consider themselves American but owe U.S. taxes … Now the penalties for willful concealment of a foreign account are draconian and can empty an account. In addition, expatriates may find it difficult to return to the U.S. on a regular basis.
The article quotes Bryan Skarlatos of Kostelanetz & Fink LLP. He appears to do OVDI work and has published articles in tax journals on the topic.
The sharp decrease in the second quarter took some experts by surprise. “It may be that many people who were inclined to expatriate have already taken steps to do so,” said Bryan Skarlatos, a tax attorney at Kostelanetz & Fink in New York … Said Mr. Skarlatos, “Lots of people ask about expatriation, but they reconsider when they find out the tax requirements and what ties they would cut.”
The article has 27 comments already.
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*Given the recent infighting here at IBS some have wondered whether IBS is being somehow infiltrated or undermined by someone. While I personally discount that possibility I do have to notice that our recent internal troubles here started in aftermath of this unexpectedly low expatriation list which doesn’t seem to be accurate and is very low compared to first hand reports and previous lists. Clearly many of us myself included thought we would have had a much bigger number and that would garner public attention. I do have to wonder whether or no the “fix” was in when publishing this list.
This list is dishonest. I think that we must implicitly distrust the United States government, and most especially the statistics that they provide. I think the list of over 2000 Koreans in 2011 is more accurate than the number of total expatriations that the United States published in 2011. They are in effect, silencing our protest.
*My view for many months has been that it is unlikely someone at a “political” level would try to tamper with the publishing of this list given that it comes from deep inside the bowels of the civil service however, I am no longer sure of that view. My question is who actually approves this prior to its publishing in the Federal Register. Is it something that Ann V Gaudelli in Bensalem, PA(who is relatively low level employee) gets to publish all on her own or is it something that Geithner or one of his political minions has final approval over.
*One thing would be nice is if the Register made clear whether it is Ann Gaudelli signing off or Ann Gaudell.
Regarding list dishonesty. The only alternative explanation is incompetence. When someone who goes to a Canadian consulate in summer 2012 reports back to me that three other persons (none of them previously known) were coincidentally present at the same time on the same day for the purpose of renunciation, I have to conclude dishonesty – unless incompetence has given up on any semblance of order in trying to process the flood. Also remember what we know about Bern. Neither forget that recent astonishing report of expanded wait time that came out of Calgary. Dishonesty matches right up with a regime that specializes in instilling fear and exacting maximum tribute.
*Well this guy here is on this latest Federal Register list
*Now here is an interesting question. Do you think the next list will come out before or after November 3rd. On one hand it would not be too difficult to delay on the other it is legally due prior and they seem to be doing a better job of late of getting it out prior to the deadline.
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