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 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.”
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