Looks like I’m losing my edge — AnonAnon wins the prize for being the first to notice the Q1 2013 Quarterly Publication of Individuals, Who have Chosen to Expatriate, which has been placed on public inspection for printing in tomorrow’s Federal Register. Grammar and spelling aficionados will note that the list’s title no longer contains the awkwardly-placed relative clause “As Required by Section 6039G”; unfortunately, the misspelling of HIPAA as “HIPPA” has now entered its eighteenth year.
This quarter’s list appears a mere eight days later than required by law, and with about 680 names — a far larger number than most of us would have expected, though well short of the 850 people renouncing under INA § 349(5) whom the FBI entered into their NICS gun control database during the same quarter. And that’s not even mentioning the people who relinquished citizenship under INA § 349(1)–(4), who are not subject to gun control and so don’t show up in NICS but do belong in the Federal Register — or the backlog of thousands of others who renounced last year and also showed up in NICS but never had their names added to Treasury’s list.
The first thing that’s noticeable about the list: there are quite a few more Arab names than in previous quarters, probably meaning that Kuwait’s push to enforce their laws against dual citizenship has resulted in many people choosing the Gulf over the United States.
My usual voyeuristic habit of running the Cantonese names against Hong Kong public databases finds that an increasing proportion are lawyers rather than financiers or company directors (they show up not in Securities and Futures Commission filings but in the Government Gazette list of legal practitioners), and some don’t show up at all. This suggests that by the middle of last year, the trend of turning in blue passports had gone well beyond the rentier class and began reaching down into the salaried class — people who owe little U.S. tax but are sick of the dozens of pages of red tape, threatened life-altering fines, and other restrictions which only the U.S. and no other country places on its citizens abroad.
Late and missing names
I say “middle of last year” because that seems to be the rough time frame of the renunciations and relinquishments which show up in this quarter’s list. (This is also when the news about Kuwait came out.) Unfortunately we have only a single concrete name on which we can base that guess: Kenneth R. Fox of Fox v. Clinton fame, an olim whose acquisition of Israeli citizenship was ruled after a court battle to be a valid relinquishment — his name appears at page 6. At page 9 there’s also Mahmood Karzai, who actually renounced in January 2013, precisely the period allegedly covered by this list — but then politicians tend to get rushed through, when they are important enough to appear at all.
However, not a single other political candidate who has given up citizenship since February 2012 appears in this quarter’s list: Yolanda Schakron (Belize, February 2012), Nicholas Yang and Erica Yuen (Hong Kong, May 2012), Victor Okaikoi (Ghana, August 2012), Akierra Missick (Turks & Caicos, October 2012), Corine Mauch (Switzerland, late 2012 or early 2013), Naftali Bennett and Dov Lipman (Israel, January 2013), Bernard Chan (Hong Kong, February 2013), Sharon Roulstone (Cayman Islands, March 2013), and Fauzia Kasuri (Pakistan, March 2013) are all missing. Japan scholar Donald Keene, who is also known to have relinquished — in his case, by naturalising in Japan in March 2012 — fails to appear either. In other words, that’s twelve out of fourteen public figures during the period in question.
@Eric & KalC, the Finance Fortune article would be good if it got it’s calculations right. 670 is not three-quarters of 1,781 – the number of people who renounced last year according to official figures. It’s less than half. No wonder the country is in such a mess financially if they can’t do simply sums!
@Medea Fleecestealer: 1,781 was the 2011 “published expatriate” total. 2012’s total was 932. Can’t blame you for misremembering: your brain must have too much real information in it to have room for government misinformation 🙂
Um, you’re probably right Eric. Also the 2012 figure sort of came and went with little remark (at least that’s how it seemed to me) while 2011’s kept being mentioned all through 2012. Guess that’s why it stuck in my brain!
I’m on it! Renounced in Feb 2012, sent in my 8854 in Jan 2013. (And I’m definitely NOT a covered expat) 🙂
@rødgrød, I suspect that list includes the names of individuals who are declared as not being in the US tax System. If so, then my name will appear of that quarter where I send in 8854.
I love that my name is in a Fox News article. 😀
By the way, I was in the US last week with my husband. This was my third trip since renunciation and, as with the first two trips, I had no trouble getting through immigration. No questions about having the US as birthplace on my passport, and the officer was polite and friendly.
This is sheer speculation on my part, but I’m starting to wonder whether Rodgrod’s name is on the list because of her CLN or because she filed an 8854. IRS obviously will have the names of everyone who files an 8854 with them; only someone who has exited the tax system will submit one of those forms.
If you read the summary statement at the beginning of the Federal Register list carefully, note that it never mentions CLN (either as an acronym nor in full words). The list contains names of persons about whom the IRS “has information” have expatriated. My interpretation of the exact wording of that summary suggest that information doesn’t necessarily come from CLNs, it can also come from 8854s and other sources.
Which then raises the question whether people who got CLNs but who did NOT file an 8854 (for whatever reason, but specifically for those who relinquished long before 2004 and therefore aren’t going to file one or likely provide any other information to IRS) are going to show up on the list.
Verrrry interesting. Is there anyone reading this who got a CLN before say January 2013 and who has not filed an 8854 or any other IRS forms, and yet who is on that list? Just curious.
I renounced March 2012 and was listed in the 2012Q3 report, however stated that I renounced in the cover letter with the 5 years of back fillings
It’s an interesting hypothesis. If that were true, we should expect to see almost all of the names being published in Q1 and Q2 (the vast majority) with far fewer in Q3 and Q4 owing to the 15 June deadline for 8854.
1H10 – 48.2% of total 2010 number of 1,534
2H10 – 51.8%
1H11 – 57.2% of total 2011 number of 1,781
2H11 – 42.8%
1H12 – 69.6% of total 2012 number of 932
2H12 – 30.4%
If 8854 is the principal source, then I think that is a relatively recent policy. It might explain the very low 45 names in 4Q12. But the numbers for 2010 and 2011 don’t seem to have much of a skew (or at least not as pronounced as 2012) and if you go back to 2009, almost all the names appeared in 2H09 and more specifically in 4Q09.
@Edelweiss I see what you’re saying, but with either data source (or any other) I think one needs to make allowances for time lags between when the CLN or tax form is filed by the individual, when it is received by IRS, when it is processed, and when someone gets around to adding a name from it to a Federal Register list. And bear in mind that, as was reported on the now-defunct renounceguide, that list isn’t exactly at the top of the “to-do” list for State or IRS; word was, as I recall, that neither agency was super-keen on taking responsibility for it when it first was set up. So under any scenario or hypothesis, I think it’s unreasonable to expect a close correlation between filing dates, filing deadlines, and when something appears (or doesn’t appear) on the Federal Register list.
This is all idle speculation of course, but some of these factors may explain part if not all of various delays and discrepancies one notices, between what appears on that list at all (never mind when) and what one knows as a reality in specific cases.
I think anyone who tries to use that list as a basis for proving or disproving any statement about numbers, trends, etc., is being optimistic. But one’s curiosity and speculation is aroused, all the same …
My name is on the list, I renounced but have not filed an 8854 yet. The only possible source for the IRS to have my name would be from a copy of the CLN. As for being a covered expatriate, they don’t know yet as the 8854 is not yet due and has not been sent in.
@TrueNorth. Thanks for that information. So that’s one case that contradicts my speculation. Back to the drawing board, as to whether/what rhyme or reason there is for some names on the list and not others.
@TrueNorth, was your name mentioned in the media like CNN, Forbes or such?
@schubert1975, one individual mentioned in the media renounced around the same time I did Q4 2012 and was also listed Q4 2012.
I’m on this list (over a year after actually renouncing) and have yet to file an 8854 – not due till June 15, form wasn’t available until the end of 2012.
Thanks for further input. You’ve just confirmed (coupled with cases I know of that aren’t on this or earlier lists) that there is absolutely no logic or consistency to how or when names go on the list. Unless Swisspinoy is correct about publicity in those cases where no 8854 or tax returns have been filed yet, nothing in those lists make consistent sense to me. Why am I not surprised …
@SwissPinoy, my name has not been mentioned.
As far as I can tell, before 2006 nearly everyone got their names published. I’ve only found two or three cases of people renouncing before then and not getting their names published. That almost certainly means State was sending all CLNs before then. They may have stopped sending all CLNs later, but they must certainly be sending some. The only question is, which ones?
Oddly enough, State never published an amendment to the regulations in the Federal Register to allow them to forward CLNs to Treasury. (The regulations say that they should forward CLNs to the INS, which of course no longer exists 🙂 ). On the other hand, they state outright in the Foreign Affairs Manual that they are sending CLNs to Treasury anyway. Which is theoretically illegal, but oh well.
On another topic, China Central Television is running a report under the headline “Eight thousand US citizens gave up US citizenship to avoid taxes in 2012”. Announcer claims this is double the figure for 2011. But then they cut over to a second reporter who cites the IRS figure of 679 renouncing in Q1 2013 and describes that as as three-quarters of the number for all of 2012.
Ah okay, now I know why that CCTV report sounded familiar: they mention the figure of “154 per week”, which probably comes from the New York Post (which expressed it in exactly those terms). Ultimately the NY Post seem to have pulled that number out of thin air, though it’s remarkably close to the estimate you get by taking the number of renunciants in NICS, using the good old 4:5-6 ratio to estimate the number of relinquishers, and adding them all up
I had the impression, based on what I’m not sure, that the real number was leaked to the Post.
I am trying to complete information for your renunciation for the Renounce & Relinqish database. Have you received your CLN so I can complete the line for you? Thanks.
The US indictment of the “Liberty Reserve”, a digital currency company, states the following: “By in or about 2011, (Arthur) BUDOVSKY was so committed to evading US law enforcement that he formally renounced his US citizenship ….”
The Federal Register “Quarterly Publication of Individuals, Who Have Chosen to Expatriate” does not list Arthur Budovsky for the period 1Q 2011 to 4Q 2012. Just more evidence that the Federal Register list is incomplete.
Further to the above post and quote from the “Liberty Reserve” indictment, attached is a copy of the indictment. The US citizenship renunciation mention is at point 13, p. 6:
@Innocente, re; “…By in or about 2011, (Arthur) BUDOVSKY was so committed to evading US law enforcement that he formally renounced his US citizenship…”
The smoking gun. Apparently now, the US doesn’t even have to prove tax or other federal crimes. Formally renouncing US citizenship is crime enough, and sufficient proof of ‘evading US law’.
Strange new type of crime? – where you go directly to a US consulate, give them all sorts of your verifiable official ID and fill in complex and intrusive forms, plus formally surrender your US passport.
Some smooth and subtle type of crime – right there, in plain sight, in front of US officials, giving your real name, address and SSN.
Confirmation that the US has become a quasi-police state – no-one is to be allowed to give up US citizenship without being automatically deemed a criminal.
Arthur Budovsky is a founder of Liberty Reserve, a digital currency company, who was arrested several weeks ago in Spain. The indictment against him states that he is a former US citizen, having renounced “in or about 2011”, although his name is not listed in the Federal Register based on my review. He acquired Costa Rican citizenship through marriage and this marriage is under investigation as fictitious according to a recent story in the Miami Herald.
Although this is speculation, I am wondering whether Costa Rica aims to revoke his citizenship to allow themselves to wash their hands of the matter. If this occurs, would the US then try to re-instate his US citizenship to sink their claws into him?