Further to USCitizenAbroad’s comment on my previous post entitled, We want to know once and for all, for sure: Is it true, legal policy, a CHOICE: the US cannot force anyone who is born outside of the US to acquire US citizenship?, I am posting his prior post. Yesterday he added the preface:
“U.S. citizenship is a problem to be solved.”
You may not need to solve it at all!
Hang in for a long read.
Accidental US Citizenship — does it stay with you for life?
More excellent questions and commentary from USCitizenAbroad. Thank you very much!
Unless I missed something, it’s still about as clear as mud to me.
It may be valuable to explore whether the US (specifically the IRS), is exploiting this vagueness in railroading citizens of other countries to lay claims to US citizenship.
The IRS offers only one example of how someone may qualify for the 5% in lieu of penalty under OVDI if they did not know they were US citizens, and it is for people born in the US, moved to another country as infants with no knowledge of being born in the US. FAQ #52:
There is no mention of an instance where a parent may not have informed their child that they had been registered as a USC abroad, but then that would imply that to be a US citizen you would have to be registered to be a USC abroad (which we speculate may not matter to the IRS). It might be valuable to ask the IRS the direct question: Are persons born abroad who merely qualify for US citizenship considered USP’s for tax purposes?
Ever wonder why the criteria for claiming US citizenship for the children of unmarried US mothers or fathers born abroad is different, making it more difficult for a child fathered by a US citizen to obtain it? According to Wikipedia, it’s because the US government doesn’t want those bastard children resulting from the US’s war-mongering ways to have as easy a path to US citizenship! In other words US soldiers get to sow their seeds with the same level of responsibility as the hellfire missiles they shoot.
“This distinction between unwed American fathers and American mothers was constructed and reaffirmed by Congress out of concern that a flood of illegitimate Korean and Vietnamese children would later claim American citizenship as a result of their parentage by American servicemen overseas fighting wars in their countries. In many cases, American servicemen passing through in wartime may not have even learned they had fathered a child. In 2001, the Supreme Court, by 5–4 majority in Tuan Anh Nguyen v. INS, first established the constitutionality of this gender distinction.”
And dont’ forget all the children who did get US citizenship from their fathers during WW2. That’s another reason for the change in the law I would guess.
Seems hypocritical to me considering the US comes down so heavy on dead beat dads. Not to mention that it send the message that it’s ok to exploit the women of other countries without reprisals.
On this subject, I saw an interesting comment by Andrew Grossman on Linkedin, that I thought I would copy and paste over here…
It was part of this linkedin discussion around the subject of Offshore Tax Planning and World Wide Taxation http://lnkd.in/s7w2QE
Andrew Grossman • I’ve referred earlier to a woman I know who had a baby recently in London. On her behalf I had an exchange of emails with the State Department as to whether the baby is a US national, something that would depend upon proving facts of residence of about 40 years ago. The answer was: ‘Maybe’ (i.e, the baby is or isn’t but it depends on proof of those facts, or some adjudicator’s judgment on them). Since there is no evident need for the baby to have a US passport and is unlikely to live in the USA the question is this: imagine the baby inherits ‘lotsa money’. Could and should and would the IRS seek a determination by the State Dept or an immigration court of the baby’s status as a US person? I think not: the agency has no standing. In fact I would maintain that only a person who has availed himself at some time of an attribute of US nationality can be so pursued. Compare Rev. Rul. 75-357, PLR 8138071.
(As it happens, it seems that under international law a state may impose its nationality upon a person without his or a parent’s consent only at birth or adoption (formerly also upon marriage). That seems to be the reason for the Rev. Rul. I cited.)
One problem is that the tax law on ‘expatriation’ does not relate to US nationality alone. I’ve mentioned a person I knew who gave up a green card to become a staff member of an international organization, with diplomatic privileges, and later left the US completely to take up a senior position with his own government. I suspect that Boris Johnson if a British PM (and a certain Canadian minister too) would not be forced to use a US passport on an official US visit. Diplomatic pragmatism often trumps law: http://www.uniset.ca/other/news/wp_ronaldanderson.html
Garry Davis http://www.linkedin.com/pub/garry-davis/9/b40/239 renounced his US nationality in favor of his invented “world citizenship” but he eventually decided to come back to the US and apparently got an immigrant visa to do so. I suspect that many or most expatriates and accidental Americans will, unlike Garry, stay away.
For me the interesting question is this: how far will foreign governments go in practice to assist the USG in pursuing claims against dual nationals who have fully complied with their other country’s laws and paid all tax, and at higher rates than the US imposes: meaning that the IRS claim would be for ‘penalties’.
The USG, by the way, is not alone in exorbitant, or at least surprising, claims of taxability. The Robert Gaines-Cooper case is a harbinger of what’s to come: http://www.guardianwealthmanagement.com/uk-taxman-successfully-takes-on-british-expats-over-non-dom-90-day-rule/
Garry Davis (mentioned in post above and on other IBS threads about statelessness) died recently.
“Garry Davis, born July 27 1921, died July 24 2013”
“Garry Davis, who has died aged 91, was a US Army veteran and peace activist who, in 1948, renounced his American citizenship and went on to found the World Government of World Citizens, enlisting thousands to his cause. …” …”..Davis was 26 years old and disillusioned by America’s postwar nuclear policy when , on March 25 1948, in Paris, he officially became stateless. …”