The latest expat honour roll has been placed on public inspection for printing in tomorrow’s Federal Register, under a brand new title with a wider variety of punctuation: “Individuals, Who Have Chosen To Expatriate; Quarterly List”. Though it claims to have been approved for publication nearly three weeks ago ago, on 18 July, it was not actually published as required by 26 USC 6039G(d), nor even placed on public inspection, until a week after the 30 July deadline, making this the eighth quarter in a row in which the list has been late.
Coincidentally, this month’s NICS report from the FBI was also delayed — they tried uploading it yesterday, slightly later than usual, but due to an issue with the Plone content management system they use for their website, all of the PDF files went missing. Fortunately, they had more success when they retried the upload this morning. The report reveals that they’ve now hit exactly 26,000 records in the “Renounced United States citizenship” category, up by 577 since last month and 2,193 since the end of last year.
NICS includes only renunciants, not relinquishers; if the previous ratio of 4 or 5 relinquishers for every six renunciants still holds true, that suggests that roughly 3,500 to 4,000 people have given up U.S citizenship in one way or another this year. In contrast, the Federal Register list — which is supposed to include renunciants, relinquishers, and even some green card holders — has just 576 names, giving us a total of 1,577 “published expatriates” so far this year — with many confirmed cases of missing names.
Meanwhile, 124 Kyrgyzstanis among a diaspora of half a million and 817 Ghanaians among a diaspora of between 1.5 and 3 million renounced their respective citizenships in all of 2013.
Media reports of individual relinquishments
The three public figures who gave up U.S. citizenship in 2013 and were still missing as of last quarter’s list — Cuban intelligence officer René González, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines’ former U.N. Representative Camillo Gonsalves, and Pakistani politician Fauzia Kasuri — remain missing from this quarter’s list as well. These missing names made up a total of about a quarter of the media reports of famous people — mostly politicians, rather than the nearly-mythological “wealthy people fleeing the estate tax” — who gave up U.S. citizenship that year.
I am aware of three more media reports of people giving up U.S. citizenship up to the end of June: Bitcoin investor Roger Ver, reported by Bloomberg News to have gave up U.S. citizenship in late February after buying Saint Kitts & Nevis naturalisation; one woman who naturalised in the Federated States of Micronesia in December, according to the government press release (the FSM does not allow dual citizenship for adults, though it is not clear what standard of proof they require that a naturalised citizen has given up his or her prior citizenship); an NCO in the Taiwanese army briefly interviewed by the Taipei Times, who renounced sometime before January. None of their names appear in this quarter’s list either.
Mona Helen Kabuki Quartey also gave up U.S. citizenship to take up a position as Ghana’s Deputy Finance Minister, but only on 10 July, more than a week after the end of the second quarter. She probably will not appear in the Federal Register before the fourth quarter list, if ever. The relative paucity of people giving media interviews about giving up U.S. citizenship this year suggests that most of the latest batch of newly-minted ex-citizens — both those whose names appeared in the Federal Register and those absent from it — are mostly not public figures, or are trying to avoid drawing attention to themselves.
Comparison with other countries
Meanwhile, 124 people renounced citizenship of Kyrgyzstan in all of 2013. The total number of Kyrgyzstani citizens living abroad was reported to be between half a million and six hundred thousand, or about one-tenth the size of the number of extraterritorial U.S. citizens. This means that, adjusted for diaspora population, there are at least three times as many Americans abroad giving up citizenship as Kyrgyzstanis abroad.
However, due to uncertainty about the size of the Ghanaian diaspora, it is not clear whether the American diaspora renunciation rate has surpassed the Ghanaian diaspora renunciation rate yet. In 2013, 817 Ghanaians gave up their citizenship, almost all to naturalise in countries like Germany which place restrictions on dual citizenship. The International Organisation for Migration, citing third-party studies, estimates that there are between 1.5 million and 3 million Ghanaian citizens living abroad.
And, the tsunami of demagogic bullshit & uninformed analogies starts in earnest:
From Genevalunch on-line newspaper:
“Latest figures out for Americans giving up citizenship
In banking news, the latest figures for American “persons”, as defined by US tax law, giving up their citizenship was 1,577 for the first half of 2014, just below the figure for the first six months of 2013. The figures can be misleading given that some US embassies have more requests than they can handle, limiting the number of requests processed.”
The second sentence may be in reference to scattered on-line reports of delays at the Berne embassy and possibly at the Geneva consulate and elsewhere. Genevalunch may have other sources too.
These Americans Pulled The Trigger To Keep Uncle Sam Out Of Their Lives For Good
From a U.S. conservative blog. Nice pithy headline, short but solid summary of the actual issues. None of the usual Homelander misconceptions. At least there’s still small islands of sanity somewhere back there in the U.S.
Article — GOOD. Following comment there — BAD — very, very BAD! Would you or someone with FB or Google signing privileges please administer a comment antidote to this mis-information poison? If it is that easy to ditch US citizenship why did we drive hundreds of kilometers (partly through a ground blizzard) and spend 2 nights in a motel in order for my husband to attend a relinquishment appointment at a US consulate? And why did we spend hours upon hours completing his IRS exit papers? And why will we be spending years and years wondering/worrying if everything was done correctly? I think many years ago Schubert got a CLN by sending a letter and perhaps his passport to Henry Kissinger (Dept. of State at that time) but that will NOT work now!
So many many misconceptions. Sigh.
@Eric, a few of us communicate with Liam Pleven. You can pride yourself in knowing that Laura Saunders looks to Brock and your postings as a source of information. Nice work.
Speaking of Lois Lerner, her “emails are too hard to retrieve from the backup” — http://www.judicialwatch.org/press-room/press-releases/backups-for-missing-lois-lerner-irs-emails/
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced the following developments in the IRS’ missing emails investigation. Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton stated:
Department of Justice attorneys for the Internal Revenue Service told Judicial Watch on Friday that Lois Lerner’s emails, indeed all government computer records, are backed up by the federal government in case of a government-wide catastrophe. The Obama administration attorneys said that this back-up system would be too onerous to search. The DOJ attorneys also acknowledged that the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) is investigating this back-up system.
Similar note? http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2014/08/27/harper_government_asks_public_servants_to_delete_emails.html
FBI NICS records show 180 renunciations in August 2014 and a running total of 26’180 at 31 August 2014. Total at 31 July 2014 was 26’000 (exactly). 2’373 renounced US citizenship in the period Jan to Aug 2014, or an average of 297 per month in 2014.
Considering the lengthy wait time to obtain expatriation appointments, the reported figure seems understated for August. Is the FBI succumbing to political pressure and under-reporting renunciation figures?
@Innocente: thanks for catching that. If there’s any accidental or deliberate-reporting, I suspect it would involve State failing to send some CLNs to the FBI, rather than the FBI not reporting what they get. The opportunities for errors & malfeasance are greatest in the least-audited & least-well-known parts of the process, and NICS definitely isn’t one of those: gun control is a far more salient issue in the US than renunciation, so there are more eyes on the FBI, they have to make reports & perform audits, etc.
In contrast State runs their renunciation fiefdom pretty much however they want (aside from the occasional Kenneth Fox who takes them to court), and similarly there is no oversight on the IRS’ procedures for compiling the Published Expatriates list.
One thing we’ve never even been able to estimate well: how long is the delay between a renunciation appointment and State sending the CLN to the FBI?
@Eric: The WSJ reported: “State Department spokesman … added that three-quarters of all renunciations are processed by consular offices in Canada, the U.K. and Switzerland.” As you probably know, much of W. Europe, including the UK and Switzerland, slows down in August for annual vacations. This might partially explain the reduced number of renunciations for August 2014 versus the running average. It might be worthwhile to see whether there was a similar low number for August 2013.
I suspect that the FBI is factual in what it reports and strives to keep the data base up-to-date. A possible way for them to update the data base and still under-report renunciations would be to partially misclassify renunciations into other categories. If detected in an audit, misclassification would be a less grievous sin than omission since the would-be firearm buyer would still be flagged.
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FBI NICS records show exactly 300 renunciations in September 2014 and a running total of 26’480 at 30 September 2014. 2’673 renounced US citizenship in the period Jan to Sep 2014, or an average of 297 per month in 2014.
As always, the FBI NICS figures do not include relinquishments.
@Innocente, it will be interesting to see how much it will drop (or not!) after the September fee increase. Stay tuned…
If the ratio of renunciations to relinquishments is roughly 1:1, then the total number of expatriations for the first three quarters should be around 5,000, meaning up to 6,500+ for the year, unless of course the increase in renunciation fee slows down the renunciation pipeline — or if Treasury cooks the name and shame list.
Using the Jan-Sep 2014 run-rate of 297 per month, I calculate that the number of renunciations should land at about 3,564 (297 x 12 months). If the renunciation to relinquishment ratio is 1:1, then the total of renunciations and relinquishments that the IRS should report for 2014 would be about 7,128 (3,564 x 2).
– This ignores the number of long-time greencard holders who abandoned their greencards which should also be reported on the Federal Register expatriation lists.
Will the IRS continue to cook the Federal Register name and shame list, willfully or otherwise. If the past is any indication, I would say the under-reporting will continue. Consider this comparison of FBI NICS reported renunciations vs. the IRS reported Federal Register expatriation figures:
Renunciations per FBI NICS:
1-6 2014: 1,616**
IRS Expatriation Lists as published in the Federal Register. These quarterly lists should include renunciations, relinquishments and, in theory, LT greencard abandonments:
1-6 2014: 1,580***
*- See linked Global News article by Patrick Cain
**- FBI NICS running total at 6/30/2014: 25,423 minus total at 12/31/2013: 23,807
***- See Andrew Mitchel blog:
@noone: I agree that the new $2,350 renunciation fee should be an incentive to claim relinquishment. The ratio of renunciations to relinquishments may fall as a result.
FBI NICS records show 436 renunciations in October 2014 and a running total of 26’916 at 31 October 2014. 3’109 renounced US citizenship in the period Jan to Oct 2014, or an average of 311 per month in 2014.
As always, the FBI NICS figures do not include relinquishments.
FBI NICS records show 187 renunciations in November 2014 and a running total of 27’103 at 30 November 2014. 3’296 renounced US citizenship in the period Jan to Nov 2014, or an average of 300 per month in 2014.
As always, the FBI NICS figures do not include relinquishments.
So 2014 has already exceeded 2013?