A new article by Robert Wood highlighting the disparity between IRS and FBI renunciation lists. The Isaac Brock Society is name-checked for its pioneering role in tracking and flagging the inconsistencies in this data. Here’s an excerpt:
The FBI and the IRS don’t agree, yet both are ostensibly tracking the same data: how Americans are giving up their citizenship. For several years, a historical trickle of renunciations of U.S. citizenship has spiked materially. The trickle is now more of an open faucet, though one difficulty in determining the flow is available data. The IRS publishes a list, but many people who have expatriated claim their names are never on the IRS list.
Each three months, there is a public name and shame list published by the Treasury Department based on information from the IRS. The list each quarter is incomplete so the numbers are under-stated, some say considerably. For example, consular expatriations where people do not file exit tax forms with the IRS are apparently not counted. Indeed, the Treasury Department’s published list states explicitly that this is just a list of those about whom the Secretary of the Treasury has data. Statistics are also not available for why people say good-bye.
Now, a new report flagged by Paul Caron backs up the claim that the IRS is undercounting Americans who are renouncing citizenship. The report quotes extensively from Andrew Mitchel, an attorney who specializes in renunciations. Mr. Mitchel compares IRS and FBI data and says the gap between the two sets of figures is significant. Mr. Mitchel credits Canada’s Isaac Brock Society for beginning to track the FBI data in 2013.
Kudos to be our blogger Eric for staying on top of this issue.
Ditto to what Petros said. Eric deserves a heap of praise for his extensive and highly detailed research on various topics including the renunciation numbers.
Anything the government does is either incompetent, misleading or deliberately wrong. The founders tried very hard to make each citizen an individual with all the rights God gives at birth except those taken away legally by government. The Constitution is a document that limits the power of government and limits what they can do to a citizen. Over time the Socialists who in the U.S. are actually pretending to be something else have the attitude that all the power is owned by government and whatever you can do is grudgingly given up by government. They think and act as if God gave them all the power and they will decide which right you can have.
We no longer have all the power and rights, except for what we allow the government to have, as was intended by the framers of all our freedom documents. We are about where the Soviet Union was about ten ears into their failed adventure. Our politicians, in both major parties, Socialists pretending to be something else. When a politician has an approval rating of under 10% and gets re elected for as many terms as they want and hand picks their successors, then all the freedon to challenge them is gone.
Sorry it is this way by the consent of those who vote for a living and not the 34% who work and pay all the taxes. We are doomed to a form of dictatorship that pretends to be democracy.
Of course the numbers are wrong. Is there really any incentive for the US Government to make certain the numbers are accurate? Indeed there’s plenty of incentive to understate the problem out of political embarrassment.
Wilton Jere Tidwel you are the only person here, who I would want to get into a debate. Our political views are similar.
“Sorry it is this way by the consent of those who vote for a living and not the 34% who work and pay all the taxes. We are doomed to a form of dictatorship that pretends to be democracy.”
I also believe in only net taxpayer should have the right to vote. I also believe that government employee can either to choose to be part of a union or have the right to vote.
There was always the reason why the founder did not give Washington the right to vote. That was even before monopolistic government unions.
The vast majority of people at this website do not do or pay US taxes.
Why should they have the right to vote?
Perhaps in a just society we could have weighted voting. Government workers whose entire salary is taxpayer dollars, gets one vote. When they give some back, as taxes, it is not actually taxation, but if you are in a private business as an employer or employee, you get one vote for each dollar you paid in income taxes the past year. I can hear it now that the rich will elect the politician of their choice, maybe. All the rich old socialists wanted Obama so Gates, Buffet and the rest would offset the Koch brothers, who are real capitalists.
I once got into a lot of trouble advocating this approach to a bunch of liberals in a meeting in CA. I was able to hold my own, but I was very alone with this idea.
Nice for Eric to get that kind of acknowledgement. Like for so many here, his work is outstanding.
Wilton: the funny (or not) thing with your approach is that, in a way, it is already true; the USA is an excellent example of different class/money groups exercising their voting rights proportionally to their income. The even funnier thing is that countries with mandatory voting (and of course the usual one person – one vote) don’t have a noticeably different governance from their neighbors. Neither better nor worse, neither more right or left leaning.
The problem with your idea is a modern fascination with numbers which give the illusion of being able to measure everything. The value of what one contributes to society is not necessarily monetary. Also, everybody knows that hard work is rewarded in varying ways (profession, gender…). One can well imagine a wealthy and/or well-paid parasite (a compliance condor, say) versus a hardworking humane nurse or craftsman. The latter does not necessarily aspire to accumulating a fortune or living the high life. But there is no reason they shouldn’t have the same vote as anybody else.
The main reason democracies are more successful is alternating the people in power. Which becomes more difficult as the people in power are more able to consolidate power. Concentrating votes with these people would be toxic.
I was musing mostly. I know the kind of system I wrote about would be a nightmare to administer. My real preference, which I have advocated to every Ways and Means Chairman since 1985 when it dawned on me that having this convoluted tax system that Karl Marx advocated in the Communist Manifesto, was failing, has been the FairTax. This would take campaign money away from the current political class and make it easier to clean house when they add another 5,000 pages to the 80,000 of tax code we have now, and call it tax reform.
The FairTax is a way to collect the revenue we need to run the government, bring the cash economy into the tax system, where even criminals pay as they spend, give the poor the chance to have more of their money because they would be given a refund in advance and excused from payroll taxes, and it leaves the expats alone, because only people present in the country would pay anything, it is revenue neutral and does away with the Tax Code Marxists want to keep at all cost. It disbands the hated IRS that nobody likes and cannot ever be trusted or reformed.
No tax code fixes the budgeting process and no amount of rearranging the deck chairs, The Titanic has hit an iceberg and is or will sink if spending is not reigned in and debt retired. We simply must stop fiddling whilst Rome is burning and presidents and politicians are living like Kings, Queens and Princes and Princesses. The Republic that Franklin said,”It’s a republic if you can keep it”, is in grave danger of collapse into chaos. When we finally start failing to pay interest on the debt (default) and the bonds fall in value, those who invested our money in bonds and treasury notes, 401K’s, insurance companies, pension plans and the like, will fail to earn and loose their ability to pay their clients, we will be a failed state like every other Banana Republic and dictatorship, we all have seen elsewhere but thought we were immune to. END OF RANT___LOL
Lots of countries have weighted voting. You just have to understand how it works. People don’t get weightier votes for involuntary payments to their national treasuries. They get weightier votes for voluntary payments to campaign contributions. That’s why banksters rule Harper and the middle and lower class masses don’t.
But I think this site has more urgent issues to discuss.
I would agree except if the FairTax became law, all the tax and finance problems of the expats would go puff.
Has anyone had difficulty renewing a Nexus card after relinquishing US citizenship. My spouse was born in the US and became a Canadian citizen in 1980. We both acquired nexus cards in 2010 following an application and interview. They have both come up for renewal. Mine was renewed with no interview (always a Canadian). My spouse who relinquished formally in 2013 and who has a CLN back dated to 1980 has not as yet had her Nexus renewed because she must go for an interview. Ordinarily on reapplication, interviews are for reasons of some security risk, but we wondered if it might be because of the relinquishment, which is in fact the only change since the original granting of the Nexus card. Has anyone had a similar experience? What could the reasons be for an interview? We are both elderly retired who have spent 2-3 months in Maui every year since 2002 without incident. Thanks for any insights that can be provided.
I don’t believe we’ve had any other reports regarding Nexus card renewals or possible border issues related to relinquishment and back-dated CLN’s, so your case is both intriguing and potentially quite important. I hope you will keep us informed about how things go. I wish all the best for you and your spouse.
Joe Zinga and Deckard,
There was a somewhat related comment yesterday: http://isaacbrocksociety.ca/2013/09/19/question/comment-page-10/#comment-6589294
My husband and I both have Nexus cards (both USC’s). If you are a USC, your citizenship for Nexus purposes is US, even if you apply from Canada and are Canadian. I believe you’re suppose to notify them if there is any change in your status. I hope this helps.
We have an appointment for Nexus renewal in Nov. but will try to get in sooner and learn what the issue is. They would reveal nothing on the phone as to the reason for the interview. Our understanding has been that interviews on reapplication are because of some perceived security risk. Of course we cannot imagine what that risk would be from a couple of retired people, one of whom is an octogenarian.
@bubblebustin. The reason for the interview could be that we did not notify them of the change in citizenship and the CLN. That was an oversight on our part. I guess we will find out at the interview. Thanks.
The interview for renewal is routine.
@Duke of Devon. No interview was required for my renewal. But my spouse must have an interview to renew. The only difference is relinquishment.
@Joe Zinga: In case you didn’t see it already, there was a case a couple of years ago of a guy who was denied a NEXUS card in Vancouver; his lawyer said the denial was due to the fact that he’d renounced US citizenship. More details here; I’m not sure what eventually ended up happening with him:
@Eric. Thank you for this. One of the immediate issues for us arises out of the potential for refusal to issue a Nexus card and consequent denial of entry into the US. The reason it is immediate is a requirement for us to pay our full Maui accommodation costs (in excess of $20,000 Canadian for a 3month stay) by Oct. 11 (less than three weeks from now) and we have no idea if access will be denied, let alone not having a Nexus appointment in Vancouver until Nov. We depart for Maui Dec.12. One anyone comment on the likelihood of denial? A real dilemma. Thanks.
@Wilton and news:
As you probably know, Prussia had a system to grant more representation to those who contributed more to the state through taxes. It was classed the three-class voting system and worked like this:
1) Voters were classified into three categories, with each group paying one-third of the total taxes.
2) The voters in each category elected electors who ultimately selected the parliamentary representatives.
3) This resulted in the top 4%, who paid one-third of the taxes, electing one-third of the electors, the next 14% elected another one-third of the electors and the bottom 82% elected the final third of the electors (1908 figures).
4) The three-class voting system caused needed constitutional reforms to be blocked which led to the German Kaiser abolishing it in the spring of 1917. In November a revolution broke out leading to the abdication of the Kaiser and the end of the German monarchy.
FBI NICS added only 150 renunciants to its running total for September 2015, which stood at 31,675 at September 30, 2015. This means that 5,195 renounced for the US Federal government’s Fiscal Year 2015, or an average of 433 per month.
The 150 renunciation figure for September 2015 seems too low and I wonder whether the FBI has also begun to cook the renunciation books to reach a goal for FY 2015, in the tradition of the IRS.
I applied for my first Nexus card about a year after I renounced. I applied as a Canadian. I was asked at the interview if I was an American citizen, I said “No, I renounced in 2012”, he looked briefly at the photocopy on my CLN and then typed for about 30 seconds into his computer.
I passed the interview and got the card.
FBI NICS added 194 renunciants to its running total for October 2015, which stood at 31,869 at October 31, 2015. Since an average of 433 per month renounced in Fiscal Year 2015, October’s figure is low.