The Quarterly Publication of Individuals Who Have Chosen to Expatriate for Q1 2018 has just been placed on public inspection for printing in Tuesday’s Federal Register, eight days later than required by 26 USC § 6039G(d). This is the seventh quarter in a row in which the IRS has been late with the list.
This quarter’s IRS expat honour roll has the names of 1,100 people who gave up US citizenship, by my count. (Andrew Mitchel counted 1,099. My initial count was 1,102, because I accidentally counted two very long names as four entries.) Meanwhile, the number of records in the “renounced US citizenship” category of the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) increased by precisely 1,100 during the first three months of the year, from 42,693 to 43,793. (The FBI added another 341 records in April, bringing the total to 44,134.)
The IRS list is known to be incomplete. It’s supposed to be much larger than the NICS list, not exactly the same size, let alone smaller. Per regulations, NICS only contains people who terminated their US citizenship by swearing an oath of renunciation at a US embassy or consulate. In contrast, the IRS’ list is supposed to have the names of all people who obtained Certificates of Loss of Nationality from the State Department, either by swearing an oath of renunciation or by reporting any other relinquishing act specified in 8 USC § 1481(a). The preamble of the IRS list even misleadingly implies that it includes some of the tens of thousands of people who give up their green cards every year.
Demonstrating the point, this quarter’s IRS list still failed to include some public figures who gave up US citizenship more than a year ago, including Japanese legislator Kimi Onoda and Ghanaian Deputy Minister of Finance Charles Adu Boahen. However, Homelanders and their chieftains don’t care about that. They’re dissatisfied with NICS instead, so there’s some provisions in the new spending bill imposing penalties on heads of upstream agencies, including the State Department, if they fail to certify semi-annually that they’re providing NICS with all the records they should be. More about that below.