In this article, tax issues are mentionned, but no word about the life destroying effects of FBAR, FATCA and double taxation on Americans living abroad.
Also, the mention of Kenya as a country that doesn’t allow dual nationality is wrong, since the new constitution voted in 2010.
When one passport isn’t enough, by Maria LaMagna
Citizenship is a contract of adhesion and everyone is born into one. Some people have the opportunity to enter in another such contract with a country of their choice. And in the case of the
US, a person has the right to terminate their original contract, as set out in s. 349(a) of the Immigration and Nationalties Act.
Relinquishment is not necessarily “an agonising decision.” To me, it was logical and sensible, a non-emotional decision to terminate the contract, according to the provisions of its out-clause, given the circumstances of my life, which by that time had no connection to US. For me to retain citizenship in the US would have been the improper thing to do – I would have been remaining a party to the contract of citizenship, to retain benefits of it, whilst at the same time lacking commitment or allegiance, which I believe is an essential obligation at the core of the contract of citizenship. So on both tangible and intangible levels I found the decision, whilst serious, a very simple one to make.
I certainly can’t say I would have felt it agonising to be a dual citizen, but I can say that, given my beliefs, I have just felt more comfortable not being one and I appreciated the opportunity to relinquish.
Some people can have, and do have, dual commitment/allegiance, and that’s fine. But for me personally it did not feel natural, I felt it would dilute both citizenships, and that made relinquishment the logical choice.
I think that terminating a citizenship would be an agonising decision for people who feel dual allegiance. But that is not the case of everyone.
I made my decision decades before all this HIRE and FATCA stuff and I really resented them trying to retroactively impose citizenship in this new era. It was like they were trying to negate the reality of my life, cynically make me a pawn in their current-day political/financial problems, and in a practical sense it turned my life and my family’s into what seemed like an unending nightmare. To me, that’s agonising.
I have to laugh at that line. When she finally leaves and renounces her US citizenship, she’ll have to hand over the $450 that she brought. Hear that Senator “Despicable” Schumer, your government is robbing us of our ability to take $450 dollars when we emigrate to other countries!
@all- this article paints dual citizenship as being pretty well none problematic. Boy do the dual citizens who are metioned in this article have a “rude” awakening coming for them come 2013 if they have any financial assets in their other country of citizenship. The fact that none of them have mentioned any IRS related issues can only mean that they either have no financial assets outside of the States or that they do but that they are under the reporting threshhold or that they are unaware of the reporting requirements that are in place.
I certainly am sure that the man who plans on doing business in Portugal must obviously be clueless about FATCA and maybe FBAR.
Overall I would say that the tone of this article is much too sanguine about the out right incompatibility of U.S. citizenship with any other citizenship. At least the countries that make you renounce U.S. citizenship in order to gain their citizenship are being honest.
I choose to be a Canadian and also choose that for my Canadian-born (developmentally delayed) son. I do not want the imprisonment of US citizenship and I’m bloody tired of the entrapment of us all who do not want it. I will get my renunciation. Why can’t I do that for my son?
@ Calgary. I think that’s outrageous. It perverts the essence of citizenship to force someone to remain in it against their (or their guardian’s) will. And it’s clearly against your son’s best interest because it drains his quality of life and makes him a second class citizen in his home country, Canada, the only country he has ever really belonged to, belong as in “being a part of.”
For example, they could make it possible for a person to renounce through a guardian by using the existing 4079, plus a specific additional questionnaire to indicate the disabled person’s ties to their country and lack of ties to the US as related to their disability (many support resources in their home country / none or few in the US). Something like that could clearly indicate to the
US govt that the guardian is acting in the person’s best interests, that they are doing what the person themselves would want to have done.
*My CLN was approved through CA/OCS/ACS/WHA
The WHA is Western Hemisphere Affairs
The Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs is headed by Assistant Secretary of State Roberta Jacobson, who is responsible for managing and promoting U.S. interests in the region by supporting democracy, trade, and sustainable economic development, and fostering cooperation on issues such as citizen safety, strengthening democratic institutions and the rule of law, economic and social inclusion, energy, and climate
Roberta Jacobson is likely the person that could approve renunciation for son.
Who benefits from forced US citizenship of your son
The IRS? possibly
Cross border tax attorneys and preparers? certainly
Your son? he derives no benefits, only costly obligations which he does not comprehend.
whether directly by taxes, or indirectly through compliance costs the US is trying to steal a portion of the benefits provided by Canadians for your son’s welfare.
The US has signed but never ratified the UN Convention on Disabled Person
the US is number one in arrogance and hypocracy
@Pacifica and @Patricia,
Thanks for your thoughts and your support on this. I just keep putting out there. I have a US tax lawyer in Calgary and a US immigration/nationality lawyer in Washington, DC, who I am trusting to handle my and my son’s issues as best as can be done. The cost, of course monetarily, though, as well, emotionally, is so high. This is not just about me and my son, but the many, many like us who have to be affected by all this.
Right now, I’m going to escape to a sunny day in Calgary for the Calgary Folk Fest, where my son is included as a volunteer. I’ve met a few over the weekend and have spread the word. Slowly, but surely, people will know of all this.
No one benefits from my son having a US citizenship — no one, unless the US is to get even more of what I will provide him through a Canadian Registered Disability Savings Plan for my peace of mind that he will not be sleeping under a bridge somewhere when I am gone from this world. His family (except for relatives, who he is deprived of a relationship with) reside and will be just Canadian citizens after their renunciation. Someone, convince me what his benefits of US citizenship might be.
Even for the tax professionals to fill out the 3520 / 3520A forms for the “foreign trust” RDSP, it requires a social security number, which he doesn’t have as I never registered him with the US and which I will not do (I hope!) (as my son is a “supposed” US citizen). It is all a catch 22 and a huge entrapment all around.
Once again, I hang on by the support of all of you here, my fellow “supposed US persons” (and those of you who have gotten to the other side, like you two – Congratulations!). Thanks everyone!
@ calgary 411
In keeping with your plans for the day and your plans for the future …
You are in my thoughts and somehow, somewhen we all hope your son will be allowed to join you when you are “On the Other Side”.
It’s been a while since I last acknowledged it, but you are so inspiring and amazing to follow through your long fight for justice and financial security for your son. When the final chapter is written about this pathetic era in U.S. history, your story of seemingly endless struggle against bureaucratic evil will be front and centre. For my part, I once again applaud you. You are greatly respected and loved here!
@Deckard1138- Calgary411 is indeed a tireless worker in the fight against the injustice that is being done by the U.S. government’s refusal to let the disabled go. U.S. tax policy only hurts them by disallowing their participation in the tax saving opportunities that are made available to them by the government of Canada or any other country in which they reside.
This though is a symptom of U.S. contempt for any citizenship that it isn’t its own. If the U.S. is the greatest country on earth than all other countries by inference are inferior and so is their citizenship. Arrogance knows no bounds.
As a parent who also has a disabled child I am very glad to have her friendship and support.
You are all wonderful – what can I say, dear friends. Thanks, Pacifica, Patricia, Em (loved the great video — could be an uplifting musical theme for many), Deckard and fellow-parent / friend, recalcitrant. You took my breath away.