The Quarterly Publication of Individuals Who Have Chosen to Expatriate for Q1 2017 has just been placed on public inspection for printing in Wednesday’s Federal Register, ten days later than required by law. This quarter’s list contains 1,313 “published expatriates”, in contrast to the FBI’s NICS gun control database which counted 1,484 renunciants for the first three months of the year (and another 460 in April).
NICS only includes people who renounce citizenship under 8 USC § 1481(a)(5). In other words, it is supposed to cover a smaller population than the Federal Register list, which includes § 1481(a)(1) – (4) relinquishers as well. So it’s clear that not all ex-citizens get their names published in the Federal Register, though there seems to be neither rhyme nor reason behind that long-standing phenomenon — (a)(5) renunciants & (a)(1) relinquishers, rich & poor, covered & uncovered expatriates, and filers & non-filers of 8854 alike are among both the published and the unpublished.
All we can say for sure is that either the State Department is not forwarding some CLNs to the IRS, or the IRS is not publishing the names from all the CLNs they receive. (Given that State should be forwarding CLNs to both the FBI and the IRS, and the FBI clearly have been receiving CLNs, I’d guess that the problems are the IRS’ fault.) It’s clearer why tens of thousands of people who abandon their green cards each year don’t show up in the list either: USCIS isn’t providing the IRS with the information they need about those folks, as we’ve discussed in more detail previously.
We still can’t tell whether the U.S. election results are having any effect on the numbers, because it’s not clear when the people named in this quarter’s list actually went and paid that $2,350 to the U.S. government — I’m not having much luck matching the names in this quarter’s list to media reports. One person in this quarter’s list is known to have relinquished in June 2016, but I can’t find any others who have previously spoken with the media about giving up U.S. citizenship. If you know the date anyone in this quarter’s list (whether yourself or a public figure) had their final appointment at the consulate, please leave a comment.
Table of contents
Table of recent relinquishments by public figures
A few more additions to the table this month. Ghanaian Deputy Finance Minister Charles Adu Boahen started the procedure to renounce his U.S. citizenship in December 2016, and said the U.S. Embassy in Accra made him attend three interviews for some reason. Chris Hart, a musician in Japan, acquired Japanese nationality and so will have to provide the Japanese government with his CLN with two years, but it’s not clear whether he’s started the process of obtaining one yet. I have not yet included Randall Dietz of Australia in the table — the Sunshine Coast Daily reported that he is trying to raise funds to pay for the State Department’s absurd CLN fee, but he does not seem to have actually renounced nor performed any other relinquishing act yet.
Unfortunately, only one person from the table showed up in this quarter’s list — Frank Alpert, who renounced nearly a year ago. It’s likely that some people in the list renounced later than he did, though it’s not clear whether we’re starting to see November & later renunciations yet. Update, 10 May: In a comment, Shadow Raider points out one famous name I missed: the president of Peru, who renounced way back during campaign season in November 2015. Also, three other Brockers in the list mention that they had their final consular appointments in January, August, and the last quarter of 2016. So State and the IRS are still clearing up a backlog from as long as eighteen months ago, though it looks like post-election renunciations are finally starting to come in — with no evidence of any sudden slowdown or speed-up, contrary to all the media hype.
In the early years of the list, some people took nearly six years to show up — like author Shere Hite, who renounced in 1995 but didn’t get her name published until the much-delayed Q2 2001 list. However, in more recent years, if your name hasn’t shown up within about 18 months, it’s likely that State & the IRS just forgot about you entirely. You can always call up the Philadelphia IRS office and remind them to print your name, the way Mike Gogulski did.
|Giving up US citizenship||Appeared in
|Rachel AZARIA||Politician||Israel||Take office as Member of Knesset||January 2015||Q2 2016||Times of Israel|
|Jonathan TEPPER||Macroeconomic analyst||United Kingdom||FATCA & other U.S. tax reporting requirements||January 2015||Q1 2016||The New York Times|
|David ALWARD||Politician||Canada||Become Canadian consul-general in Boston||April 2015 or earlier||Q3 2015||Canadian Broadcasting Corporation|
|YANG Chen-ning||Physicist||China||Restore Chinese citizenship||April 2015||Q3 2015||Xinhua (China)|
|Andrew YAO Chi-chih||Computer scientist||China||Restore Chinese citizenship||Unclear||Q3 2015||Xinhua (China)|
|Alfred Oko VANDERPUIJE||Politician||Ghana||Stand for election to Parliament||August 2015||No||Starr FM (Ghana)|
|Philip RYU||Singer||South Korea||Serve in South Korean army||September 2015 or earlier||No||Money Today (South Korea)|
|Pedro Pablo KUCZYNSKI||Politician||Peru||Run for president||November 2015||Q1 2017||El Comercio (Peru)|
|Rachel HELLER||Writer||Netherlands||FATCA & other U.S. tax reporting requirements even when no U.S. tax is owed||November 2015||Q4 2016||Blog (will be in TV news programme at a later date)|
|Susan WOOD||Unknown||Canada||FATCA & other compliance issues||November 2015||Q3 2016||Vancouver Sun|
|KANG Dong-suk||Violinist||South Korea||Restore South Korean citizenship||2015 (month not specified)||No||News1 (South Korea)|
|Pavel BURE||Ice hockey player||Russia||“US passport was no longer needed”||Early 2016 (month not specified)||Q4 2016||Sputnik News; Pravda Report|
|Neil (Teodoro) LLAMANZARES||Businessman||Philippines||Public opinion (his wife ran for President, but lost after he renounced)||April 2016||Q3 2016||Rappler (Philippines)|
|TAO Yuequn||Businessman||China||Unknown||April 2016 or earlier||No||Sina Finance|
|LEE Chih-kung||Physicist||Taiwan||Appointed Minister of Economic Affairs by President-elect Tsai Ing-wen||May 2016||Q3 2016||Apple Daily (Taiwan)|
|Ned (Nader) MANNOUN||Politician||Australia||Run for Australian parliament||May 2016 or earlier||Q4 2016||Liverpool Champion (Australia)|
|Yehuda GLICK||Politician||Israel||Take office as Member of Knesset||May 2016||No||Arutz Sheva (Israel)|
|Karen ALPERT||Academic||Australia||FATCA & other compliance issues||June 2016||Q4 2016||Sydney Morning Herald|
|Frank ALPERT||Academic||Australia||FATCA & other compliance issues||June 2016||Q1 2017||Sydney Morning Herald|
|Judy CHAN Ka-pui||Politician||Hong Kong||Run for Hong Kong Legislative Council||July 2016||Q3 2016||Apple Daily (Hong Kong)|
|Boris JOHNSON||Politician||United Kingdom||Taxes or politics or whatever||July 2016 or earlier||Q4 2016||Daily Mail|
|Kimi ONODA||Politician||Japan||Dual-at-birth, did Japanese-law “choice of nationality”, didn’t know U.S. still considered her a citizen||October 2016?||No||Viewpoint (Japan)|
|Charles Adu BOAHEN||Politician||Ghana||Become Deputy Minister of Finance||Early 2017||No||Ghana Guardian|
|Chris HART||Musician||Japan||Naturalise in Japan||March 2017 or later||No||Sports Hochi (Japan)|
Comparison with NICS
The below table lists the yearly additions to NICS from 2006 to 2010, and monthly additions for 2011 up through the present, compared with the quarterly lists in the Federal Register.
The FBI has the bad habit of uploading the new NICS report each month at the same URL as the old one; the only way to keep a verifiable collection of old reports is to save old ones in some archiving service each month, and unfortunately we didn’t remember to do this for all months, though we’ve had a good track record over the past year. If the month is set in upright type, the link goes to an actual Internet Archive copy of the FBI NICS report for that month. If the month is in bold type (for December), the link goes to the NICS annual operations report for the appropriate year. Finally, for months in italics, the link goes to a Brock post or comment.
Unfortunately, some previously-saved reports (e.g. the February 2017 report) seem to have disappeared from the Internet Archive. I’m not sure whether this is a temporary issue or what.
|First quarter||Second quarter||Third quarter||Fourth quarter|
|71 FR 25648||100||71 FR 50993||31||71 FR 63857||41||72 FR 5103||106|
|Annual totals for 2006||Fed. Reg.||278||NICS||48||12,651|
|72 FR 26687||107||72 FR 44228||114||72 FR 63237||105||73 FR 7631||144|
|Annual totals for 2007||Fed. Reg.||470||NICS||317||12,968|
|73 FR 26190||123||73 FR 43285||23||73 FR 65036||22||74 FR 6219||63|
|Annual totals for 2008||Fed. Reg.||231||NICS||655||13,623|
|74 FR 20105||67||74 FR 35199||15||74 FR 60039||158||75 FR 9028||503|
|Annual totals for 2009||Fed. Reg.||743||NICS||714||14,337|
|75 FR 28853||179||75 FR 69160||560||75 FR 69158||397||76 FR 7907||398|
|Annual totals for 2010||Fed. Reg.||1,534||NICS||1,009||15,346|
|First quarter||Second quarter||Third quarter||Fourth quarter|
|Apr 2011||41||15,387||Jul 2011||89||15,705||Oct 2011||118||15,930|
|May 2011||98||15,445||Aug 2011||54||15,759||Nov 2011||40||15,970|
|Jun 2011||131||15,616||Sep 2011||53||15,812||Dec 2011||34||16,004|
|Q2 total||270||Q3 total||196||Q4 total||192|
|76 FR 27175||499||76 FR 46898||519||76 FR 66361||403||77 FR 5308||360|
|Annual totals for 2011||Fed. Reg.||1,781||NICS||656||16,004|
|Jan 2012||265||16,269||Apr 2012||204||16,662||Jul 2012||22||17,188||Oct 2012||3,106||20,577|
|Feb 2012||98||16,367||May 2012||Missing||Aug 2012||149||17,337||Nov 2012||97||20,654|
|Mar 2012||89||16,458||Jun 2012||504||17,166||Sep 2012||114||17,451||Dec 2012||0||20,654|
|Q1 total||452||Q2 total||708||Q3 total||285||Q4 total||3,203|
|77 FR 25538||460||77 FR 44310||189||77 FR 66084||238||78 FR 10692||45|
|Annual totals for 2012||Fed. Reg.||932||NICS||*4,648||W/o backlog:
|Jan 2013||176||20,830||Apr 2013||319||21,823||Jul 2013||298||22,908||Oct 2013||302||23,557|
|Feb 2013||478||21,308||May 2013||374||22,197||Aug 2013||278||23,186||Nov 2013||118||23,675|
|Mar 2013||196||21,504||Jun 2013||413||22,610||Sep 2013||69||23,255||Dec 2013||132||23,807|
|Q1 total||850||Q2 total||1,106||Q3 total||645||Q4 total||552|
|78 FR 26867||679||78 FR 48773||1,130||78 FR 68151||560||79 FR 7504||631|
|Annual totals for 2013||Fed. Reg.||3,000||NICS||3,153||23,807|
|Jan 2014||320||24,127||Apr 2014||382||24,602||Jul 2014||577||26,000||Oct 2014||426||26,916|
|Feb 2014||95||24,222||May 2014||205||24,807||Aug 2014||180||26,180||Nov 2014||187||27,103|
|Mar 2014||-2||24,220||Jun 2014||616||25,423||Sep 2014||300||26,480||Dec 2014||137||27,240|
|Q1 total||413||Q2 total||1,203||Q3 total||1,057||Q4 total||750|
|79 FR 25176||1,001||79 FR 46306||576||79 FR 64031||776||80 FR 7685||1,062|
|Annual totals for 2014||Fed. Reg.||3,415||NICS||3,423||27,240|
|Jan 2015||271||27,511||Apr 2015||767||29,413||Jul 2015||856||30,973||Oct 2015||194||31,869|
|Feb 2015||105||27,616||May 2015||543||29,956||Aug 2015||552||31,525||Nov 2015||318||32,187|
|Mar 2015||1,030||28,646||Jun 2015||161||30,117||Sep 2015||150||31,675||Dec 2015||479||32,666|
|Q1 total||1,406||Q2 total||1,471||Q3 total||1,568||Q4 total||989|
|80 FR 26618||1,335||80 FR 45709||460||80 FR 65851||1,426||81 FR 6598||1,058|
|Annual totals for 2015||Fed. Reg.||4,279||NICS (-10)||5,416||32,666|
|Jan 2016||253||32,919||Apr 2016||860||34,807||Jul 2016||350||36,378||Oct 2016||440||37,346|
|Feb 2016||539||33,458||May 2016||765||35,572||Aug 2016||252||36,630||Nov 2016||227||37,573|
|Mar 2016||489||33,947||Jun 2016||456||36,028||Sep 2016||276||36,906||Dec 2016||430||38,003|
|Q1 total||1,281||Q2 total||2,081||Q3 total||878||Q4 total||1,097|
|81 FR 27198||1,158||81 FR 50058||509||81 FR 79098||1,379||82 FR 10185||2,365|
|Annual totals for 2016||Fed. Reg.||5,411||NICS (-16)||5,321||38,003|
|Jan 2017||377||38,380||Apr 2017||460||39,947||Jul 2017||Oct 2017|
|Feb 2017||344||38,724||May 2017||Aug 2017||Nov 2017|
|Mar 2017||763||39,487||Jun 2017||Sep 2017||Dec 2017|
|Q1 total||1,484||Q2 total||460||Q3 total||Q4 total|
|82 FR 21xxx||1,313|
|Totals so far for 2017||Fed. Reg.||1,313||NICS||1,944||39,947|
Same caveats as previous editions of the table. The “addition” figure for April 2011 refers to all additions since December 2010. The “addition” figure for October 2012 includes what the FBI described as a “backlog” of 2,900 renunciant records, also included in the annual total for that year. I also gave an estimate of what the annual total would be without the backlog, even though some of the backlog may relate to other periods covered by the chart. Finally, the annual figures for 2015 and 2016 are smaller than the sum of the monthly additions because I subtracted out erroneous renunciant records submitted by U.S. state governments; see the Active Records in the NICS Index by State reports for 2015 and 2016.
With last month’s hearing on FATCA, Congress finally took the first steps towards formally acknowledging our issues — over the vociferous objections of the Democratic witness who claimed that emigrants giving up citizenship because of bad laws don’t matter because immigrants who aren’t affected by those laws continue to naturalise. However, a first step is not a solution. Neither Congress nor the president have yet released a concrete tax reform plan which addresses our issues, and even if they do there’s no guarantee they can pass it — particularly if Democrats oppose the whole thing and certain Republican senators want to tweak it to ensure the diaspora keeps getting screwed.
Until there’s a solution in sight, people will simply keep on snapping up all available renunciation appointment slots.
‘Given that we have a finite life span, which is more of a “pipe dream”, RBT or easier renunciation?’
I wonder if someone could persuade Congress to enact the Expatriation Act of 1868.
I wonder if someone could persuade a court to uphold it.
I bet the success rate would be 1 out of 2.
Calgary411 you said, ” @Paul S.
Many would be interested in seeing an outline of your proposal for group advocated renunciation of US citizenship — just how that might proceed given the above US citizenship laws and policies.”
Wow! Many would be interested? Outline of my proposal?
How much will you pay me to reveal such deep dark secrets?
Joking aside, I’m not trying to incite. Don’t have a written proposal, just thoughts. One of those thoughts used to be that this place was a place that was accepting rather than disparaging of thoughts outside of the box. But it is not that place anymore. And if you are going to chase away people who think differently, why be angry or disappointed when your thoughts are also chased away by people who think differently, and have more power than you all do.
Paul S., I think we Canadians are paying more than enough on behalf of others, I’ll pass. Governments have seen to the fact that not much is left for those that actually earned, and their families.
Not a penny.
Since you asked, one suggestion: stop acting like Americans. Stop begging the abuser(USA) to stop abusing. You are letting the Canadian government off the hook. They (CDN government) view you as ‘US citizens abiding in Canada’. That is their excuse for not protecting you. If you act like Americans, you play into the Canadian government’s hand. You agree that it is the USA which is the problem. You agree that as US citizens, it is a problem between you and the US government. Start acting like Canadians rather than Americans. Demand your government protect you.
@Paul S.: Well, I did have one proposal for how other governments could let people renounce US citizenship without involving the US government:
That said, like several others in this thread I am not Canadian and never lived in Canada so can’t speak for the Canadians. The reason folks where I live (Hong Kong) are focused on fighting the U.S. government:
1. Here we have no laws on access to basic banking services and no prohibition on discrimination by citizenship. Looked from several angles and a court case here is basically a non-starter.
2. The bureaucracy & public think US citizens are all either rich expats working in finance or rich returnees who regret fleeing the country and getting a second passport. So they have zero sympathy for us and their only advice is “just pay up and renounce, otherwise STFU we need to save the banks and banks are more important than you”
3. For those who want it, they don’t make it easy even to get local citizenship (particularly if you’re married to a non-local, and your kids have grown up & left or aren’t applying with you). I may just be lucky or slightly crazy; the overwhelming majority of expats I know could only solve their US citizenship problem by shaking their family tree until an Italian or Irish or some other distant ancestor from an unlimited jus sanguinis country fell out. That means, from the local government perspective there are almost no local citizens who care about this issue.
Paul S., you assume quite a bit. Never in my life have I “acted like an American”. I did, however, pay the $450 extortion fee to keep the US government out of my family’s financial business. Like the families of hostages pay ransoms. I also included my uncensored opinions to the US government at EVERY opportunity.
NEWSFLASH – They don’t give a crap. Neither does the current Canadian gov’t that ranted away at the previous gov’t when they signed the IGA. Hypocrites, all of them.
In view of the Trump administration’s plan to cut the State Department’s budget by 29% and considering that the Bureau of Consular Affairs is not fully self-supporting from user fees, I would expect that fees charged by the State Department to generally go up in the coming year. This would be a normal reaction by a bureaucracy when a budget is cut.
Having said that, the renunciation/ relinquishment fee of US$2,350 is outrageous. Germany, as has been discussed on this board, has not been requiring naturalizing US citizens to renounce their US citizenship if their monthly income is less than the State Department’s renunciation fee.
“Start acting like Canadians rather than Americans. Demand your government protect you.”
Probably won’t get you far unless it can be shown that your government has a legal duty to protect you in the way(s) you suggest (negotiating with the US over the administrative costs of documentation of loss of US citizenship, or using public funds to subsidise renunciation of US citizenship).
Or alternatively, can be persuaded to pass legislation embracing such duties.
IANAL. Or a Canadian. Or a USC.
Finally had a chance to read this entire thread of comments.
Badger: Thank you for mentioning the UN Complaint in your response to Paul S. It’s always good to see that it hasn’t been forgotten! 🙂
The UN Complaint is indeed one of many attempts that has been made by this community to bring our issue to the attention of the powers in this world who are, supposedly, able to act on such matters. Like “The Mom”, I am very frustrated by the fact that our Complaint is coming up on its third anniversary with NOTHING having been done. However, we also know that three years is the average time it takes for one of these complaints to reach consideration stage. Pretty shocking, but there is nothing we can do to change this.
It may well be (if the US government doesn’t get completely derailed by Trump, his FBI firings and his Russian connections) that this fall there will be new tax laws put in place by the US and it may very well be that these new laws will include a switch to RBT &/or the demise of FATCA. I am, unabashedly, one of those here who refuses to let go of the hope currently on the table until it is a stinking corpse. As a blogger said many years ago, the fat(ca) lady has not yet sung. When she does I will begin fighting on another front. And that would involve the renunciation question that Paul S. has asked.
Paul S.: I am one of those here who is VERY interested in working on a way to bring attention to the WHOLE renunciation ball of wax including the preposterous (and illegal) fee. On the heels of the UN Complaint already in play I penned a first draft of an official “Complaint” against the fee and the other “trappings” of renunciation that would-be renouncers are currently faced with. The problem is this: who do we send this complaint to? I would be very interested in your ideas.
If the currently planned tax reforms do NOT contain relief for us it will mean that in seven years NO ONE who is in a position to act will have lifted a finger on our behalf. Who can we lobby? Who will listen? Who’s left? Billions of words have been written and, God knows, countless hours of our time and energy expended. Notwithstanding my abiding hope that none of these preparations will be needed, I believe we should be seriously considering an attack against the obstacles to renunciation that have been thrown in our path by the US government. And it is the US government we’re going to have to fight. As others have stated, our own countries have thrown us to the wolves and washed their hands of us.
“I am, unabashedly, one of those here who refuses to let go of the hope currently on the table until it is a stinking corpse.”
Give it up.
I’ve even just had a lawyer, one who has been known for helping the poor, call me a tax protester because I tried to cope with the ways the US government violated US law. Even when I live in countries with higher tax rates than the US, even when I sent overpayments to the US for the two exceptional years 1997 and 1999 and the IRS refunded the excess, somehow I’m a tax protester over $0.00 amounts of taxes so the IRS is not supposed to credit me for the amounts of withholding that Monica Hernandez embezzled.
The lawyer also said I have mental problems. Well no shit. Along with heart problems and everything else. Oddly the judge in Tax Court didn’t think I had mental problems, but that was when I still didn’t know how much more abuse was coming.
With friends like that, who needs enemies.
Give up. We’re all tax protesters and terrorists. No one is going to change a law, or even uphold an existing law, to let us get away with it. There’s only one way out.
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” — Edmund Burke
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of despair is for good men and women to give up hope.” — E. B.
I’m with you, MuzzledNoMore.
Muzzled No More: “The problem is this: who do we send this complaint to? I would be very interested in your ideas.”
Me: How about a lawsuit against the US State Dept., on the basis that the fee represents an unreasonable infringement of the (US recognized) right to expatriate? You’d need a wannabe expat–preferably a poor one without too many skeletons in their closet–to sue over.
“How about a lawsuit against the US State Dept., on the basis that the fee represents an unreasonable infringement of the (US recognized) right to expatriate? ”
I think Allison Christians has suggested somewhere that the fee could be challenged in court. It would be interesting to see this pursued.
The court would rule that the court lacks jurisdiction, and/or that the US didn’t waive sovereign immunity.
It doesn’t matter if that’s true or not, it’s just how the court would rule.
And as tax evading terrorists, none of us should expect a court to listen to us saying any differently.
“I think Allison Christians has suggested somewhere that the fee could be challenged in court. ”
Yes. Tax Notes interview, about 12 minutes in.
” You’d need a wannabe expat–preferably a poor one without too many skeletons in their closet–to sue over.”
Better to have a plaintiff who has complied, is up to date with taxes, and would not be covered. It’s not a welfare /poverty issue. A ruling that the fee can stand, but should be waived for poor people, would not be a good outcome. What’s needed is a ruling that the fee for documenting renunciation can only cover actual administrative costs, not politically motivated purposes.
Another suggestion for citizens of IGA Model 1 countries: document your relinquishment of US citizenship to your government, showing that you have lost your US citizenship by committing an expatriating act with the intention of losing your US citizenship. Ask your government to confirm that it accepts your loss of US citizenship. Show the confirmation to FIs instead of a CLN.
The US is forcing people to take other citizenships that they might not otherwise take.
What does this mean to the countries that accept them? It means they are naturalizing citizens who aren’t really fully committed to being their citizens. Should countries like Canada care about this?
The UK makes pretty sure they’re committed by charging whopping fees for visas leading to settlement – and further whopping fees every step of the way.
I got in for free but those days are long long gone.
It’s still probably a small investment to make to no longer be a US taxpayer, although the value of a UK passport has taken a dip lately (presumably).
@Bubblebustin – UK citizenship tends to be sought by Americans mainly for marital reasons.
For love, it’s worth it – for money, it’s not. 🙂
Zla’od: I’d love to see a lawsuit against the State Department over the renunciation issue but since we’ve got two expensive lawsuits in the works as it is I doubt a third one would be practical at this point. If it were, and if I didn’t have a spouse who has requested I stay off the front line, I would happily be the person, as Allison has suggested, who would walk into a consulate, demand a renunciation and refuse to pay the fee. The resultant denial of the renunciation would be my grounds to sue the State Department for obstruction of my right to renounce. Damn, I’d LOVE to do this!!! Any other takers? Any other ideas?
“Another suggestion for citizens of IGA Model 1 countries: document your relinquishment of US citizenship to your government, showing that you have lost your US citizenship by committing an expatriating act with the intention of losing your US citizenship. Ask your government to confirm that it accepts your loss of US citizenship. Show the confirmation to FIs instead of a CLN.”
That’s an excellent suggestion, but how will it be implemented? The US will never consent to obey the Expatriation Act of 1868. How can we persuade other countries to uphold it? Add it to the ADSC lawsuit?