Many “U.S. Persons” outside of the U.S. are aware of the Reed Amendment — an incoherent & unenforceable 1996 law which makes former U.S. citizens inadmissible to the U.S. if the Attorney General determines they renounced citizenship to avoid taxes — and Chuck Schumer (D-NY)’s attempt to make it worse in 2012 with the Ex-PATRIOT Act. But in the years between, there were nearly two dozen other attempts to pass a different law which also would have exiled former U.S. citizens:
Ineligibility for Visa or Admission To United States.—
(1) In general.— Section 212(a)(10)(E) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(10)(E)) is amended to read as follows:
(E) Former citizens not in compliance with expatriation revenue provisions.— Any alien who is a former citizen of the United States who relinquishes United States citizenship (within the meaning of section 877A(e)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986) and who is determined by the Attorney General, after consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury, not to be in compliance with sections 877A and 2801 of such Code (relating to expatriation).
This provision appeared in something I’ll be referring to as the “Baucus Amendment”, after its author Senator Max Baucus. Another piece of the Baucus Amendment created the current 26 USC § 877A expatriation tax, which has been the subject of a great deal of popular and academic attention. But the above-quoted piece of the Baucus Amendment (which I hereby dub “Baucus’ Reed Amendment fix”) has no better-known name; as far as I can see, it’s generally gone unnoticed in the popular press and even tax scholarship (the only person I’ve seen mention it is Michael Kirsch, in his 2004 paper “Alternative Sanctions and the Federal Tax Law”).
Baucus is a Democrat from Montana; however, he wouldn’t have succeeded at getting this provision inserted into so many other bills without help from Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee, in particular Chuck Grassley (R-IA).