Post by Sapphire Capital on Sept 20, 2015 1:05:57 GMT 4
U.S. Raises Fee To Expatriate By 422% A Second Time
Robert W. Wood ,
I focus on taxes and litigation.
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When the news broke a year ago that the U.S. was hiking the fee to renounce U.S. citizenship by 422% there was a backlash. If anything, the uptick in American expatriations grew rather than declined. The U.S. State Department said raising the fee for renunciation of U.S. citizenship is about demand and paperwork. Perhaps, but a hike from $450 to $2,350 is still steep. That is more than twenty times the average level in other high-income countries. The State Department complains about demand on their services and all the extra workload they have to process people who are on their way out.
Even worse, for the second time in a year, the State Department just did another hike. You can view it as yet another 422%. In fairness, the State Department presumably believes it is just bringing the fees into parity. Up until now, there was the enhanced $2,350 fee for renouncing, and a smaller $450 fee for relinquishment. It may be a distinction without a difference. As the State Department put it, it was just harmonizing the two, which are similar in any case. In short, it the fee is now the same $2,350 whether you are renouncing or relinquishing.
Roger Ver, founder of Passports for Bitcoin.com, holds his passport as he poses for a photograph in the Shibuya district of Tokyo, Japan, on June 4, 2014. He’s known as Bitcoin Jesus in the world of cyber-currencies. (Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg)
The State Department announced it would begin charging the $2,350 fee for individuals seeking a Certificate of Loss of Nationality based on relinquishment of U.S. citizenship. Leaving the U.S. for good isn’t just a matter of getting on a plane. It is not usually primarily about taxes, although taxes often play a part. And when it comes to taxes, persons leaving the U.S. may hope they do not need to keep filing with the IRS every year. Getting a Certificate of Loss of Nationality and exiting will address the immigration side of the legal issue, but not taxes.
When it comes to taxes, the filings are quite different. Filing and obtaining a Certificate of Loss of Nationality doesn’t mean the IRS will leave you alone. With global tax reporting and FATCA, the list of the individuals who renounce keeps going up, and many aren’t counted. Of those on the official list, 2013 saw a 221% increase, with record numbers renouncing. The Treasury Department is required to publish a quarterly list, but these numbers are under-stated.
Notably, the presence or absence of tax motivation is not relevant, but that could change. After Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin departed for Singapore, Senators Chuck Schumer and Bob Casey introduced a bill to double the exit tax to 30% for anyone leaving the U.S. for tax reasons. That bill died, but talk of an even higher exit tax hasn’t entirely ceased.
General information only, this is no legal or financial advice or legal opinion and no solicitation or offering of services. Use of posted information should be contingent on your counsel advise on a case by case basis.