September 7, 2014 - Phil Hodgen

Renunciation Interviews Not So Intense

The State Department justifies the new $2,350 user fee for renunciation by saying “Hey, it’s a lotta work. It’s intense. You have to pay me more.” Here is a recent email I received from someone who just went through the process in London. This person was underwhelmed by the State Department’s “intense” interviews:

I had my renunciation interview on 14 August, at which time they took $450 off me. When I applied for this interview no mention was made of the planned increase in charges, which could have meant, should my interview have been delayed by 3 weeks, that the fee would have been five times as much. (Even though I am now retired, and have never earned a salary which attracted tax, I am confident that renunciation would be financially worth while within a few years, even at the higher cost, thanks to the expense of preparing US tax forms and the opportunity cost of foregoing tax efficient investments in the UK.)

Emphasis added. My correspondent understands something that the IRS and State Department have yet to grasp. The email continues:

Also, despite what the State Department says, I did not have “two intensive interviews”, unless two interviews at a window open to view of all waiting in the Passport Section at the London Embassy count. These were to make sure, first, that everything was correct on the (many) forms I had sent in, and, second, that I understood the seriousness of the step I was taking and finally to swear/affirm my renunciation. I thought it was all rather less intensive than it should have been, considering the seriousness with which I had approached it.