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  1. yes but that paperwork might attract IRS attention and I don’t want to give up my hard earned pension money. My current choice is to be a turtle.

  2. @jeffDTom,

    Thanks for the comment. I took it and made it into a blog post to illustrate why Americans give up citizenship. I don’t want your story to be lost in a comment thread.

    My report to you is that for now, at least, you can cancel that U.S. passport with no more than some annoying paperwork. The government seems sublimely disinterested in expatriates like you. If your choice is to terminate your U.S. citizenship, it will be easily accomplished and you will be free to re-enter the USA any time you want on your new passport. That is what I have seen, and I have done a lot of these cases.

  3. I know the following rant might not belong in this thread, but I felt like writing you this stuff so you and your friends who read and participate on your site know my situation which is not unlike that of many other US persons abroad who are not lucky enough to be stationed abroad by a US company who compensates them for double taxation and greases the gears of bureaucracy for them. You are not my lawyer, I am not a lawyer, I am not giving legal advice, just lay opinion, get your own lawyer, make up your own mind at your own risk etc.

    I personally was denied banking services in the US soon after I established myself in Europe. I was unable to maintain a brokerage account and lost thousands in gains that I was not allowed to realize. The brokerage, Donaldson, Lufkin, Jeanrette closed my account without prior notice (the letter arrived weeks later). My banking relations for simple things like credit cards and checking account in the US (needed to pay student loans and other occasional purchases in the US) have been strained to say the least. European banks told me to buzz off when I tried to open brokerage accounts. When I call my local branch bank in the US they tell me I have to come in physically to do anything (so I have to call the headquarters of the bank and scream every time even though they have copies of my US passport, SSN, drivers license). I have been denied the economic freedoms accorded others who were not born in the freaking USA. I remember that at least two ex-girlfriends were able to open and maintain US savings accounts (modest, a few thousand just to keep money in the US during studies or for vacations in the US) with no SSN and no trouble. Now, despite my US nationality, the banks tell me to go to H every time I try to do anything. I have been refused much-needed jobs due to my birthplace and despite my European nationality. My home state will not renew my drivers license anymore unless I show up in person (which is impossible because I am now unemployed and on the verge of bankruptcy). My Congressmen are oblivious, myopic, US-centered, and do not understand my problems. Obtaining a US credit report is a like something out of Kafka— past and current addresses are mangled by the computer systems that cannot store foreign adderesses properly so according to them I have a foreign street address in a US state. I have had accounts closed without prior notice and almost gotten arrested for using a credit card that I did not know had been cancelled. I have not been counted in the US census since living abroad. I am lucky to be able to vote because I re-registered 20 years ago when I left and have kept in touch with the county election office (they have been wonderful, always pretty good service despite their limited resources and manual processing). The US treats its citizens abroad like xxxx (replace with your choice of cusword) and attempts to tax them too. My home country told me years ago after I was naturalized that I must not declare income and assets earned and taxed there to the US, but now they seem to be backing down on their position in view of FATCA which is so much a general warrant against the 4th that I want to vomit. Even my mandatory pension plan in Europe seems to be taxed to the point of negative returns due to US policy. I deserve the same rights and the same tax bill as a neighbor living in the same town with the same income and deductions. This has been denied me, even though I am an upstanding citizen in the country where I now live, have a clean record, pay taxes, and even served on a jury without complaining.

    Sometimes I would like to renounce. But that would draw attention to me, I am even afraid of an extraordinary rendition at the Embassy/Consulate due to some political ties an estranged family member has. Furthermore, I am loathe to renounce as I don’t hate Americans or America (although I think many Americans are oblivious): I just want the US government to behave itself and stop screwing its citizens in the way the Brits did to us prior to the Revolution. Renouncing would be like giving up the fight which I feel I must seek to win as a good patriot must.

  4. @JeffDTom,

    Correct. This method only applies to people who do not have U.S. passports. They only have the permanent resident visa for the United States (this is the visa that everyone calls the “green card.”)

  5. I assume this method does not help dual nationals (US+other nationality) living abroad?

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Tax laws change over time, and the information in this post above may be less accurate today than it was at the time of the last revision. This post is not tax advice for your specific situation. Please contact an international tax professional to get personalized advice for your situation.