The United States is one of the few countries that taxes its citizens on their worldwide income, regardless of where they live. This can be an immense burden for US citizens living abroad, and it might be one of the reasons they decide to renounce their US citizenship.
As mentioned in the California Business Journal, a majority of people who renounce their American citizenship are tech billionaires who want to avoid paying taxes.
Renouncing US citizenship is a major decision, and it is crucial to consider all of the repercussions before proceeding. This article aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the renunciation process of US citizenship, along with the associated pros, cons and frequently asked questions.
The Process of Renouncing US Citizenship:
Looking for a guide on how to renounce US citizenship? Then you are at the right place. The US citizenship renunciation process is simple, but it is necessary to follow all the steps required.
• Make an appointment at a US embassy or consulate:
You can make an appointment at a US embassy or consulate in your home country by applying online or contacting the embassy or consulate.
• Fill out Form DS-4079, Request for Determination of Possible Nationality Loss:
Download Form DS-4079 from the US Department of State’s website.
• Submit the renunciation fee:
The fee for renunciation is $2,350. It can be paid by credit card, debit card, or money order.
• Attend a renunciation ceremony:
You will be required to take an oath of renunciation and sign a renunciation statement at the ceremony.
• Receive your Certificate of Loss of Nationality:
You will be issued a Certificate of Loss of Nationality once you have renounced your citizenship. This certificate verifies that you are no longer a US citizen.
Here are additional criteria you must pass if you are renouncing US citizenship:
- To renounce your citizenship, you must be at least 18 years old.
- You must be present physically at the US embassy or consulate where you are renouncing your citizenship.
- You must not be a member of the United States Armed Forces or a commissioned officer in the United States Coast Guard.
- You must not be under indictment in the United States for a crime.
- You must not owe the US government any back taxes.
Pros and Cons of Renouncing US Citizenship:
There are both pros and cons of renouncing US citizenship. Among the pros are:
- No longer liable to pay US taxes on your worldwide income
- No longer any requirement to file US tax returns
- No longer being subject to United States law
- No longer required to serve in the United States military
The following are some of the cons of renouncing US citizenship:
- Loss of voting rights in US Elections
- Loss of the right to live and work in the United States
- Loss of the ability to seek US consular assistance overseas
- Loss of the ability to pass on US citizenship to your children
Frequently Asked Questions about Renouncing US Citizenship (FAQs):
Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about renouncing US citizenship:
• Is it possible to renounce my US citizenship if I have a criminal record?
Yes, even if you have a criminal record, you can renounce your US citizenship. If you have been convicted of a felony, you might need to get a waiver from the US Department of State.
• Can I renounce my US citizenship if I owe the IRS back taxes?
Yes, you can renounce your US citizenship even if you owe the IRS back taxes. However, you may be required to pay back taxes before renouncing your citizenship.
• If I hold a green card, can I renounce my US citizenship?
No, if you hold a green card, you cannot renounce your US citizenship. Before you can renounce your citizenship, you must first surrender your green card.
As reported in IMI Daily, a record 2,872 Americans renounced their citizenship, and the number exceeded last year’s total already after 3rd quarter.
Renouncing US citizenship is a major decision, and it is essential that you consider all of the repercussions before moving forward. If you have decided to renounce your US citizenship, it is advised to consult with an immigration attorney to discuss your options.