Citizenship showdown coming between free people and the U.S. Government

I came across the following blog post which is all to familiar.

It’s a sunny day in Soho, London. I call my father.

‘Hello Dad. I got this funny letter from Santander. It’s about tax, or something. Uh, am I still an American?

I was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey in 1982. 13 months later, we moved to the UK, where I have lived ever since.

As a baby, I had an American passport. As a child and throughout adulthood, I’ve only held a British passport. I’ve been back to the US once, for a short holiday in 1997.

‘You’re American-born. I suppose that means you’re still an American?.

As it turns out, it does indeed. I am an American. I am an American who cannot remember living in America. I am an American who cannot name more than a dozen American states. I am an American who has never voted in an American election.

I am an ‘accidental American’. And for that I will pay. Literally.

This is one more example of the United States imposing citizenship on people because they were born in the U.S. Is citizenship something that one chooses or is citizenship something that is forced upon you? Does any country have the right to impose citizenship on residents and citizens of other countries? Is citizenship a “property interest” that a government has in people?  Does the U.S.  government believe that it has ownership over anybody born in the United States?

The Obama administration has made U.S. citizenship such a burden and devalued it to the point where people are happily paying money to be rid  of it.

But, the U.S. government is making it very difficult to relinquish U.S. citizenship through the available statutory channels. This is clear from the:

– outright refusals to recognize past relinquishments

– outrageous wait times and inability to get appointments

– the outrageous and unjustifiable fee increase to renounce U.S. citizenship

– the imposition of Nazi and Soviet style exit taxes

It’s certainly “change we can never believe in”.

This is going to get very very nasty.

On the one hand we have a U.S. Government that says:

“You are our property until we say you are not”.

On the other hand we have those who don’t believe they are property and will say:

“I am a free person. How can I then by a citizen of the United States?”



3 thoughts on “Citizenship showdown coming between free people and the U.S. Government

  1. Sarah Chapman (@sarah_chapman)

    Thank you for posting an excerpt from my first blog post.

    I’m still working out all of the ramifications (I’ve seen a legal professional already and will be meeting a tax adviser soon) but the sheer cost of renouncing my citizenship (estimated by the lawyer at £12,000 before possible exit tax) means it’s not an option for me at present.

    This blog has been of real help to me in understanding my situation and the possible options. Keep up the great work. Meanwhile, I’ll also be documenting everything I can that might help other US citizens abroad who find themselves in a similar and unexpected predicament.

      1. Sarah Chapman (@sarah_chapman)

        It’s mainly the cost of back-filing three years of tax returns, plus seven years of FBAR accounts. Then there’s legal assistance and the $2,350 renunciation fee. The quotes from tax advisers are all around the £8,000 mark – just to get me up-to-date as part of the ‘streamlined’ process. Nightmarish.

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