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How many Americans are renouncing their citizenship?

By       Message Glen Roberts     Permalink
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Four times a year, the IRS publishes a list of people who have renounced their American citizenship. That seems to result in a flurry of news articles examining the numbers and pronouncing a new record. The most recent from the Wall Street Journal: "More Americans Renounce Citizenship, With 2014 on Pace for a Record".

All of the articles seem to relate the number of names in the list to the number of renunciations from the most recent quarter. Some commenters even obsess over the difference in numbers between the IRS and the FBI.

The bottom line is that the appearance of one's name on the published list may well be long disconnected time wise from their actual renunciation. For example, in my case, I renounced in June 2013 and have yet to appear in the list. Each agency seems to have their own processing backlog.

I think there are much more interesting aspects to the topic than just these statistics. It is the right of all Americans to renounce their citizenship, if they so choose. I would be more interested in the why, the benefits, and the process of renouncing.

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Can you imaging going into a U.S. Embassy and telling an Officer of the United States that you don't want to be an American anymore? Sounds intimidating, but based on my experience is not anymore unpleasant than going in to renew your passport. Plus it leaves you feeling much lighter.

What about the reasons for renouncing? Fear and anger seem to be good motivators for people taking action. Based on those interviewed in the various articles, and especially those leaving comments there is a tremendous amount of anger and fear related to taxation and related paperwork (FATCA).

I am surprised the numbers aren't much larger. I suppose the low numbers have a lot to do with the fear of not being "American" after having been told every moment of our lives that the U.S. is the best country in the world. I think once you step outside "the box", it is easy to see the large gap between the ideals of the U.S. and the current day implementation of them.
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The world in this day and age offers many opportunities that are based on your abilities, not your physical location. I think it would be wise for people to shop around for the place they want to live. That would be especially good for young people.

It would be nice to see governments start to understand that their populations are living there because they want to, not because they have to. I believe the world today offers many the opportunity to live in the place that supports their ideals instead of being dragged down by some involuntary allegiance to a place and/or its ineffective "leaders".

Getting back to the topic of citizenship and Americans. If you've found a place you enjoy more than the U.S.? Why not complete the move and let the U.S. go completely? By renouncing your U.S. Citizenship you can simply step out of the fear, anger and drama of whatever U.S. crisis is draining your energy, be it tax issues, wars around the world, or otherwise.

The process is really one of spiritual rebirth and it will leave you free to carry on with the adventure of life free from all that excess baggage.

 

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http://glr.com

Forging a path through life without involuntary allegiances: On June 21, 2013 I walked into the US Embassy a American Citizen and a short time later walked out without any nationality at all.

Author of "How to Renounce Your U.S. (more...)
 

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