As this and other news organizations reported back in February, more Americans handed their citizenships back to Uncle Sam in 2020 than during any other single year to date, in spite of the fact that U.S. embassies and consulates around the world – which are needed to process such citizenship renunciations – were closed or offering reduced services for most of the year...
The total number in 2020 was 6,705, more than three times as many as in 2019, and 1,295 more than the previous record-breaking year, 2016, when renunciations totalled 5,410.
What such data doesn't reveal, of course, is how stressful, emotional and even frightening the business of renouncing one's American citizenship is for many, if not most, of those doing it, according to renunciants, as well as the experts whom they often turn to for help during the process.
Here, in his latest podcast for the American Expat Financial News Journal, John Richardson (pictured left), the Toronto-based American lawyer and U.S. citizenship expert, who is also an increasingly well-known campaigner on behalf of American expat issues, discusses with fellow American expat lawyer Virginia La Torre Jeker (pictured below right) some of the areas of concern for those looking to give up their U.S. citizenships.
The two experts also discuss such issues as the Reed Amendment, which, they note, at least for now, is possibly more feared by those giving up their passports than is probably necessary.
(Named after Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed, the Reed Amendment is a still-on-the-books 1996 attempt to ban certain former U.S. citizens from re-entering the U.S., based on their given reasons for having renounced their citizenship.)
La Torre Jeker is a long-time U.S. expat tax law practitioner, who has been a member of the New York State Bar since 1984. Now based in Dubai, she is also a prolific blogger, currently at us-tax.org, and previously at AngloInfo.com.
To listen to the Richardson and La Torre Jeker's 39-minute-long conversation, click here.
Below, a table showing annual renunciation numbers from 2000 through 2020.
- Virginia La Torre Jeker, on whether you can (now) trust IRS FAQs: 'It still depends...'
- AXFNJ Podcast: John Richardson and Frost Law's Eli Noff look at the filing of 'delinquent' taxpayer info
- As AAA announces its new legal challenge to go ahead, expats echo its call for renunciation to be made easier
- AXFNJ Podcast: John Richardson and Frost Law's Eli Noff consider the many little-known info reporting requirements expat taxpayers face
- Q2 renunciation numbers appear to rise, even as appointments to begin the process remain elusive