Northshore  Taxmaam Crossborder Taxes




To Renounce or Not to Renounce....

Posted on 11 May, 2014 at 0:10

Now, the State Department interim rule just raised the fee for renunciation of U.S. citizenship to $2,350 from $450. Critics note that it's more than twenty times the average level in other high-income countries.Aug 28, 2014

My intent on this subject is not to cut and paste dense text on tax law. For that there are a myriad of sites including the IRS to Google. This is to address the common concerns from every day clients who pass through my office. It is for the client without a law degree who just wants to know what's going on.


This question comes up more than once a week usually by Americans who have lived and worked in Canada for decades. I am always interested in whether or not the client has emotional ties to the US as it is likely to become more difficult to enter the US once one has renounced.  News this year indicates that there has  been legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate that would give U.S. Customs the right to refuse entry to anyone who has renounced their citizenship - to date this has not been passed. This of course would be difficult for those with aging parents in the US.

Several of my clients successfully renounced last year and have entered the US many times since without incident. Whether or not that will continue is anyone's guess. To date the renouncification process although lengthy has not been too difficult or costly.

I worked with David Ingram for over a decade before he suddenly passed in 2012 from terminal cancer. In the four decades preceding his death there was only one client who renounced. The year following his death I lost count of the clients who renounced. Ingram always likened having dual citizenship to winning the lottery and indeed sometimes it was! The Zeitgeist has since changed dramatically with the "new" enforced FBAR rules now known as BSA.

The vast majority of my clients choose to file an annual tax return and enjoy the benefits of having the option to work in the US. Conversely, bank account reporting becomes more difficult and costly every year and it seems to be the main reason dual citizens are electing to renounce. They feel the compliance is very invasive and feel quite threatened at revealing such private information.

There is a interesting movement out of Toronto, Canada to challenge the changes in Canadian laws that would impose the U.S. FATCA law on all Americans in Canada. If you would like to see an interesting legal side to this discussion go to

This never ending story will be continued with more points of view and case studies...

Gillian Bryan


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