Tag Archives: dual citizenship

Naomi Osaka does NOT automatically relinquish US citizenship by choosing Japanese citizenship

Citizenship is becoming more and more interesting. In my last post I wrote about Canada’s Conservative leader Andrew Scheer’s U.S. citizenship. Theoretically, on October 21, 2019, Canada could have it’s first U.S. citizen Prime Minister. (Think of the extra pressure that the United States could bring to bear on Canada.)

The newsworthiness of U.S. citizenship continues. There has been much discussion of citizenship as a prerequisite to compete for countries in the Olympic games. This week, it is being reported that tennis star Naomi Osaka , a dual Japan/U.S. citizen is complying with a Japanese law that requires her to choose either U.S. or Japanese citizenship. A number of media outlets are reporting that Ms. Osaka is relinquishing U.S. citizenship. Is this really true? Interestingly the Toronto Globe and Mail initially reported that:


The Globe later (presumably realizing their error) changed the title of the article to:

“Naomi Osaka set to represent Japan at Tokyo Olympics”

Note that there is no U.S. law that requires her to choose one citizenship over the other. Ms. Osaka is apparently linking her “choosing Japanese citizenship” to a desire to represent Japan in the upcoming Olympics. A number of media sources are reporting that by choosing Japanese Nationality (under Japanese law) that Ms. Osaka is relinquishing/renouncing U.S. citizenship under U.S. law. This is probably incorrect. The act of “choosing Japanese nationality” under Japanese law does NOT automatically mean that Ms. Osaka has relinquished U.S. citizenship under U.S. law. As a matter of U.S. law:

Unless Ms. Osaka’s “choosing Japanese Nationality” meets the the test of voluntarily and intentionally relinquishing U.S. citizenship under Section 349(a) of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act, then “choosing Japanese Nationality” will NOT result in the relinquishment of Ms. Osaka’s U.S. citizenship. The act of “choosing Japanese citizenship” under Japanese law does NOT automatically result in the loss of her U.S. citizenship.

Every country is free to decide who it’s citizens are or are not.

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Global Entry, NEXUS and the effect of renouncing US citizenship

This is another post in what is becoming a series about “travel documents” for U.S. and Canadian citizens and permanent residents. To travel the world you need to be able to get easy access to and from different countries. “Travel documents” are required. Travel documents include (but are not limited to): passports, permanent resident cards, Global Entry cards and NEXUS cards. Different rules may apply in different contexts (are you traveling by air, land or sea)? My previous posts about “travel documents” have been:
Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada
Travel Documents: Canadian citizens need either a U.S. or Canadian passport to enter Canada by air (or by land)
Why would someone renounce their “permanent resident of Canada” status?
Law permanent residents of the United States AKA “Green Card” holders
What’s a #GreenCard anyway? It’s NOT what you don’t know. It’s what you know that isn’t true!
Although a “reentry permit” can provide evidence of intention to reside permanently in the USA, it does ask about tax returns!
This post focuses on the NEXUS program (in the context of the U.S “Global Entry Program”).
I encourage you to visit the U.S. Government “Global Entry” page. You will be amazed at how broad these programs actually are.
Introduction
A common question (I have been asked this many times) for Canadians renouncing U.S. citizenship:
How will my renunciation affect my NEXUS card?
I provided the following “Readers Digest” answer on Quora. But I thought I would provide a broader answer in this post.
Read John Richardson's answer to Can you still qualify for a Nexus card if you renounce your US citizenship after becoming a naturalized Canadian citizen? on Quora
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The 2015 Obama budget proposal for "dual citizens" cannot be implemented without Congressional approval

Part 1 – The Obama 2015 Budget Proposal – Change you can believe in?

This was the subject of significant discussion at the Isaac Brock Society. It was also the subject of an insightful blog post by U.S. Tax Lawyer Virginia La Torre Jeker.

It is possible that (at long last) the U.S. government is beginning to recognize that there is a difference between “technical citizenship” and a voluntary U.S. connection indicative of “substantive citizenship” that might (but is not required to) justify taxation of U.S. citizens abroad in the 21st century.

The relevant provision (page 282) includes:

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When renouncing U.S. citizenship may be a smart retirement planning tool for #Americansabroad


On October 10, 2014 Kelly Phillips Erb (AKA @TaxGirl) published a “Guest Post” on the question of whether one one would give up U.S. citizenship because of taxes. It was a very will written post which detailed the horrors that Americans abroad experience in attempting compliance with a tax code that “puts most of their lives in the penalty box”.  I recommend the post to you. There are a number of comments about the post at the Isaac Brock Society.
The post concludes with:

So will I renounce to avoid taxes? Not exactly, because I DON’T OWE taxes due to my very low income. BUT IN ORDER TO AVOID THE CONSTANT THREAT, like a huge hammer hanging over my head, of “INFORMATION FILING PENALTIES” as I grow older and less able to cope. To protect my executors from those same things?
YES, I’m afraid I shall have to. I have put off taking this step until now, partly because of the cost and my fear of the long journey to the embassy in a distant city; but mainly in the hope that my beloved homeland would regain its wisdom and fix its mistakes by switching to an equitable system of residence-based taxation with penalties that reflect only a percentage of tax actually owed.
And now it seems I have waited too long. A price increase from $450.00 to $2,350.00 was just announced. I may be trapped. I am becoming desperate to escape, but unable to afford it.
What a silly situation this would be, if it weren’t so very tragic.
Oh my dear, sad homeland. I do so wish you happiness and a return to shared prosperity. Please do the same for me. Thank you.
*Tisha (who prefers not to be identified by last name) remembers fondly her years in Pennsylvania and its wonderful people. She now feels she is too old to start over again, and so remains in her mother’s country.

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The citizenship exchange – You provide the capital we provide the citizenship


Of particular interest is:

Some developments are able to sell some lots to Americans who don’t want or need dual citizenship. But Americans alone aren’t enough to finance most projects. Instead, many projects gain most of their investments from people who routinely encounter travel restrictions and obstacles due to their country of origin.

And the continuation of Treasury’s War:

One big drawback of the programs is the potential for fraud. Authorities are concerned that without strict oversight, the programs can be used by money launderers and other criminals for unfettered travel.
In May, the U.S. Treasury Department sent banks a warning letter that foreign investors, namely Iranian nationals, were “abusing” St. Kitts’ citizenship-by-investment program for “illicit financial activity,” according to the letters. St. Kitts suspended Iranians from its program in 2013, but the U.S. alleges Iranians continue to get St. Kitts passports

And for those who wish to open the door to EU citizenship:

In Europe, qualified applicants can gain visas from Spain, Portugal or Latvia by buying property in those countries. France, Singapore and the U.S. grant visas to qualified applicants who invest in companies or projects that create a minimum number of jobs over a set period.

 
 

#FATCA: Where citizenships collide – Turning #Americansabroad over to the IRS and Foreign Governments


I was recently attempting to explain FATCA, FBAR and U.S. taxation practices to a friend. After deciding that I was NOT fabricating a story, she remarked:
“It’s unjust! It’s inhumane! I didn’t choose where I was born!”
(Fortunately she was not born in the U.S.).
The truth is that issues of FATCA, FBAR and citizenship-based taxation are more “citizenship problems” than tax problems.
Incompatible tax systems create problems for people subject to both tax systems.
Incompatible citizenship laws create problems for people who have dual citizenship.
U.S. tax lawyer, Virginia La Torre Jeker has just published a fascinating post where she describes the problems of “incompatibility of citizenship”. Ms. Jeker describes the problems where a country:
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Are those without a U.S. connection U.S. citizens? What sports can teach us about citizenship


Sooner or later the debate about U.S. “place of birth taxation”, will focus on the meaning of citizenship and connection to the country of citizenship. What’s needed to get the discussion going? Sometimes, the most unlikely events (although they are obvious after the fact) become the catalyst.
It turns out that the U.S. World Cup Soccer team has (are you ready for this):
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