Tag Archives: Name and shame list

Summary Of The Reporting Obligations Triggered By Relinquishing US Citizenship Or Abandoning The Green Card

The American Expat Financial News Journal reliably reports information about the “Name and Shame List”. The report generally includes information about the number of people on the list and people who are reported more than once. The report often attempts to determine whether those on the list are citizenship relinquishers or green card abandoners.

The purpose of this brief post is to explain the statutory basis for the reporting obligations, identify the relevant statutes and clarify some common misconceptions.

A summary of the analysis is that:

1. All individuals renouncing (whether “covered expatriates” or not) US citizenship during the relevant period are to be included on the “Name and Shame List”.

2. Green Card holders that are “long term” residents” are required to be included on the list

It is common knowledge that the lists contain many inaccuracies on the list.

Which statutes are relevant to determining the reporting obligations?

IRC 6039G – https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/26/6039G

IRC 877 – https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/26/877

IRC 877A – https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/26/877A

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Individuals, Treasury, The State Department And IRC 6039G: Who has to report what when an individual renounces U.S. citizenship?

Updated on June 29, 2024

The confusion over this topic continues on. With respect to U.S. citizenship relinquishment IRC 6039G imposes the following three specific requirements:

1. The State Department is required to report to U.S. Treasury the names of ALL people who have been issued a Certificate of Loss of Nationality.

2. U.S. Treasury is required to publish in the Federal Register the names of all people who the State Department has reported were issued CLNs in that quarter.

3. Individual relinquishers: 1. 6039G requires that all “Covered Expatriates” file a Form 8854.2. The “Secretary” requires individuals to file Form 8854 in order to order to certify that because they have met their tax compliance obligations they are NOT “covered expatriates”.

Explanation – tracking the relevant provisions in the Internal Revenue Code:

1. IRC 7701(a)(50) – provides statutory test for when an individual ceases to be a U.S. citizen:

“(50) Termination of United States citizenship
(A) In general

An individual shall not cease to be treated as a United States citizen before the date on which the individual’s citizenship is treated as relinquished under section 877A(g)(4).”

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/26/7701

2. IRC 877A(g)(4) – provides the date of relinquishment of U.S. citizenship under the IRC:

“(4) Relinquishment of citizenship A citizen shall be treated as relinquishing his United States citizenship on the earliest of—
(A) the date the individual renounces his United States nationality before a diplomatic or consular officer of the United States pursuant to paragraph (5) of section 349(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1481(a)(5)),
(B) the date the individual furnishes to the United States Department of State a signed statement of voluntary relinquishment of United States nationality confirming the performance of an act of expatriation specified in paragraph (1), (2), (3), or (4) of section 349(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1481(a)(1)–(4)),
(C) the date the United States Department of State issues to the individual a certificate of loss of nationality, or
(D) the date a court of the United States cancels a naturalized citizen’s certificate of naturalization.
Subparagraph (A) or (B) shall not apply to any individual unless the renunciation or voluntary relinquishment is subsequently approved by the issuance to the individual of a certificate of loss of nationality by the United States Department of State.”

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/26/877A

3. State Department: IRC 6039G – imposes obligation on State Department to notify the Secretary of all CLNs issued under INA 358:

“(2) the Secretary of State shall provide to the Secretary a copy of each certificate as to the loss of American nationality under section 358 of the Immigration and Nationality Act which is approved by the Secretary of State,”

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/26/6039G

4. Treasury Secretary: IRC 6039G -Imposes obligation on Secretary to report names of ALL relinquishers in Federal Register:

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, not later than 30 days after the close of each calendar quarter, the Secretary shall publish in the Federal Register the name of each individual losing United States citizenship (within the meaning of section 877(a) or 877A) with respect to whom the Secretary receives information under the preceding sentence during such quarter.

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/26/6039G

Renunciation of U.S. Citizenship triggers a “Reporting Frenzy”!

It’s simply unbelievable. The renunciation of U.S. citizenship triggers more reporting obligations on the part of individuals and government agencies than anything else. More than birth. More than death. More than marriage. More than bankruptcy. More than conviction of a crime (probably). It’s unbelievable.

The purpose of this post is to “slice and dice” what those reporting obligations are.

Let’s Go On A Magical Reporting Tour

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/26/6039G

The rules governing information reporting when one relinquishes U.S. citizenship are found in Internal Revenue Code 6039G. They impose reporting obligations on “some” individual relinquishers (“covered expatriates”), the State Department whenever a Certificate of Loss Of Nationality has been issued and on U.S. Treasury. (I will comment separately on the situation of Green Card holders at the end of this post.) Most of this is summarized in the following two tweets. But, because this is so confused, I am going to take the time to parse the statute.

It’s all in Internal Revenue Code – 6039G Note that Section 6039G is found in Subtitle F which is the – “Procedure and Administration” – part of the Internal Revenue Code. In other words, it deals only with information reporting. It does NOT impose taxation. Interestingly, Section 6039G imposes reporting requirements on individuals, the State Department, U.S. Treasury (and in the case of Green Card holders) the Immigration authorities.

That pretty much sums it up. For those who want to understand the analysis …

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