— John Richardson – lawyer for "U.S. persons" abroad (@ExpatriationLaw) January 1, 2022
In 2018 I had a discussion with Buffalo Immigration Lawyer Joe Grasmick about a number of issues including renouncing US citizenship. The discussion was videoed as part of my “Retain Or Renounce” series. It was a very interesting and balanced discussion. (We also discussed some of the dos and don’ts of Green Card abandonment.)
I wanted to share Joe’s LinkedIn post today (December 31, 2021). His post reinforces the reality that (although Americans abroad are clearly suffering from the tax and regulatory regime) US citizenship does have value.
I completely agree with Joe that the consequences of renouncing US citizenship (notwithstanding the problems) should be fully understood and appreciated.
That said, while agreeing that US citizenship has value and renouncing US citizenship results in the loss of permanent benefits, it must be understood that:
People are NOT renouncing US citizenship because they want to. They are renouncing US citizenship because the US tax and regulatory regime (for reasons that include those discussed in this post) is leaving them with no choice.*
Joe’s post has created an opportunity to promote education and understanding
To put it simply: the renunciation issue needs to be better understand from the perspectives of tax, financial planning and citizenship/immigration. I invite Joe to join me in a creating an event to promotion discussion, education and understanding on this important issue. It’s simply wrong that people should be forced out of their US citizenship because of (what is at its core) a US definition of tax residency that is not aligned with the rest of the world. I was one of the founding members of SEAT which was formed to provide education on what are the problems of Americans abroad and how those problems can be solved.
Here is Joe’s post (which is in effect an update of our 2018 discussion) …
Here is our 2018 discussion – A perspective from inside the USA looking out
A 2021 discussion with UK based lawyer Diane Gelon – A perspective from outside the USA looking in