One year ago, I announced that I had applied for Canadian citizenship with intention of renouncing my American citizenship. I wrote that the US has tried to erect a Berlin Wall to keep American citizens from expatriating:
Since 2008, the US has placed particular restrictions on wealthy people who wish to expatriate. If I were to own 2 million in assets or if my average net income tax over the last five years were $139,000 , I would be a “covered expatriate” upon renouncing my citizenship. The law penalizes these individuals with exorbitant expatriation tax that boggles the mind. Why? To keep them in the USA. So it is a Berlin Wall designed to keep people from leaving the US.
Now the US government has piled another bunch of useless rubble against that Berlin Wall. I read in the US Consulate in Toronto’s website the following (emphasis mine):
Renunciation: We accept applications to renounce U.S. citizenship and forward them to Washington DC for a decision, which takes several months. This process CANNOT be expedited. You may contact us by mail, fax or email to request information and proper forms. Once you are ready to renounce, you must make a special appointment by emailing us … and proposing a date at least two weeks in advance. All renunciation appointments are at 10:30 a.m. We will respond and confirm the date and time of your appointment or propose a new date depending on staff and appointment availability. Note that there is now a US $450 fee to renounce U.S. citizenship, payable at the time the renunciant takes the Oath of Renunciation from the consular officer inside the Consulate.
Well, this is embarrassing isn’t it? The US prides itself in being the best country in the world, the one where everyone and his brother wants to live. But now they will just add one more insult to injury to their citizens living overseas: in order to escape the jurisdiction of the US, escaping citizens must pay $450. Well, from the standpoint of fleeing the greediest government in the world, that will soon become desperate for revenue because of hyperinflation, it’s probably a small price to pay.
In any case, my citizenship application to Canada was accepted, I took the citizenship test Wednesday February 16, and I have been invited to a citizenship ceremony next Monday, on February 28. I’ll be contacting the US Consulate in Toronto tomorrow. Au revoir.
Why the renunciation? Does it complicate your Canadian citizenship? Tax implications? I’d a thunk it would be good to have dual citizenship.
I would like to conduct my life and business in Canada without regard to legal system in the US. This means that I have to renounce my citizenship, because the US is the only country in the world that requires its citizens, who are resident in another country, to file taxes and in many cases to pay taxes. I am not trying to avoid taxes, since the tax rate in Canada is higher, but as I grow my business, I don’t want to have to conduct my business with the IRS AND the CRA constantly breathing down my neck. The evil of one such agency alone suffices. I’ve live here in Canada now for 22 years of my adult life. If I move from Canada it won’t be to live in the states but to some tropical paradise.
Consider just one reality: the new TFSA accounts in Canada. Now Canada has set this up and it is practically identical to the Roth IRA (which I can’t have because you have to be resident in USA to be eligible). But the US does not recognize the TFSA and therefore, you have to report any income you might have in one to the US. Now a perfectly legitimate tax break here in Canada, the US is gonna want their pound of flesh. This strikes me as unfair, and all the acrobatics that I might have to avoid taxes in the US a pain the a–. So I’m just saying, I live here in Canada and I have enough trouble with the CRA–I received a $4000 notice of reassessment this year (my fault, but it was not intentional)! It’s like what Jesus said, the evil of the day is sufficient. Well, my revision of that is, “The evil of one tax system is sufficient”. Look at poor ol’ Conrad Black who went to prison for doing in Canada something that was legal in Canada but was prosecuted in the states because a prosecutor managed to convince a jury that what he did was untoward–never mind that what he did in Canada was in accordance with Canadian legal tax avoidance (so-called “non-compete payment”)! So here is what I’m going to do: I am going to become a Canadian only, and I am not going to do any business in the states, and perhaps, just maybe, I can avoid going to a US federal penitentiary.
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