Hurtling some bones in to the Dragon Cave

Infect Teh Interwebs

After a lengthy discussion with a friend I started brainstorming. Based on that brainstorming session I wrote one of my messy impromptu emails to a consular office of the US. To my utter surprise I got a response.


Hi

I am talking to a US citizen client who wishes to remain anonymous at this stage. She seeks to relinquish her US citizenship, and does not plan to return to the US. Normally the procedure for that is a little convoluted, however it seems we found a loophole with a country that actively disallows double citizenship. With a small modification of the legal process in that country it is legal IN that country to declare US citizenship null and void unilaterally upon assuming the nationality in question. In other words, banks IN the European Union would be forces to recognize the destruction of US nationality in this particular case after they receive a letter from the foreign office, and a statement from a lawyer.

Essentially I am notifying the US embassy in the Hague of this backdoor. It looks completely legal. A US citizen becomes a national in a particular EU country, and the moment that happens the country unilaterally declares US citizenship void, returns the passport and notifies the US state department of the act.

I’d love a response from your end.


Their reply

Dear Khannea Suntzu,

You do not identify yourself in this email. Are you an attorney? We would need to know in what role you are requesting this information.

Sincerely,

American Citizen Services
U.S. Consulate General
Amsterdam, The Netherlands


My response

In this context I can be best described as lifestyle coach, but I am in very close contact with a lawyer. I’d be requesting this information with no other alternative than to explore what’s possible. I understand all of the aforementioned could have many far reaching implications. Essentially we found a backdoor where US citizens with very large alimony, student or other debts to simply walk away, relinquish US citizenship “unilaterally” by becoming a citizen in another country. Yes we are exploring means to turn
this particular idea in to a business model. It looks legal on our end.

Khani


Again a response. They are taking this very seriously.

Dear Khannea Suntzu,

We refer your client to two online resources, one from the Department of State and one from the Internal Revenue Service, that might be helpful.

From the Department of State:
http://travel.state.gov/content/travel/english/legal-considerations/us-citizenship-laws-policies/renunciation-of-citizenship-right-of-residence.html.

From the Internal Revenue Service:

http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/International-Taxpayers/Expatriation-Tax.

Sincerely,

American Citizen Services
U.S. Consulate General
Amsterdam, The Netherlands


My final reply. I am letting you know what happens in any follow ups. But am very serious…. There is a lot of money to be made in this.

It looks like we have a legal way around all that. The ministry of another country notifies the United States that one of its citizens is now a citizen of another country, and is no longer allowed to be US citizen by law. An attorney sends paperwork and submits passport. It is encumbant upon my client(s) that they have no possessions in the US at the time of foreign country renunciation as these would be effectively irrecoverable.

The law of the other party country would (will?) state that nationalized parties are now subject to the law of the new country. Clearly meeting any US consular officials would not be possible – the US would simply be contacted by an attorney, and the new situation would be finalized.

The biggest problem here are banking laws, considering some US banks would follow US laws, and some non-US laws would be held primarily to EU or non US laws. If the banks do recognize the law of the sponsoring country there is very little in my view the US can do. Equally the US can do very little about existing (student) debts, alimony or other “duties”, now the person has become a new citizen.

The US will try to enforce US laws and US debts, however the other party would now be forces to follow the particular laws (including tax laws) of the new country. As we indicated this would be very profitable to a sizable category of migrants, especially migrants with 100K+ student debts, sizable outstanding alimony or child support debts, or other debts. If we turn this in to a business program it would more or less imply that interested clients would save a lot of money and become EU citizens. I am personally thinking only in offering a service to whatever clients would be interested.

The big hurdle existing right now is the exit tax. I agree – I can easily envision clients that walk about from quite significant outstanding burdens – in some case millions of US $ liquidated as, for instance, Bitcoin, signifying fortunes reassembled in a foreign country. I can easily understand that these clients would not be returning to the US any time soon. But they’d be EU citizens, following laws of their respective host country.

Why am I notifying you of this? Well clearly to get the ball rolling. If this idea catches on, I can easily see hundreds of thousands of people in the US leave in a manner of years. It may be smart from a business perspective to subject this idea to a breakage test. Consider me emailing the Consular office as a “breakage test” of this idea.




Updates!
* Wealthy Americans Queue to Give Up Their Passports
* US Multiplying Fee To Renounce Citizenship To $2,350
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