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Why “All Roads Lead To Renunciation” For Americans Abroad

Why "All Roads Lead To Renunciation" For Americans Abroad

The United States imposes a separate and more punitive tax regime on US citizens who live outside the United States than on those who live inside the United States. For those who live permanently outside the United States, the effects are such that they are forced to renounce their US citizenship in order to survive.

To be clear Americans abroad are subject to US taxation. They do pay US taxes.

It is reasonable for Americans abroad to expect to NOT be discriminated against when it comes to entitlement to government services. Interestingly (and predictably) the US government has refused to provide Covid-19 vaccines to US citizens living outside the United States. As described at American Expat Finance, this practice has been criticized by two former US ambassadors in a Wall Street Journal Opinion piece. The Washington Post ran a similar article exposing this possible inequity in access to government services. The reader comments are not sympathetic to Americans abroad.

This issue has been the subject of much internet discussion generally and on various social media sites specifically. Clearly, those who have not lived the experience of life as a US citizen living outside the USA, cannot understand the issues.

Tax Connections has done a fantastic job of providing an educational platform for those trying to understand the facts. I would also like to recommend the following two additional resources:

1. A book documenting how Americans abroad experience FATCA and US citizenship-based taxation. (This was prepared as a submission to the Senate Finance Committee in 2015)


2. Some video accounts of the experiences of certain Americans abroad (prepared around 2015).

It’s important to understand that people are NOT renouncing US citizenship because they want to!

They are renouncing US citizenship because they feel they are forced to! Have a question?

Have a question? Contact Lawyer John Richardson, Citizenship Solutions



The Reality of U.S. Citizenship Abroad

My name is John Richardson. I am a Toronto based lawyer – member of the Bar of Ontario. This means that, any counselling session you have with me will be governed by the rules of “lawyer client” privilege. This means that:

“What’s said in my office, stays in my office.”

The U.S. imposes complex rules and life restrictions on its citizens wherever they live. These restrictions are becoming more and more difficult for those U.S. citizens who choose to live outside the United States.

FATCA is the mechanism to enforce those “complex rules and life restrictions” on Americans abroad. As a result, many U.S. citizens abroad are renouncing their U.S. citizenship. Although this is very sad. It is also the reality.


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