My Certificate of Loss of Nationality (CLN) has arrived!

I received my Certificate of Loss of Nationality via Canada post (regular mail).  It came with an accompanying letter from the Toronto Consulate.  It asks me to sign and return the letter acknowledging my receipt of the CLN.  The envelope also included my cancelled US passport.

I have some notes:

  1. The Consulate seems to have made an error on the CLN:  I lived in the United States from birth to August, 16, 1986, the day I left to study in Vancouver, Canada.
  2. The CLN states that my date of self-expatriation was 02-28-2011.  The accompanying letter says that it was on April 7, 2011, the day I informed the Toronto Consulate.  The letter is wrong.  Section 349(a) (1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 says nothing about the date that I inform the consulate, but concerns itself with potentially expatriating acts such as taking on foreign citizenship with intent to relinquish.  This shows the utter confusion of officials the United States government and how the United States puts its former citizens through several stages of neither a citizen nor a non-citizen.  I have maintained that I am not a citizen of the United States since February 28, 2011.  This CLN only confirms that the State Department also recognizes my expatriating act.  The letter indicates that my “file” says I expatriated on April 7, 2011, but the CLN makes it clear that the expatriating act took place on February 28, 2011:  “That: he thereby expatriated himself on 02-28-2011 under provisions of Section INA 349 (a) (1) … ”  How could it be clearer?
  3. The stamp on the right hand corner of the CLN shows that the Department of State approved my CLN February 29, 2012 (as also confirmed by the letter).  I assume this means that there is a huge backlog of cases, since it took them nearly 11 months to approve my case.  Today, is 16 April.  So the full process to receive a CLN took one year and nine days from the day I informed them of my expatriating act.
  4. Now that I am no longer a citizen, I do not understand how the IRS thinks that it can continue to harass me.  Yet there is an expatriation for tax purposes according to them, which creates an impediment to a fundamental right.  These exit tax laws, in my opinion, could not withstand a court challenge.  US expatriation laws contain too many contradictions.

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96 thoughts on “My Certificate of Loss of Nationality (CLN) has arrived!

  1. Sincere congratulations, Peter. I hope to join you sometime this year in hanging a certificate on the wall.

  2. So happy for you, and envious. When you reported recently, “The CLN is in the mail,” that reminded me strongly of an infamous variant, another C-word. I wasn’t holding my breath for you.

    This strikes me as strong evidence that relinquishment will fall under 877A regardless, that administration has a party line, that the fabled back-dated CLN — like the snark — does not exist. Pity those who hunt for it?

    Section 877A(g)(4) provides that a citizen will be treated as relinquishing his or her U.S. citizenship on the earliest of four possible dates: etc

    http://www.irs.gov/irb/2009-45_IRB/ar10.html

    Now the big question. Are you going to send back that defective document and insist that they do it your way?

  3. Like “letters of transit” from Casablanca, American expats go to great lengths to get their “CLN exit visas.”

  4. Gotta love it. Took them a year to send your ticket to freedom but they would like your acknowledgement ‘immediately’

  5. Congratulations Petros!

    The date issue is a concern–and a large part of the reason why I’m determined to stay away from Consulate, DOS or IRS if I possibly can. I know I relinquished 40 years ago.

    I simply don’t trust them to get it right–especially after seeing they messed up on yours.

    In any case, you have cause to celebrate today. Dealing with the problem date can wait for another day.

    Break out the bubbly!

  6. @USX

    I think actually that my CLN give great hope to Johnnb, and many others who have valid claim to have relinquished their citizenship pre-1995, before the Form 8854 and informing the consulate of one’s relinquishment were necessary aspects of expatriation. The only dates on my CLN are the date it was filled out (April 12, 2011); the date it was approved (February 29, 2012); and the date I expatriated myself (February 28, 2011). These dates prove that the effective date of relinquishment/expatriation is the actual date of commiting the relinquishing act, not the date that the consulate was informed. Thus, there is a definite problem between 877a and Section INA 349 (a) (1) of the Immigration Act. The two laws contradict each other, and the one that applies to the folks pre1995, in any case, is valid for them.

  7. @Petros, I presume they supplied you with a prapaid stamped envelope for you to use in sending back the signd receipt, did they not?

    My sincerest congraulations!

  8. @ Roger No. But then they sent me the envelope at a cost of CDN $1.29 postage plus GST (HST?). I emailed them the scan of the signed copy to save postage.

  9. @outraged My notes above are intended to point out how the discrepencies in the law are creating absurdities. I am not at all worried that some State Dept official filled out the CLN incorrectly (regarding my dates of never residing in the US–the exact opposite of the case). What is important to me is the operative date on the CLN–I expatriated myself 28 February –not 7 April. Now that makes a huge difference for those who expatriated decades ago.

  10. @Petros
    I do feel relief at the mention of the expatriating act date. I think that I don’t have much to fear if my CLN shows 1973. If it doesn’t or if they try the “date you informed us” thing I’ll have to cross that bridge later.

  11. @Petros, yes, indeed, it is that operative date that has me, once again (and probably temporarily) jumping for joy. This is such a roller coaster ride, and your post has put me on the way up again. I’m anxiously awaiting some of the long-ago relinquishers to receive theirs, as well before I dare to try to get mine, or my mother’s.

  12. @Petros it’s tricky I’m doing my estimated taxes right now for my expatriation tax even though I haven’t received my CLN because I must assume I’ll receive the CLN as some point as the IRS states:

    RC 877A(g)(4) provides that a citizen will be treated as relinquishing his or her U.S. citizenship on the earliest of four possible dates: (1) the date the individual renounces his or her U.S. nationality before a diplomatic or consular officer of the U.S., provided the renunciation is subsequently approved by the issuance to the individual of a certificate of loss of nationality by the U.S. Department of State; (2) the date the individual furnishes to the U.S. Department of State a signed statement of voluntary relinquishment of U.S. 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)), provided the voluntary relinquishment is subsequently approved by the issuance to the individual of a certificate of loss of nationality by the U.S. Department of State; (3) the date the U.S. Department of State issues to the individual a certificate of loss of nationality; or (4) the date a U.S. court cancels a naturalized citizen’s certificate of naturalisation.

    http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/international/article/0,,id=97245,00.html

  13. @Rick

    Are you going to be able to claim an NZ foreign tax credit for whatever you have to pay in “exit tax.”

  14. @Petros,

    Thanks so much for giving us a glimpse of what we may one day receive in our mailboxes.

    Will it be displayed on in a prominent place on your wall or carried with your Canadian passport?

    Sincere congratulations to you — and your Canadian wife for her release from any unwarranted responsibility to your former country.

  15. @Tim since the exit tax is basically an unrealised gains tax on worldwide assets there is no offset since New Zealand doesn’t have a capital gains tax. At this point I’m fine paying whatever I have to to be done with the U.S.

  16. @ Rick That is the law as it stands today. But that law is recent compared to the expatriations of a lot of people here. It cannot count against them ex post facto.

  17. @Petros I’m going to follow the law right up to the day I renounced.

    June seems to be the month they change the tax rules on expatriation, but they grandfather the rules, doesn’t mean they will do it this time as I can’t imagine the number of people renouncing now, likely if it becomes a real problem congress will just defund the department that stamps & sends the certification of loss of nationality.

    Expatriation on or after June 16, 2008
    Expatriation after June 3, 2004 and before June 16, 2008
    Expatriation on or before June 3, 2004

    http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/international/article/0,,id=97245,00.html

  18. Congratulations Petros! How fitting that you are the first one of us to receive it!! Your news has made my day!!!

  19. Very happy for you, Petros! You must feel relieved now to have physical proof.

    Hopefully someone who is renouncing as opposed to relinquishing can share news with us as well, so we can compare the processes.

  20. Congratulations Peter!

    Just to reinforce the point — CLNs for relinquishment have always (as far as I know) been dated effective the date of the expatriating act. My own CLN was approved in Washington 14 months after my expatriating act (becoming a Canadian citizen) but the date of my expatriation given on the form is the day I became a Canadian. (Both dates were more than 30 years ago.)

    I heard from first-hand conversations with several people who have gone forward with relinquishment applications in the past few months that their consular officers told them verbally at the meeting that the CLN would be dated effective the date of Canadian citizenship, even though the citizenship date was years ago. I haven’t seen a CLN like that yet, but there hasn’t been time for these cases to work through the system. I’m sure once a years-ago relinquishment CLN gets issued, we’ll hear about it on this forum, whichever way the dating appears on the actual forms.

    Please note that the inconsistency Peter has mentioned is in the cover letter and not on the actual form itself. It’s the date on the form that matters. Whether you should or shouldn’t correct the error or point it out in the acknowledgement letter is another issue, I wouldn’t care to offer an opinion on that …

    Interesting they now want a written acknowledgement of receipt. They didn’t 30 some years ago, but this probably is an improvement, especially if the documents aren’t being sent registered receipted mail.

  21. @ Schubert
    I am not planning to point out any inaccuracies. They are not my fault, as I am sure that I filled my forms correctly, and I did not fill out this form DS-4083 (the CLN), but it was filled out by the consular officer Joan H. Flynn, on 12 April 2011 (whose signature I’ve obscured).

    The inaccuracy in the letter represents concerns of 877a not 349a. I really do think that these laws are completely contradictory and incompatible–and there is no doubt in my mind which way the court would (or should, at least) go if it came down to it. The date on the CLN, the date of effective expatriation, not the date that you tell them, is the day I ceased to be a US citizen. My tax filings, when and if I do them, will reflect that very significant fact.

  22. @Petros
    ‘I really do think that these laws are completely contradictory and incompatiable’ – I could not agree more. What I do not understand and will never understand is how the American lawmakers can not see the absurdity of two different ‘laws of nationality’. Perhaps they all suffer from bi-polarism.

  23. @ tiger Actually the lawmakers are suffering from a desire to punish expats. They are angry that expats can leave the tax base and therefore want them to pay. Unfortunately, they must confront laws made in freer more noble past, when the lofty principles of individual freedom and rights still made a difference to Americans.

  24. Just noticed the cover letter is dated March 13. It takes four weeks to get a letter from 360 University to your address (which I think is Toronto, ne c’est pas)? Must have been sitting in someone’s inbasket for a while, it’s good that you called and asked about status.

    Given what I’ve been hearing (consular officers saying CLNs can take up to 6 months, most recent info I’ve heard), I think folks should start rattling the cage if they don’t have their CLN six months after the meeting date.

  25. @tiger, what they suffer from is electionitis, that is the fear of doing anything that might cause them to lose an election. Since overseas Americans have such a small and totally insignificant part in their re-election they don’t pay hardly any attention to them . I so well remeber the case of Bill Alexander, a US congressman from Arkansas from 1969 to 1993. He took it upon himself to introduce legislation that would relieve Americans abroad of this nightmarish double taxation. It went nowhere, but as a result his opponent in the next election used this against him by accusing him of caring more for the Americans who had left the country than he did for his own constituents. Result? He was soundly defeated for re-election. It cost him his job.

    That is why I feel so strongly that until foreign governments, including that of Canada, rise up with one voice and protest this extraterritorial taxation and violation of their national sovereignty which obligates US citizens, including but not not limited to those with dual citizenship, to “take” money out of their own countries and send it abroad to the IRS, that little is likelely to happen to things around in the Congress of the US. There are a few countries today, like Venezuala, which abrsoloutely do not allow their residents to exchange their local currency into dollars to remove from the country for paying taxes to a foreign power, but not very many are like this today. Fortunately for most things and in most countries there is freedom to buy and sell foreign currency.

  26. Further comment on the dating of expatriation —

    IRS says on the instructions for Form 8854 that “for tax purposes” your expatriation is when you tell State not when you committed the act (and which is the date on the CLN).

    Raises an interesting logical, moral and legal question — how can anyone keep a straight face when claiming that you are not a citizen for some purposes on X date but are a citizen for other purposes on that same date? Seems to me, either you’re a citizen for all purposes, or you’re not a citizen for any purposes, on any given date. Wonder what a judge would say about that one … even in the US. Maybe a tinpot country like Eritrea can keep a straight face if making an argument for that, but I’d hope that at least some judges in the US would have a lot of trouble with this concept. I sure do.

  27. @ schubert The letter hadn’t left the door before April 10, when I contacted them. Thus, we can’t blame Canada Post for the slowness. I live in the City above Toronto, Vaughan (Concord).

  28. @Petros –

    I think the laws were made in a period when (a) they were less broke and (b) large numbers of renunciations seemed unthinkable.

  29. @ Schubert There are actually three expatriations: date of expatriating event, date of expatriation for tax purposes, and date of tax expatriation. Your summary is actually spot on. This is a legal absurdity. It could not withstand an actual court case. A person has no legal obligation to pay US taxes if they are not a “US person” for tax purposes. Such a person is defined in the Internal Revenue Code as resident or a citizen of the United States. I am neither. I have therefore no obligation to file a 8854, whcih is required after expatriation. The exit tax law has a thus created a legal conundrum, a paradox, something that cannot exist.

  30. @ broken man: The most important document for the purpose of expatriation is the Declaration of Independence. This stated that the right to expatriate is unalienable right given by the Creator. See http://righteousinvestor.com/2011/02/25/the-right-of-renunciation-of-citizenship/
    http://righteousinvestor.com/2011/07/29/the-right-of-expatriation-ii-the-ninth-amendment/
    http://isaacbrocksociety.com/2011/12/19/forget-about-form-8854-filing-last-5-years-of-tax-etc-usa-law-establishes-a-right-to-unilateral-expatriation/

    So not in a period when expatriations were unthinkable, but when a mass expatriation from King George was taking place.

  31. First and foremost, congratulations Petros! Now a question … if a former U.S. citizen receives a CLN when he/she informs the USCIS of their relinquishment or renunciation, what does a never-been a U.S. citizen, living outside the USA, receive when he/she returns a green card along with form I-407? It can’t be a CLN because U.S. citizenship is something he/she never had to begin with … only a “resident alien” status for a certain length of time. The whole 3 dates thing is confusing, arbitrary and contradictory and it also appears that over time they dealt with the dates inconsistently too. It should be simply I gave up my connection to the USA when I say I did … period.

  32. @Petros, I forwarded your comments to a friend of mine who is much more conversant in the items you highlighted in your last post. I am taking the liberty of pasting his response to me. He seems to think it is more complicated. His comments are as follows:

    “There is actually no fundamental right to expatriate either explicit or implied in the Bill of Rights. It simply would never have occurred to our Founding Fathers that our country, founded as the beacon of freedom and liberty, would ever have sunk to such a low place. The Declaration of Independence states that if government gets to this point it is our right and duty to abolish a tyrannical regime. Not likely is it? It is a right under the UN Declaration of Human Rights, however, and in so far as treaty law trumps Constitutional law, this is what makes it so. Again, though, it isn’t un-Constitutional until or unless either Congress makes it so, or the Supreme Court judges it so. Since we simply have no power in Congress, forget that avenue. The courts have always been our best bet, but that requires someone being willing to step up and be the test case and spend the money to challenge – AND, of course, the Supremes have to be willing to accept the challenge. In practical terms, if someone has a second nationality, he/she doesn’t really need a formal renouncement of US citizenship; they simply ignore the US government’s right, and chooses to have their rights protected under the other nationality. That person, of course, can never set foot on US soil again, but that’s the point.

    Remember there are a great many people who believe that the South should have been allowed to secede from the USA in 1860. But nothing in the Constitution gives them that right either. On the contrary, the signing of the Constitution by the representatives of ALL states admitted to the Union has been deemed a one-way contract.

    Again, it was because none of our Founding Fathers could have ever imagined why our union, governed by the Constitution and the subsequent Bill of Rights, wouldn’t have provided adequate safeguards and guarantees for the individual – and states – that they would ever want anything else.

    The extra-territoriality of the imposition of taxes on expat Americans HAS been determined by several Supreme decisions. Hence the Solicitor General’s position should something ever come up would undoubtedly be that it has the right – and indeed duty – to treat all Americans the same with respect to taxation no matter where they live. It could be argued that the IRS is not, in fact, treating expats in the same manner but more harshly, and therefore has exceeded its authority. They would say, they are only following legislation passed by Congress.

    The 16th Amendment authorizing income tax is decidedly open: “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.”
    There are points on which to argue certain aspects:

    1. The 5th amendment protects a person from self-incrimination and provides for due process. It can be argues that many of the documents demanded by the IRS constitute self-incrimination, and that the system does not provide due process except at unfair costs and hardships on any who challenges.
    2. The 8th amendment: ” Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” It can be argued that paying any fine whatsoever to the IRS simply for lack of correctly filling out the forms when no taxes are due is indeed “excessive” AND “cruel and unusual punishments” particularly since expats have no effective due process available, no representation, and indeed, are judged guilty by the IRS without due process.
    3. The 10th amendment: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Since expats are effectively outside of the governance of a state, and since nothing whatsoever in the Constitution makes extraterritoriality a Federal power, one could argue that ALL issues of extraterritoriality are outside of the perview of the Federal government, and therefore, it should be left to “the people” themselves how to behave. It would be an enormous legal somersault to argue, but there are connections here. Since the Constitution grants the President to enter into treaties with foreign entities which must be approved by the Senate, it ipso facto creates an acknowledgement of territorial limitation of the powers of Congress and Constitution. Indeed, ALL subsequent acts acknowledge a respect for territorial limitations of the state except taxation and citizenship.
    4. The 13th amendment: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude except as punishment for a crime whereby the party shall have been duly convicted shall exist within the United States or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” [my emphasis]. This has two pieces of interest: (a) It could be argued that the process for expatriation is “involuntary servitude”; and (b) again the IRS fines being imposed is guilty without being convicted; and the phrase “any place subject to their jurisdiction” would actually in this case definitely include expatriates.
    But, as I said, all of this is great in theory, but unless or until someone is willing to undergo the expense to prove these issues, and the Supreme Court agrees to hear it, the Federal government is free to harass anyone they want! Knowing one’s “rights” or assumed rights isn’t the same as being able to implement and enforce them.”

  33. I found the answer to my question above. They apparently just stamp their approval and mail back the I-407 form to you. So you simply get an ALPRS certificate not a CLN.

  34. I received the following email reply from the U.S. Consulate in Toronto regarding the date on my yet-to-arrive CLN:

    “Thank you for your inquiry.
    Our office has not yet received the approved Certificate of Loss of Nationality from the Department of State, however, our records show you became a Canadian citizen on February 12, 1969, and that you became a Canadian citizen with the intention of relinquishing your US citizenship; therefore, you ceased to be a US citizen on February 12, 1969.”

    I asked about the date for two reasons:
    1. My friend who relinquished her citizenship two months ago was told by the consul that her CLN would be backdated to the date she became a Canadian citizen.
    2. The “legal department” at the IRS suggested I get this information. The scenario went as follows:

    I submitted my five years of tax forms to the IRS and received notice that I owe about $85.00. I called the IRS and the agent checked my files and confirmed the amount. She said it was going to collections in two days, so she changed the due date to the end of May so I could pay “on time”. She was very sympathetic to my situation and put me through to the “legal” department to speak to someone to get their advice. The fellow who answered told me he had never heard of a U.S. born person losing their U.S. citizenship. I told him about the way it used to be especially if one were to work for a foreign government (teaching in Ontario), or joining a foreign military. He suggested I contact the U.S. Consulate in Toronto to find out what the date will appear on my CLN. So I emailed the Toronto consulate and they replied that my CLN, according to their files, will be dated February 12, 1969. I then called the legal department again, and this time a lady took my call. I reviewed my situation and read her the consulate’s email reply. She was silent on the line. I told her I was willing to pay the IRS $85.00, but I wanted to know if I should just file a 1040NR for 2011, along with copies of my CLN application and a copy of the email correspondence from the consulate. She replied that she is not authorized to answer that question. She said that the previous “legal agent” had no right to talk to me about contacting the consulate. She made it clear that I needed to go to the government website. I told her I had been to the website and there is nothing that addresses this issue. She repeated her statement -(I’m sure it was either written or memorized). I then emailed my accountant to ask his advice and his reply was, “I’ll have to think about this one.”

  35. Sounds like a really good example of the egregious, and potentially illegal approach the IRS is taking – I think that is one for the Taxpayer Advocate to hear about.

  36. @baird68
    I am a bit confused. When did you file your five years of tax returns – was it after you applied for your CLN or prior to applying for the CLN.
    Is it any wonder most of us are at a loss, when one department of government (DOS) has one rule (they say you relinquished in 1969) and another department (IRS) wants you to file tax returns for the last five or six years.

  37. @baird68

    My question is ‘should you be required to file any returns if your CLN is going to be dated in 1969 when you ceased to be a US citizen?’. You relinquished when you became a Canadian citizen, then why would the US require you to file anything after that date? Entrapment. Don’t let them get away with it.

    How best to deal with the dilemma — pay and then demand a refund when you get your CLN??

    No, stand your ground per Petros below.

  38. @ Calgary : Exactly my opinion. I would just send a big: “Never mind!” to the IRS. As a non-US person, living in a foreign jurisdiction, Baird was not required to file. So it’s like, “Please ignore my returns.”

  39. @ tiger
    I filed in December, almost a month after I applied for my CLN. I filed from ’06 -’10 and included a letter outlining my situation. I wanted to cover my bases. However, when I took my friend to the consulate a couple months later, the consul said her CLN would be backdated to time she obtained Canadian citizenship (early to mid ’80s). He also commented to the effect: “Why would you file U.S. taxes when you are not a U.S. citizen?” She then decided not to file the forms she just paid to have done! I was sitting on the curb outside the consulate waiting for her and was not part of the conversation. I think the U.S. government agencies are learning as time goes by.

  40. @ Calgary and Petros
    I also was thinking:
    1. Send the money and suggest they refund it to me once I send them a copy of my CLN – (I really don’t care if they do. They can keep the money and put it towards their debt)
    2. Send them copies of application and correspondance to show that the CLN will arrive this year and will be backdated. This will be supportive evidence that the whole thing was a mistake and further tax filings etc. will not be necessary.

  41. Thanks, badger. I just called them and the 800 number doesn’t work from Canada. I haven’t given up and will continue to try and reach them.

  42. @Petros, you can also call 800 numbers in the US from an ordinary phone if you dial the operator for assistance. Doing it this way it is not a toll free call. You will be charged the operator-assisted rate, but you can complete the call. You will be charged the total elapsed time, inclunding the time you listen to a recording telling you how imortant your call is and asking you to wait until smebody is available to take your call.

  43. @baird68, If you paid US taxes even though you were not longer a US citizen and were therefore not required to do so, write them and ask for your money to be refunded, with interest. If this does ot result in a refund, contact the Taxpate Advocate. That’s Nina Olsen’s organization. They will make sure your get your money back.

  44. Thanks, Roger. That’s useful information for calling the IRS with an 800 number that just works in the US, not outside Canada or other countries. We should all take note of that. My new useful fact learned today!

  45. While subject is deserving of its own post I am increasing feeling people should start contacting the CRA’s Competent Authority Services office Ottawa especially in post dated relinquishment and lapsed green card cases. Here is a link below:

    http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/nnrsdnts/cmp/wh-eng.html

    What is also significant is Canada’s tax treaty with the US has binding arbitration clause which most other if any US treaties have.

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  47. The other thing I’ll mention about the CRA CAS office in Ottawa(located in the “Canada” building on Water St) is its a free service for tax residents of Canada and they maybe be able to take a stronger stand with the US than most US Tax Lawyers would be willing too.

  48. @everyone
    Every evidence I’m aware of is that relinquishment CLNs are always dated to show your expatriation/loss of nationality as having occurred on the day you committed your expatriating act, no matter how long ago it was. We have several instances of this being confirmed by consular officials verbally or (as reported above) by email.

    I am aware of at least one opinion by a qualified cross-border tax and immigration lawyer who has said flatly that if you expatriated decades ago there is absolutely no reason for you to file tax returns to the IRS. My opinion would be to say nothing to IRS at all, certainly not before getting your CLN and not after getting it either, unless they send you a letter asking you for something, at which time politely send them a copy of your CLN, the form 4079 you filled out (a copy of which should accompany your CLN when you get it), and a copy of any affidavit or statement you attached to your 4079 during your meeting, and politely inform them you haven’t been a US citizen for X years (see attached documents approved by your own State Department) and do not believe there is any reason why you should file anything with them, since you aren’t and haven’t been a US citizen and (I presume) haven’t had any US-source income or property since you lost your nationality. If they get back to you and don’t accept that, consult a lawyer about your next step(s) or, if you can, just resolve never to cross the US border again, and ignore them.

    There is no way the IRS has jurisdiction in Canada and no way, in such a case, that CRA is going to collect anything from you on IRS’ behalf.

  49. Sorry to avoid any ambiguity, let me clarify that last post (pushed the post button too soon), I omitted in my reference to what a lawyer said, that the conversation was with reference to a slam-dunk relinquishment case based on becoming a Canadian citizen voluntarily and with intent to relinquish USC, more than 30 years ago. If your relinquishment was no more than maybe eight years ago, you aren’t likely going to convince the IRS you don’t need to file. Also, none of what I said above works for a renunciation; your loss of nationality in that case is clearly the date you swore the renunciation oath (last year or this year, presumably), and unfortunately that means you can’t get out from under Form 8854, five years of back filing, etc. if you want to get across the US border again safely. At least that’s my understanding of the situation; as always, get legal advice for your own case, each case has its own wrinkles and you shouldn’t boiler-plate someone else’s case onto your own without checking carefully.

  50. re Tim’s very useful link to the CRA’s Competent Authority Services: I’m wondering whether that might not be a useful avenue to take if down the road any actions are taken against you under FATCA that aren’t consistent with the tax treaty … Just a thought.

  51. @Tim. Careful reading of the non-disclosure form you linked above indicates that you may not publicly disclose the results of the arbitration “other than the determination of such board.” I would interpret this qualification to mean that you can’t “blab” the details or reasonings of the aribration but it seems to me you certainly can “blab” the “determination” i.e. the resolution that was reached (e.g., you didn’t have to file/pay, or you did have to file/pay along the following lines …). Best to get legal advice, or just to ask the CAS (much cheaper, that), what and how much of the “determination” you can divulge publicly, but it sounds to me like the broad outcome certainly could be reported on Brock and elsewhere …

  52. @Calgary411. I at least assume it is still possible to call an 800 number through the operator in a foreign country. I have done this many times, usually from Brazil when I was still taveling there frequently.

    You may also be able to dial a US 800 number directly from a country outside of the North American Numbering Plan, which is world zone 1. If anyone reading this wants to try to find out if. it works, do this
    1. Dial the international access code in the country you are calling from. In many countries this is 00, but it does vary since some countries use a different prefix.
    2. Dial country code “1” which is for North America
    3. Dial the 800 number.

    I am not sure if this will work, but it might.

  53. sorry to introduce new (but related) subject here but cannot figure out how to start a new one. Anyone know what happens after renunciation and want to travel to USA as a tourist with another passport for first time??? do you need to have your CLN? if so, what happens if you are in the “waiting period” between renunciation at consulate and waiting for CLN? thanks

  54. @alex I didn’t travel to the United States. But I had the copy of original paperwork on which the Toronto Consulate kindly put their seal and signature. I could have used that material to prove that I’d relinquished my citizenship and passport. The consulates have also refused to give copies of the paperwork to others, saying it is the new policy. They are told to just explain that they are in the process of relinquishing their citizenship and have not yet received the CLN. As far as I am concerned, I won’t be doing any expensive vacations in the United States ever again for the rest of my life. But I may risk a single airplane ticket to visit family at some point.

  55. @Petros Actually USA is now one of the cheaper places on planet to vacation:) know of anyone who has returned to USA without having CLN or other paperwork on hand? do ex usa citizens get “grilled” upon first tourist return to USA about renouncing?? any experiences of anyone else?? thanks

  56. @ alex What I care about is not cheap or expensive. What I care about is whether I will be harassed at the border as a tax cheat or other. What I care about is that I am the ring leader here leading a tax protest movement (actually I am none of these things–I’m just trying to get Canadian residents to stand up for their their rights). Besides, cost is also a function of amenities. You can have a cheap or an expensive vacation in the US. If I just want to stay with relatives it’s the cost of airfare.

    I know a Canadian who relinquished 35 years ago. He said he’d been hassled once, but not prevented from entering the US. Now things are different than back then. Now we are dealing with a government with 1.5 trillion deficit and a debauched currency. This is a government out to get vengeance upon those who leave to avoid their tax net. Who knows what the future holds?

  57. Truly correct about no one wanting to be harassed.That is precisely the reason for the question . Anyone have any RECENT first or second hand experiences about returning to visit??

  58. @Alex. I’m in that in between stage, having renounced in March but not having received my CLN yet. I’m going to the US in about six weeks and will certainly report back. I’m actually curious and wish I could go sooner.

  59. @Bruce Newman .Good luck. I am still in planning stage:) But this is an important issue so will be keen to hear your or anyone else’s’ real experiences.

  60. @alex: I renounced in February and I am flying over in three weeks. I have my CLN. I’ll let you know if they ask me for it and whatever else happens.

  61. I was born in Canada, so it wouldn’t seem to matter. OTOH when I renounced in Toronto, I produced a pile of documents which included my Canadian passport. I wonder whether they created a data link between my Canadian passport and their records of my being an ex-US citizen and so forth. I guess I’ll have the opportunity to find out at some point.

  62. @rodgrod Can’t get that “o” with the line through it on my keyboard:) please let me know when you go . and good luck:) btw- are you flying ?

  63. @alex, type your reply in Word, where you can insert and paste foreign letters and symbols in your text, then copy and paste your response in the blog reply form. It is complicated, and takes time, but it can be done.

  64. @alex. I traveled by car through the Ambassador Bridge (Detroit) at the end of October 2011. I had no problem at all. My husband (born in Denmark), my two adult daughters (born in Canada) and I (born in USA) put our four Canadian passports in a pile and handed them to the border guard. He flipped through them and did not say anything except to ask where we were going. I have been traveling with a Canadian passport for the past 10 years and have never had a problem.
    I am planning a trip by plane in August, and am now worried. I am going to send in relinquishing papers soon and travel with my Canadian passport in August.

  65. @alex. I was informed in the past week of two American born, Canadians entering the U.S. in the last month with absolutely no problem. One crossed at the Peace Arch land crossing between British Columbia and Washington state and the other one at Vancouver airport
    @somerfugl: ‘I am going to send in relinquishing papers soon and travel with my Canadian passport in August.’ Are you mailing your ‘relinquishing’ papers/forms or are you presenting them in person at a U.S. consulate? I was not aware that not appearing in person was an option.

  66. Ør if yøu use a Mac, just simultaneøusly høld døwn the øptiøn key while yøu type the letter ø – ør learn høw tø use the html entity cødes – either ø [ampersand-hash-248-semicolon] ør ø [ampersand-oslash-semicolon], take yøur pick. That Wørd “sølutiøn” really sucks.

  67. @Schubert: You wrote on April 24…”If your relinquishment was no more than maybe eight years ago, you aren’t likely going to convince the IRS you don’t need to file..”
    What do you think the odds are if you became a Canadian citizen 10 years ago and have done nothing to claim US citizenship including always traveling with a Canadian passport? I want to send in the relinquishment form, but I’m afraid they’ll come after me for 5 years of tax forms. (My income is low so I don’t owe anything.) Has anyone gotten a CLN without filing taxes in my situation ( Canadian 10 years or less)?

  68. @usxcanada, I can also enable foreign keyboards on my PC, but that gets a little messy in remembering where the symbols are. I do so when I am typing in Portuguese or Spanish, and have templates printed out for these two languages to be able to remember which symbol is where.

  69. @usxcanada: Gøød Ådvice 😉
    @Alex: Yes, I am flying over from Denmark. I wish I had chosen an easier moniker than “rødgrød” but I guess I’ll stick with it since people know me by that now.

  70. @ rødgrød
    I like your moniker and it’s no problem on a Mac. I’m a quarter Danish so I have a soft spot for my grandfather’s country of birth. Hope your trip is completely uneventful at the border and then a big happy time afterwards.

  71. I crossed the US border at the Thousand Island bridge just east of Kingston, Ontario in mid April after relinquishing my US citizenship in early November. (Still waiting for my CLN, by the way.) I took a photocopy of my oath of relinquishment with me but did not offer it when I handed the customs officer my Canadian passport. I was asked my citizenship and replied that I was a Canadian. No further questions about it were asked. In fact, it was the fastest border crossing I have ever experienced.

  72. @Cornwall, It sounds from these several similar posts that so far there is not much attention being paid to “place of birth” indicated in Canadian passports, but I personally anticipate that with the current IRS Jihad against those with US citizenship living abroad, that we will be hearing about more and more cases when US immigration is paying much more attention to this than in the past.

  73. @tiger
    thanks for the info. the one at vancouver airport flew from there to a usa airport? or crossed by land?
    @rødgrød i used copy and paste:) good luck on your air trip. we will wait to hear.
    i have not decided yet when

  74. @alex
    They flew out of Vancouver airport to New York City. Had to go through U.S. customs at the Vancouver airport as is always the case when flying from Canada to the U.S.

  75. @tiger Now I understand. interesting to hear from people who travelled by air directly into USA and went through immigration in USA without CLN yet. Hope to hear news

  76. I haven’t traveled to the States since I visited the consulate to fill out forms for relinquishing. Others I know have and it was not an issue.

    I think on a PC you can hold down the alt key and type 0248 on the numeric keyboard (not the numbers at the top of the keyboard and get that letter. I’ll try here: ø
    Yup. It works.

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