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close-up of the American flag, representing the American Dream

Watching America Fall Apart on my Renunciation Anniversary

This entry is part 23 of 23 in the series US citizenship

One year ago today, I renounced my US citizenship. Here in the Netherlands, since last week’s US elections, friends and colleagues often ask me “Are you glad you gave up citizenship?” I always say “Yes!” but that’s a lie. I didn’t want give up citizenship then, and I still feel sad that I had to…

Hillary Clinton

The US Election, as seen by Overseas Americans

This entry is part 21 of 23 in the series US citizenship

Watching the American election season from abroad is like slowing down as you pass a car accident on the highway. You don’t really want to see the damage, but you can’t seem to stop yourself from looking. It has nothing to do with you, yet you’re fascinated. The US presidential election I gave up citizenship almost…

Me and my voter ballot

On Receiving my California Voter Ballot

This entry is part 22 of 23 in the series US citizenship

I won’t vote in the upcoming Presidential election. It’s not that I don’t want to, but I gave up citizenship last November, so I can’t vote in the US elections anymore. (If you want a general overview of my reasons for renouncing, here is my Medium article about it.) My renunciation date was November 18,…

American Flag

Indignation Fatigue and FATCA

This entry is part 20 of 23 in the series US citizenship

A lawsuit against FATCA, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, was filed back in 2014 by Senator Rand Paul and the Republicans Overseas and, while I am certainly no fan of the senator, I support this lawsuit. It was, however, dismissed in April because the Ohio federal judge who heard the case decided that the…

"Good Heaven! what sorrows gloom'd that parting day etc", by Thomas Falcon Marshall (taken from Wikimedia)

So You Think You Want to Emigrate …

This entry is part 19 of 23 in the series US citizenship

“If Trump gets elected, I’m leaving the country.” I don’t live in the US, but I have read comments like this on social media and in the news. Apparently, sometimes this isn’t just an idle threat. The Guardian cites a Luminoso survey which found that: … about 4% of 4.5 million Donald Trump-related tweets contained threats…

My cancelled passport was sent back to me along with my Certificate of Loss of Nationality.

On Receiving my Certificate of Loss of Nationality

This entry is part 18 of 23 in the series US citizenship

Almost five months after my renunciation day, I received my Certificate of Loss of Nationality today. It seems ironic that it arrived on Tax Day. People keep asking me how that feels, but I have trouble formulating an answer. Certificate of Loss of Nationality = divorce papers The best analogy I’ve been able to find…

parked planes at Schiphol airport in the Netherlands

The Ridiculous Story of a Pilot and his Taxes

This entry is part 17 of 23 in the series US citizenship

I received a message recently from an American airline pilot living and working out of Hong Kong for a major airline. He told me the story of how America’s citizenship-based taxation affects him and I felt I had to write about it. Ridiculous I already thought the way overseas Americans are taxed by the US…

at a voting station in Florida

Vote … as a Non-Citizen? Really?

This entry is part 16 of 23 in the series US citizenship

On my return from a short vacation with my family, I was surprised to find a letter from the Department of Elections of the City of San Francisco waiting for me, offering me the opportunity to vote in the Democratic primary. Before I moved to the Netherlands back in 1997, I lived in San Francisco, so San…

Renunciations in the News

This entry is part 15 of 23 in the series US citizenship

Last week new numbers were published about how many overseas Americans renounced citizenship in the fourth quarter of 2015, and they show, as expected, an increase in 2015: a record year for renunciations. Each quarter a “name and shame” list is published by the US Treasury Department based on IRS figures of those renouncing, and in…