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Indignation Fatigue and FATCA

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…

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

On Receiving my Certificate of Loss of Nationality

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…

at a voting station in Florida

Vote … as a Non-Citizen? Really?

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…

a snippet from the Constitution mentioning that a person has to be a "natural born Citizen" to be President of the US.

Citizenship Matters

I am, legally speaking, a citizen of the Netherlands. If you asked the US Foreign Service, they’d probably say I have US citizenship too, at least until I get my Certificate of Loss of Nationality. If you asked the IRS, on the other hand, they would say I’m no longer a US citizen. What does it mean…

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Individual Freedom, Self-Reliance and Renunciation

I teach American Studies at a teacher-training college here in the Netherlands. The eight-week courses—two for the younger, full-time students, and one for the adult, part-time students—are not in-depth studies. They are introductory courses for students training to become English teachers. One of my goals is to prepare them for the sorts of questions their…

a lithograph of the Boston Tea Party

FATCA, the Tea Party and Me

“No taxation without representation,” a slogan going back to colonial America, is commonly cited by overseas Americans like me in discussions of FATCA. It’s also the basis of the Tea Party’s name: a reference to the Boston Tea Party, an act of rebellion against the taxation of the American colonists by the British government. FATCA…

My Renunciation Day

I renounced my US citizenship today. Right now, I don’t want to discuss the politics, but rather just let you know what my day was like. Note: This article was published on November 18, 2015. Getting there Like any good Dutch resident, I got to Amsterdam by first riding my bike to the train station…

daytime view of the Paramount

How my citizenship hit me in the gut

One day last month, when I was walking through Oakland on my way to meet a friend in Berkeley, I passed the old Paramount Theater. This is a gorgeous restored Art Deco theater that I had paused to admire every time I’d walked past that week. That day, though, the theater was open at 8:30…

Republicans, Expatriates and FATCA

Last week I posted about the possibility of renouncing my American citizenship due to the onerous requirements the US government imposes on expatriate Americans. That post broke the record here at Rachel’s Ruminations: the most “hits” ever. And, in the process, I’ve learned a lot more about the situation from the many people who responded,…

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