Federal Register Name and Shame List
Wednesday, February 11, 2015 at 06:17
Four times a year, the IRS publishes a notice in the Federal Register. That notice is a list of the names of those who renounced their US Citizenship or long term Green Card holders who cut those ties.
That list is used by the media to write sensationalistic stories about how many people renounced in the previous quarter, or previous year. However, the reporters apparently so busy stumbling over their statistics, fail to read what it actually says:
This listing contains the name of each individual losing United States citizenship (within the meaning of section 877(a) or 877A) with respect to whom the Secretary received information during the quarter ending December 31, 2014.
In order words, it is a list of names that the State Department gave to the IRS during a particular quarter. There is no apparent relation between when someone renounces and when the State Department presents their name to the IRS. Of course, the delay could be on the IRS side too.
In my case, I renounced in June of 2013. My name appeared on the list published in February 2015! (Aside, that publication was late, as it should have been published in January 2015). Also on the February 2015 list was someone else who renounced in Asuncion, Paraguay, but in October 2014. So, his was "on time", and mine was over a year and a half late.
The bottom line is that there is no way of using that list of names as a basis for statistics of how many people renounce in any particular time period. Additionally, there is no information on which names were US citizens, and which were green card holders. Nor, which were "real" Americans (ie: born and raised there), and which were "accidental" Americans (ie: both elsewhere and never engaged with US culture).
Many enjoy referring to this list as a "name and shame" list (including Forbes). Of course, it is a list of people who have exercised one of their rights an an American. Instead of considering it shameful to exercise our rights, we should be proud that people make their own decisions and stand for what they believe. Especially when those maybe "unpopular" beliefs or decisions.
The only ones who should be ashamed are those who are intolerant of other people's views and would seem to shame or insult them in such a manner.
Incidentally, if you are an American, it might be worth your while to browse all the listings from all the departments and agencies in the Federal Register and if that doesn't give you inspiration to renounce your citizenship, nothing will!
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Tuesday, November 24, 2015 at 18:45
So you are put on what is perceived as a shame list if you renounce your citizenship? I wonder if any other countries in the world are doing that right now. Unaware people who see that list may think it is a list of terrorists or white collar criminals. There are people who need to renounce innocent reasons.