To whom it may concern -
I would like to join this letter of explanation to my request to renounce my US citizenship. Renouncing my US citizenship is not something that I do lightly or with pleasure, but nevertheless I have decided to do it after carefully weighing all of the pros and cons of retaining or renouncing my citizenship. In fact, there are relatively few things that speak in favor of retaining citizenship in my case.
The main argument to keep citizenship is that I feel profoundly American and will always feel this way. I love my country and am grateful for all the opportunities that it has given me. On the other hand, there are very few additional positive arguments remaining.
Speaking against retaining citizenship is that I don't really need it for anything. My life is here in Switzerland where I have lived and worked for the past XX years. I have no intention and see no reason to return to the US other than for visiting family or for vacation. This can be done with the normal tourist visa waiver program as I am a Swiss citizen. I am near enough to retirement age to know that there is no longer any chance that I will want to return and work in the US. Over the past few years administrative burdens on American citizens living in Switzerland and the possibility of living a normal 'financial' life here have been degraded seriously. I have not suffered too much from this, but I have seen several US citizens refused the right to have bank accounts or to obtain a mortgage based solely on the fact that they are US citizens. I have several restrictions from my bank on what kind of investments I can make with my savings here, something which should really not be the case, since I have always reported all of my financial activity to the IRS. I am quite concerned that this situation will get worse and that even my wife, who is not a US citizen and who never resided nor worked in the US might be handicapped just because she is married to me. This would be very unfair. I understand the desire of the US government to try to crack down on wealthy tax evaders, but the people who suffer from the new rules put in place and the new atmosphere are the normal people like me, who are not extremely wealthy and who comply with all of the rules because we believe that this is important and the right thing to do.
I believe that the US government has made some unwise decisions on how they treat their citizens living abroad and I hope that this will change in the future. Having US citizens like me abroad should be considered an asset for the country because we are hard-working, respected members of the communities where we live. I hope that we make a very good impression of how US citizens behave responsibly and honorably. In my case, I am a university professor and have served many important functions in the scientific community in Switzerland. I would argue that people like me serve as ambassadors for the US and the US government is currently making it very difficult for people like me to establish ourselves abroad. I think that if I have moved to Switzerland now rather than 32 years ago, I would not be allowed to get a loan to buy a house or have even a relatively normal 'financial' life. This is really a pity because it restricts the possibilities that are open to US citizens. People of no other nationality have this type of problem here in Switzerland.
I want to conclude that even though I don't like this particular aspect of the recent changes I am not renouncing my citizenship for political reasons or simply to not file tax returns. I have filed US tax returns for the last XX years while I have lived in Switzerland and in fact have had to pay very little tax to the IRS. It is simply a rational decision. The factors speaking in favor of renouncing my citizenship are more numerous and more important than the factors speaking in favor of retaining it. My life and that of my family will be simpler and we will have more freedom if I am not a US citizen. It's a pity that it comes down to this.
- From American Citizens Abroad