The above tweet references a “guest post” written by Dominic Ferszt of Cape Town South Africa. The post demonstrates how the “dual citizen from birth” exemption to the S. 877A “Exit Tax” relies on the citizenship laws of other nations. In some cases those laws of other nations are arbitrary and unjust. If these laws were U.S. laws, they might violate the equal protection and/or due process guarantees found in the United States constitution. For example, Mr. Ferszt describes how the “dual citizenship exemption” to the “Ext Tax” is dependent on South African “Apartheid Laws”. He describes a situation where a “black” U.S. citizen from birth is denied the benefits of the dual citizen exemption to the Exit Tax, which are available to a “white” dual citizen from birth. (During the “Apartheid Era” Blacks were not entitled to South African citizenship.)
The dual citizen exemption, which I have discussed in previous posts, is found in Internal Revenue Code S. 877A(g)(1)(B) and reads:
(B) Exceptions An individual shall not be treated as meeting the requirements of subparagraph (A) or (B) of section 877(a)(2) if—
(i) the individual—
(I) became at birth a citizen of the United States and a citizen of another country and, as of the expatriation date, continues to be a citizen of, and is taxed as a resident of, such other country, and
(II) has been a resident of the United States (as defined in section 7701(b)(1)(A)(ii)) for not more than 10 taxable years during the 15-taxable year period ending with the taxable year during which the expatriation date occurs, or
Entitlement to the “dual citizen exemption” depends entirely on the citizenship laws of other countries …
This guest post is written by Dominic Ferszt of Cape Town, South Africa. I first became aware of Mr. Ferszt when, in October of 2014, his post: “The Accidental Tax Invasion” was published in Forbes. I have discussed various aspects of “citizenship-based taxation” with him since. I am very pleased that he has accepted my invitation to write this “guest post” for publication at Citizenship Solutions. His post exposes an aspect of “citizenship taxation” and the S. 877A U.S. expatriation tax that has not (as far as I am aware) been discussed before. Those who did NOT acquire “dual citizenship” at birth because of discriminatory laws (example British and Canadian laws saying that citizenship could be passed down from the father but not from the mother) will find this post extremely interesting and relevant.
How the United States Congress has passed legislation which imposes a tax obligation in accordance with the discriminatory policies of foreign nations; and how this might offer a glimmer of hope to millions around the world who feel unjustly targeted by FATCA or the IRS.
It is a fascinating book. Once again, see how important citizenship is. Citizenship is “invisible” until your citizenship or lack thereof creates problems in your life. Don Chapman’s book “The Lost Canadians” is a history of the problems caused by Canada’s first citizenship act – the 1947 Canada Citizenship Act. Many (but not all) of the problems were caused by situations where, according to the 1947 Canada Citizenship Act:
According to S. 16 of the 1947 Canada Citizenship Act, a minor would lose his/her Canadian citizenship if the responsible parent became a citizen of another nation and in so doing lost her/her Canadian citizenship; and
According to S. 5 of the 1947 Canada Citizenship Act, a person born in wedlock outside of Canada to a father who was NOT a Canadian citizen and a mother who WAS a Canadian citizen never acquired Canadian citizenship by birth. (Note that in the Benner case the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that this distinction violated S. 15 of the Canadian Charter Of Rights And Freedoms.) This injustice, which meant that those born in the U.S. did NOT acquire dual citizenship at birth (think of the definition of “covered expatriate” of the S. 877A “Exit Tax” rules), was “fixed in the 2009 changes to the Canada Citizenship Act.