The U.S. State Department plans to reduce the fee for renouncing U.S. citizenship from $2,350 to $450, according to TheLocal.

The U.S. State Department plans to reduce the fee for renouncing U.S. citizenship from $2,350 to $450, according to TheLocal.

The news that the U.S. government is finally making good on its promise to lower the fee for renouncing citizenship was welcomed by groups representing American expatriates.

The latest step was revealed in a notice dated October 2nd and posted in the U.S. Federal Register. The State Department states that it "proposes to change" the fee from the current $2,350 to $450. In 2014, the fee was increased from $450 to its current amount.

The State Department noted the "significant informal feedback" about the difficulties faced by many U.S. citizens living abroad when attempting to renounce their citizenship. The $450 fee is described as only "a portion of the cost of providing" consular services related to issuing a Certificate of Loss of Nationality (CLN).

Right to Renounce This move was particularly welcomed by a group representing "Accidental Americans," primarily citizens of other countries who were born in the U.S. to foreign parents. They have since moved abroad and had no ties to the U.S. in their adult lives.

Fabien Lehagre, founder of the Accidental Americans Association, said the State Department's notice is "a huge relief for Accidental Americans, as well as for our fellow citizens living abroad."

"It's still a fairly high price, but it's a discount of more than 80 percent," he wrote.

"Rest assured, I have no intention of giving up the fight to make the renunciation process even more accessible," Lehagre added. "Renunciation is a right protected by the U.S. Constitution."

As "Accidental Americans" are citizens by birth and subject to the U.S. tax regime based on citizenship, the U.S. considers them obligated to file taxes (and possibly pay taxes) throughout their lives, even if they have never been to the U.S.

Americans interested in renouncing their citizenship have been wondering for months whether the government would lower the fee, as first announced by the State Department on January 6, 2023.

However, the fact that the new notice does not specify the exact date of the fee reduction may raise concerns that it could still be months before the lower fee takes effect.

Nevertheless, Toronto-based lawyer and U.S. expatriation expert John Richardson and other advocates for a fairer tax regime for American expats say they are confident that the fee reduction for renouncing citizenship will occur, though they cannot say when it will happen.

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