ו' לחודש האחד עשר תשע"ד
|U. S. Embassy, Tel-Aviv |
*one block from the beach
**not yet moved to Jerusalem
The new tax law, or even heavier reinforcement of any old tax laws, would not place any additional financial burden on my life, save for the inconvenience of having to deal with some extra paperwork.
I understand that due to the level of my Israeli income, low, and the level of my Israeli tax obligations, high in contrast to my tax obligations if I were to reside in the U. S., Yet, I also just found out, thanks to American Citizens Abroad [ACA], that Obamacare is another story. Tax obligations due to the "Affordable Care Act" will not be covered by any credit I would receive for paying taxes in Israel.
|"Sheeple" = Sheep + People|
I was surprised to hear this, as I thought that I was exempt. Confused? So, am I. Personally, I believe that is the point. Keep the "sheeple" confused, and they will give up, and do what they are told! No such luck here, Powers That Be!
So, why am I considering the renouncing of my U. S. citizenship? It is certainly not to please my parents. My Democrat/Green mother and my Reagan Democrat-turned-Republican father will both kill me,...figuratively, of course.
Countless friends, former and current bosses, and strangers on the bus, both American and native Israeli ALL think that I have completely lost it.
I am certainly grateful for all of the opportunities I received growing up in the U. S., as opposed to any other country.
But, simply put, the U. S. is no longer my country. How many times on Esser Agaroth have I said that Israel is the only true homeland of the Jewish People? A lot. Why should I keep my U. S. citizenship? For travel? For emergencies? Well, I have already gotten those scenarios covered, and I can use my Israeli passport,...if I really needed to. I have not left Eretz Yisra'el in 15 years, and have not set foot in the U. S. for 16 years, and have no intention of ever doing so again.
|So Far and Yet So Near|
I have also not voted since before the presidential election of 2000, due to never getting my application for an absentee in time, in order to send it back in time, in order to receive my absentee ballot with enough time to send it back on time. Bush vs. Gore. Remember that one?
Even with being able to download an application for an absentee ballot, there was still never enough time to complete the process. Then the Los Angeles County Registrar of Voters changed my registration status as a "solution" to my inability to vote. She did so without my permission, of course.
Not being able to vote is only a very minor consideration. I mention this balagan (mess), only to illustrate just how disconnected I am from the U. S.
Getting something accomplished the last time I was at the U. S. Embassy was not at all difficult. So, that issue is not even close to being a consideration, one way or another. Only the long wait was a bit of a pain. No one even harassed me for having resided in the ridiculously nicknamed "Occupied Territories," which was my main concern. No one cared. Like any good, Israeli civil servant, my paperwork was processed, my money was accepted, and I was on my way. Thank The Almighty!
U. S. Consulate, Jerusalem
Apparently, these are the only requirements (that I could find) for renunciation of U. S. citizenship, which is irrevocable:
Renunciation of U. S. CitizenshipOne of the only reasons why I would retain my citizenship is how renunciation would affect my future social security benefits. I am pretty sure that I will not receive any, due to missing one quarter or more of the forty quarter employment requirement. This will be worth looking into, as well as any possible effects on potential benefits by renunciation.
A. THE IMMIGRATION & NATIONALITY ACT
Section 349(a)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) (8 U.S.C. 1481(a)(5)) is the section of law governing the right of a United States citizen to renounce his or her U.S. citizenship. That section of law provides for the loss of nationality by voluntarily
"(5) making a formal renunciation of nationality before a diplomatic or consular officer of the United States in a foreign state, in such form as may be prescribed by the Secretary of State" (emphasis added).B. ELEMENTS OF RENUNCIATION
A person wishing to renounce his or her U.S. citizenship must voluntarily and with intent to relinquish U.S. citizenship:
Renunciations that do not meet the conditions described above have no legal effect. Because of the provisions of Section 349(a)(5), U.S. citizens cannot effectively renounce their citizenship by mail, through an agent, or while in the United States. In fact, U.S. courts have held certain attempts to renounce U.S. citizenship to be ineffective on a variety of grounds, as discussed below. (cont.)
- appear in person before a U.S. consular or diplomatic officer,
- in a foreign country (normally at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate); and
- sign an oath of renunciation
This is the other reason it this, the mention of which was "neglected in the list of requirements above:
|U. S. Consular Schedule of Fees|
In spite of the U. S. Consulate's website indicating that the sheqqel-dollar rate is 3.60 to one, which would make the renunciation fee NIS 1620, according to today's rate that is about NIS 1575.59, the difference being the price of dinner in Israel.
Talk about a deterrent!
Well, I have my homework cut out for me. I will post updates as I formulate a decision.