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Goodbye, USA!

Luglio 2016
Nel 2015 più di 4 mila americani hanno rinunciato alla cittadinanza e riconsegnato il passaporto. Il motivo principale sono le tasse che chi vive all’estero deve versare allo stato americano. Ma c’è anche chi sostiene che questa scelta la farà se dovesse vincere Donald Trump...

di Bruce Alpert | Voice of America

File audio:

Speaker: Chuck Rolando (Standard American accent)

Donna-Lane Nelson was so upset after giving up her US citizenship that she was physically sick: “Like the day I was divorced, this was one of the saddest days of my life.”
In 2011, Nelson was one of nearly 2,000 Americans to give up their citizenship. Last year a record 4,279 people gave up their American citizenship, according to the US Treasury Department.

The donald factor

This year, the Google search “How to move to Canada?” increased massively when businessman Donald Trump won seven of 11 Republican contests on Super Tuesday.
Peter Spiro is a Temple University law professor. He is not sure if those who oppose Donald Trump would consider leaving the US. Spiro says: “Trump, if he wins, may be President for only four years (eight years, if he wins a second term) and giving up your citizenship cannot be reversed.”


Why do people give up US citizenship? Most of those giving up their US citizenship do so for tax reasons. Spiro says that the increase is due to a 2010 law requiring US citizens to pay taxes on worldwide income, not just money earned in the United States. The State Department estimates 7.6 million Americans live outside the United States.
Joyce Angio of Quebec, Canada, gave up her US citizenship last year. She is an English teacher in Quebec City. Angio didn’t know that Americans had to pay taxes on income earned outside the United States.
In 2013, she learned that the US government was ready to collect fines from Americans who did not pay US taxes while living outside the country. She says: “I hesitated for two years, then I cried twice in front of the Consul on the date I was given to formally renounce my citizenship. I felt heartbroken the day I had to go back to pick up my cancelled passport.”


Donna-Lane Nelson lives in Switzerland. It was not just the tax burden that led her to give up US citizenship. It was all the additional paperwork, she said. Also playing a role was the refusal of Swiss banks to accept deposits from US citizens. Nelson says that banks want nothing to do with the increased reporting now required by the US government.


But giving up US citizenship can also be costly. Fees for completing the application process went up recently from $450 to $2,350.
US Tax Services is a private company. It says Americans who renounce their citizenship can still return to the US for short visits, but longer visits are a problem: ”For example, if a relative who lives in the US were to become sick, you would not be allowed to simply move to the US to take care of them.”


Angio, the Canadian English teacher, said she can use her Canadian passport to continue regular visits with friends and family in the United States. “The difference is emotional:  I have to use the non-citizen line at the airport.”

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Super Tuesday. Supermartedì. È il giorno in cui, in gran parte degli Stati Uniti, l’elettorato vota per nominare il candidato presidente dei rispettivi movimenti (Democratici o Repubblicani). Solitamente, in tale giorno, si comincia ad avere un’idea piuttosto chiara di chi sarà il candidato Presidente, che sarà poi nominato in estate durante le convention dei delegati.


...passare la dogana?

To go through customs