Hello. My name is Olivier Wagner. I’ve been preparing tax returns for American living overseas since 2012 and have a lot of experience with those who need to renounce U.S. citizenship. Now I’ll talk about the process of renouncing U.S. citizenship in Azerbaijan. It isn’t intended for those living in Azerbaijan but for U.S. citizens worldwide who want to renounce quickly.
I’ve written posts about renouncing U.S. citizenship and the myths around renouncing U.S. citizenship previously. Again the reason why someone would renounce in Azerbaijan has to do with the wait times and the capability to renounce in a matter of weeks in cases in which time is of the essence.
By way of background, losing U.S. citizenship has to be done freely. It used to be that the U.S. had a strong view against dual citizenship. Many decades ago, the supposition was that if you acquired another citizenship, you did so with the intent of giving up your U.S. citizenship. Now, the burden of evidence has nearly fully reversed. At this time, you need to convince them that you performed an expatriating act/acquired another citizenship with the intent of giving up your U.S citizenship. If you acquire another citizenship with the intent of giving up U.S. citizenship, that would be called a relinquishment. By contacting the U.S. consulate and demonstrating it, you’ll get a Certificate of Loss of Nationality backdated to the day you performed that expatriating act.
Whether you go for a relinquishment which is what I just discussed, or whether you give up your U.S. citizenship as of the day of the appointment of the consulate, which would be called a renunciation, there used to be a two-appointment process. The first is during which the consulate will inform you of the consequences of renouncing U.S. citizenship, and the second is where you would renounce U.S. citizenship.
Appointment process in Azerbaijan
The U.S. consulate in Baku, Azerbaijan, still follows that format.
They modified it slightly because the first appointment is performed via phone call.
And that makes complete sense, given that most applicants will come from different parts of the world.
The second interview, during which the actual renunciation will take place, will be an in-person appointment in Baku, Azerbaijan.
If you viewed my previous video/blog post on renouncing in Canada, you will have noticed the long wait time, which would cause hardship to those who need to renounce before a real estate transaction. The downside, of course, is that it is geographically remote, which is somewhat alleviated by the fact that only the second interview takes place in person. A wait time that would take about 6 months in Canada would be about 3 weeks in Azerbaijan, from first contact the consulate to the time of the interview.,
The U.S. consulate in Azerbaijan doesn’t have a dedicated email for renunciations.
You would contact them using the general phone number or email:
111 Azadlig Prospect
Baku, AZ 1007
Tel: +994 12 488-3300
Fax: +994 12 488-3320
US expatriation taxes
You would file form 8854 the year after you renounce. If you are a ‘covered expatriate’, you would be subject to the exit tax.
The most common way to become a covered expatriate is if you have a net wealth of more than 2 million dollars, you would also be a covered expatriate if you fail to file five years of tax returns.
The “dual citizenship exception”
There is a dual citizenship exception. Those who qualify only need to file five years of tax returns; they do not need to comply with the first two conditions.
The dual citizenship exception applies to people born with U.S. and foreign citizenship. So, for instance, somebody born in the U.S. might have dual citizenship: U.S. citizenship because they were born in the U.S. and Canadian citizenship from their parents.
They need to:
– Continue to be taxed as a resident of the other country.
– Have spent less than 10 out of the past 15 years in the U.S.
Feel free to email me with any questions, and I’ll be happy to get back to you. Thank you.