Desperate Americans Facing Closed US Embassies

By 3 September 2020News

Desperate Americans Facing Closed US Embassies research Americans Overseas

Americans wanting to renounce are facing closed doors at the US consulates. The US authorities are resuming work but are severely limiting renunciation services and social security services. Meanwhile, banks are still freezing and closing accounts of US citizens until they can prove they’re no longer Americans or compliant.

Americans Overseas ran a survey among 8000 Americans in Europe on the problems with their banks and the US government.

Research  US consulates:

Germany 

Frankfurt; visitors with a scheduled appointment faced a closed door

France

States that all renunciation services are suspended worldwide

Switzerland

200 waiting in queue with no date available

Netherlands

Waiting time is unclear and phone lines are busy

Belgium

Stated no renunciations accepted. Online agenda allows appointment​

Research Challenges Americans in Europe:

20%

Faced FATCA restrictions; accounts frozen, mortgage terminated, loans refused

80% 

Stated their bank provided them with no, wrong or limited information

73%

No appointment or a response from the US authorities to renounce

71% 

Use their savings to pay the renunciation fee and preparation

15%

Can’t afford the fees and preparation to renounce

35%

Renounced but did not see themselves in the federal registry

77% 

Never lived in the US or moved back to Europe before the age of 10

91% 

Don’t owe taxes but face yearly US tax filing expenses

Closed US consulates: Americans living overseas at wit’s end

Americans Overseas has received hundreds of calls from everyday people at wit’s end. They’re in a squeeze between the US and their bank. An elderly English woman with a frozen bank account, a German entrepreneur who can’t pay his suppliers, or a couple that got their mortgage rejected, are just a few examples.

They’re not getting through to the US consulates to renounce their citizenship or apply for a SSN (American fiscal Number) as demanded by their local bank. We now see individuals traveling to other countries just to get an appointment and hoping the door is actually open.

​​Banks have been obligated since 2012 under a US law called FATCA to provide the US with all of their American clients. Since the US law comes under threat of severe penalties European banks are overly complying and trying to shake their US customers.

Individuals have two options with their European bank. Either show proof of US renunciation or submit a seldom readily available SSN. Both are issued by the consulate.

The discrepancies between the federal registry and the survey (30% more renunciations) confirm once again that renunciation numbers given by the US government are on the low side.

More information about renunciation and bank services for Americans living Overseas?

We, the founders of Americans Overseas, were born in the Netherlands and obtained our American nationality through our (American) mother. When we heard about this for the first time around 2013, we were in total disbelief (it can’t be true!), anger (how can they do this?), fear (am I going to get fines or pick up other problems?), and panic (what should I do?).

It is (unfortunately) true that there is an additional American tax levy. But there’s no information from local government, and when approached, the consulate referred us to the IRS, and the IRS was impenetrable.

That’s why we started this initiative to help people from all over the world by providing proper information to avoid unnecessary panic, and offering help free of obligation and free of charge. If needed, we have a network of affordable professionals (accountants) who can help you with your tax obligations.

If you have more questions about closed US embassies, renunciation or the American tax obligation you can contact us at Americans Overseas.

Contact us for more information