If You Don’t Like It Here Just Leave…But You’ll Have to Pay $2350

Former Americans who have renounced their citizenship have launched a class-action lawsuit suing the U.S. government for what they argue are exorbitant and unconstitutional costs of relinquishing their passports.  Since 2014, Americans abroad who no longer wish to remain citizens, or who can no longer afford to meet the notoriously onerous US tax demands, have been forced to pay a renunciation fee of $2,350.  The fee, the lawsuit claims, is “arbitrary, capricious and illegal because, among other things, it was used to fund governmental functions completely unrelated to renunciation services in violation of federal law”.  The U.S. burdens its citizens abroad with some of the most punishing requirements of any country in the world. It shares with Eritrea the unique distinction of demanding that all its citizens, no matter where they live, file annual returns to the tax authorities.

The case is JENKE et al v. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, case number 1:23-cv-02950, filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.  You can access the docket on Westlaw or Pacer.