Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law

First Page



This Note examines both sides of the coin: the constitutional protections given the individual fighting to retain his citizenship will be compared with the burdens, particularly the tax consequences, imposed on individuals wanting to relinquish citizenship. Section II examines the classic constitutionally-based expatriation material. It discusses the legislative history of expatriation law, including the 1978 amendments to the INA, reviews the major expatriation case law, and concludes with an analysis of Vance v. Terrazas, the most recent Supreme Court pronouncement on the nature of the "voluntary" conduct required to constitute expatriation. Section III deals with the tax aspects of expatriation. In order to demonstrate the tension existing in this area prior to the 1966 enactment of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) provisions specifically addressing expatriation, section III examines the early judicial approach to attempted expatriation for tax avoidance reasons and the response of the Internal Revenue Service to that approach. A detailed analysis of the applicable income, estate, and gift tax provisions, including the legislative history, the fundamentals of each section, and relevant planning strategies, follows. Section IV employs an analysis of United States v. Matheson to address the impact of the tax consequences vis-a-vis the particular IRC provisions involving expatriation in juxtaposition to the constitutional safeguards examined in Section II.