A group of 175 Israelis have been trying for the past three years, to cancel their American citizenship, but have thus far failed. Their primary reason for the move, is to avoid having to pay inheritance taxes that can amount to 40% of the estate. Americans are required to pay the tax no matter where they live and must file yearly tax reports to the U.S. tax authorities as well. Some among the 175, cite ideological reasons or Israeli patriotism.
The U.S. embassy in Jerusalem recently sent the people in the group a letter explaining the process to cancel their American citizenship. But the mail was sent with all 175 names in full view and some among them, considered it to be a violation of their privacy. They did however organize in a WhatsApp group to advance their cause.
They said they were willing to pay the required $2,350 but claim they have not received a response from the embassy. Some even tried to approach other U.S. missions abroad.
"Since the COVID pandemic, the embassy has not renewed all of the services, even after all restrictions were lifted," one of the American-Israelis said. "There was a brief time last March when services were available but since then, the staff is MIA and are unresponsive to our calls."
The embassy said the primary consideration of the State Department was the welfare and safety of U.S. citizens abroad and takes the responsibility to protect private information, seriously. In the response, the embassy referred the group to the consular section but agreed that the waiting time for appointments was long.