Expertise   /   Expatriation




U.S. citizens and permanent residents pay income tax on their worldwide income.  If sufficiently wealthy, their worldwide assets are taxed when they die.  This is true no matter where they live. Every year, more and more people are relinquishing their U.S. citizenship or giving up their green card (permanent resident) visa status.

This means that they are leaving the U.S. tax net. As they leave, the United States seeks its last chance to impose tax. This is called the “exit tax.” Section 877A of the Internal Revenue Code.

If you are rich enough (as defined by the U.S. government) or your tax paperwork is not in order, the Internal Revenue Service pretends that you sold everything you own on the day before you relinquished your citizenship.  After applying an exemption amount ($651,000 in 2012) you pay tax on the “pretend” sale. The Internal Revenue Service pretends that you received all of your IRA balances on the day before you relinquished your citizenship.  That’s all taxable income to you.

There are a number of other special tax rules that may create an enormous tax liability to the United States, just because you gave up your U.S. citizenship or green card visa. Even if you are not rich (again, “not rich” is defined by the U.S. government, not by you), you will still face a mountain of tax paperwork that needs to be filed correctly and on time.

We know these tax rules, perhaps better than anyone else, because we counsel so many people throughout this process.  Let us help you – from your initial questions when you first consider this action, through the tax planning before you relinquish citizenship, and filing the tax returns afterwards.

Recent Articles on Expatriation

March 13, 2018

The New Tax Law and Expatriation: New Reasons to Renounce

Our trusted servants in Washington DC blessed us with a new tax law, effective December 22, 2017. The new law–the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 20171  –did not change the expatriation tax rules, but it…continue reading

February 27, 2018

Tax Liabilities and Your Form 8854 Balance Sheet

Net Worth Test and Covered Expatriate Status We help many, many people with their expatriation, and the number 2 problem we fix is net worth. Bad tax things happen if a person is a covered…continue reading

February 13, 2018

Strategic Reasons to become a US Tax Resident Again

Sometimes people who expatriate become U.S. taxpayers again. This might happen because life intervenes (family or job reasons make a return to the United States necessary or desirable). Or, becoming a U.S. taxpayer again might…continue reading

January 30, 2018

The Consequences of Filing Form 8854 Late

Form 8854, I like to say, is how you log out of the U.S. tax system when you give up U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status. Let’s look at the procedural aspects of this mandatory…continue reading

January 16, 2018

Why (Some) Expatriates Cannot Own Guns

I want to give you a slight detour from tax law to see a little-known Federal law that applies to U.S. citizens who renounce their nationality. The topic is guns–former U.S. citizens cannot (legally) own…continue reading

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