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  1. Your story is incredibly common. And unfortunately you are collateral damage in the US government’s war on tax evasion–real or imagined.

    There is no cheap or easy way out for you. If you want to avoid calamity — your retirement plans are at risk especially — you will need to spend a few years fixing the tax problems. Get a social security number (months of delay). Then file years and years of old tax returns. Then plan for renunciation.

    In the meantime of course you face enormous practical problems at home in France. You are experiencing the beginning of those problems now. See the Swiss experience for what is likely to come.

  2. Hi Phil,

    I’m discovering the joys and fears of the unlucky american, born in the US because parents happened to be there at the time. Returned home 3 months later and lived in France all my life. ButI kept my US passport just to be able to go to the US for the occasional business trip (had I known …!!). All this means that I paid my taxes in France, where I live, work and have my assets. Nothing in the US, plus my income has always been below the minimum requiring tax payment. I don’t have a SS number, a TIN number or whatever else and lived happily until now.
    My french bank tells me they need to comply with FATCA regulations and asks me to fill in loads of paperwork. It’s pretty scary, and, since I’m close to retirement and don’t plan to ever go to the US, I decided to renounce my US citizenship. However, I don’t know what that will do for US taxes ? My bank wants proof of renouncement before December 15, else they may block my accounts !
    I must admit I’m lost, and would appreciate some advice. I can’t afford to pay international tax layers or such…..
    Best regards

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Tax laws change over time, and the information in this post above may be less accurate today than it was at the time of the last revision. This post is not tax advice for your specific situation. Please contact an international tax professional to get personalized advice for your situation.