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  1. I think the “apply for renewal” is the riskiest strategy.

    He has lived outside the USA since 2006. My guess is that the USCIS people will deny a renewal because of this. Not getting a new green card is not the end of the world for tax purposes. But when he applies for renewal (and is probably rejected) this puts him on the radar screen for the USCIS to affirmatively revoke his permanent resident status. And THAT will trigger the exit tax.

    You do not want him to have an exit tax event until you have everything under control. This is not legal advice, etc. and go hire someone. But it seems to me that the strategy is (1) clean up 5 years of tax returns in the USA, (2) then abandon the green card by filing Form I-407 when the time is right, and (3) above all do not travel to the USA until this has been completed.

    (If he travels to the USA and his green card is expired and he has been out of the United States for a long time, this might trigger the beginning of a USCIS attempt at revoking his permanent resident status).


  2. Hello Phil,

    I have a client (LPR) who moved back to Sweden with his US Citizen wife in 2006. The LPR and wife were not aware of having to file returns while they were in Sweden. Now, the U.S. citizen and LPR are wanting to become compliant under the streamlined offshore procedures. LPR has had a greencard from 2002-August 2015. To avoid the exit tax, clients will file returns claiming foreign tax credits which will suffice to have no tax due. Because he’s LPR card will expire this year, he will need to either renew his card, abandon, or apply for renewal. I know an expired greencard still means you a LPR and are still subject to U.S. Tax. If he abandons his LPR, he will subject to the Exit Tax. If he renews and is denied his LPR card, does that make him subject to the exit tax?

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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.