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  1. Hi, I renounced in early December 2014 and am now submitting what I thought was a final package of 1040, 5471 (own a small biz), 2555 and 8854. While reading the 8854 instructions, I found the note saying that there is an obligation to report taxes until the 8854 has been filed (even though I’m not a citizen!!). So – does this imply that I must a) do all of these forms forms from the date of renounciation to Dec 31 and b) do it all again for Jan 1 until the postmarked date on the sent 8854?

    If B is true, and given that for my 2014 taxes, I just did the full year (up to Dec 31), would it make sense that I only do b (and not a involving doing all the forms for the 3 weeks between renounciation and end-of-year?

    Many thanks!

  2. Hello Kuan Yin, I think the best thing I can tell you is file an extension request and hire a professional.

  3. A friend is typing and submitting this here for me.

    I appeared at a US consulate and applied for a CLN in 2014. Though it has been a while, I have not heard yet about the status of my CLN application. I have resided outside the US for many years and due to insufficient/no income (utterly indigent) have not been required to file tax returns. So now, no later than 15 June, 2015 (3 days from now), I understand I must file 8854 but not 1040 or 1940NR due to the same lack of income.
    The top of page 1 of form 8854 (2014 version) states:
    “For calendar year 2014 or other tax year beginning ______, 2014, and ending ________, 20__”

    Q1. Should I just not fill in the blanks or WHAT DATES should I enter in these blanks ???
    Page 1 of the 10 pages of IRS instructions for 8854 say: “For purposes of filling out Part I, the date of your expatriation is the LATER of the date you notified the relevant agency of your expatriating act or the date Form 8854 was first filed in accordance with these instructions.”

    But the version of form 8854 that I got from the IRS website a couple days ago is for 2014. There is no option on the form that includes any date in 2015 and I am filing form 8854 now, in June 2105.

    Q2. Is there a 2015 version of this form somewhere ???

    The latest date option is January 1, 2014 – December 31, 2014 – which is directed to complete Parts IV and V of the form.

    Q3. Do I chose this option IF the 2014 version of the form is the latest, which it probably is ???
    I would sincerely appreciate answers to these 3 QUESTIONS ASAP as time is very short.

  4. @Nico,

    Some quick answers:

    (i) Yes you will file a 2015 Form 1040NR (with an attached “statement” Form 1040) and Form 8854 attached. This is more than semi-complicated. My sympathies. This is a “dual status” tax return. See Chapter 6 of IRS Publication 519.

    (ii) Should you amend the 2014 tax return just to change your address? Hmm. I do not have enough information to give you an answer, but my sense is that you are probably going to be OK. Your 2015 tax return will tell the IRS of your new address, and if that is the only thing you need to do, take a look at Form 8822.

    (iii) Your income tax liability for the previous five years (2010-2014) is from the U.S. tax returns you filed.

    Good luck.


  5. HI! I finally reach to God help me!

    I left US in Sep in 2014. I had lived in US with GC 10 1/2 yrs, and I filed Tax Returned all years.
    I filed 2014 Tax return with USA address-not where I live out of USA.
    I finally found there is the termination process of LTR out of State and I am returning my GC to embassy this month.
    There has not been any income since I left US last year. My net balance in bank was approx $60,000.

    Now I m preparing #8854.
    My questions are,,,
    (i)Do I file 8854 with 2015 tax return with 1040NR?-not right after I file abandon my Greencard?
    (ii)Should I send amendment of 2014 tax return to Federal&State by changing my address to where I live-out of USA? If I do not send amendmnet, am I going to be in trouble when I send them 8854?
    (iii) What is going to be entered to #8854/Part IV/Section A/ ” US income tax liability ” for the 5 tax years ,,,? Where can I get this information? in W2 form? or past taxreturn form? I still keep all of my record in past, so please advise me what number to enter for those,,,
    (iV)I withdrawed 401K before leaving US, so I had appprox $60,000 ( some was wiretransfered to bank in my contry and some were in US bank), so Do I enter this amount to Part V/Schedule A/#1 ? In this case, is the amount could be approx amont or exact amount with bank statement?

    I really need your help,, I could not find no one knows how to enter 8854 in my contry,,
    Thanks in advance!!!!!

  6. @Judith,

    If you do not have a filing requirement for a tax return (meaning the income level is below the threshold AND there is no other weird thing that triggers a filing requirement), then you need not bother.

    However, I suggest you bother. I call this the “put the pacifier in the baby’s mouth to stop the screaming” theory of income tax filing. The IRS is not going to know you are gone until you ring a bell. Nothing rings a bell like that final tax return. Otherwise you are going to be at risk of the IRS waking up and saying “Where have you been and we want paperwork and a LOT OF MONEY from you, Judith!”

    This happened yesterday to me. A person gave up a green card in 1996, left the USA permanently, and started filing Form 1040NR as appropriate. Always did things right.

    Now the IRS is saying “We can’t find where you gave up your gave up your green card, therefore you are a tax resident, therefore you are 20 years delinquent in your tax filings, therefore (bad things).”

    A bureaucracy — the IRS or indeed any bureaucracy, anywhere on the planet — is a machine run amok. Never, ever make assumptions about the bureaucracy EVER operating correctly. Never, ever make assumptions about the bureaucracy behaving benignly toward you.

    Protect yourself. File the tax return even if you do not think you have to.

  7. I renounced June 2014. I’ve just submitted my FBARS for that period Jan – Jun 2014. So that’s done. I now am completing 8854. I only have bank interest which is very little
    and I live on Oap, CPP (Canadian) being that I’m retired and 67. For an entire year my income in Cdn. dollars is around $10,000 which is made up from the above listed.

    1.Since I make below $10,000 U.S. do I have to file a 1040 or 1040NR and which one with my 8854? It’s been suggested that I don’t need to.

    2. Should I explain this on the 8854 why I don’t need to file a 1040?

    3. Line 9 Gross income from all sources – do I just list my bank interest as the OAP and CPP are not counted? This would amount to under $500.


  8. Oh, Janet. I’m so sorry. This is a situation where you are trying to chase a piece of paper that disappeared deep into the bowels of the Internal Revenue Service. (And I use that figure of speech in a literal sense. Heh.)

    You must be exceedingly careful when you work with them. Here’s the outcome you do NOT want: they somehow get a copy of your Form 8854 now and say “Oh, thanks Janet, this confirms that you filed your Form 8854 in 2015, and now you are a covered expatriate, LOL”.

    You need to somehow find a human to work with to solve this problem.

    Then, every time you give them your Form 8854, you should write something in RED LETTERS WITH A GIANT SHARPIE SO IT IS COMPLETELY UNMISTAKEABLE TO ANYONE (like the IRS) (and I am doing the all caps thing to show you what “blindingly obvious” looks like) (and I am telling you RED quite deliberately).

    At the top of your Form 8854 you write these words: COPY – DO NOT FILE.

    Me personally, I would write that on every page of the Form 8854.

    Now you can send the IRS a copy and say “I expatriated in 2010 (here’s proof) and submitted this Form 8854 in 2011 (with proof of mailing, etc. if you have it), here’s a copy (festooned with red sharpie markings all over it, so don’t treat this as filed in 2015 when you get this thing in 2015 because I filed it in 2011.” Expect months of delay and correspondence. Good luck, and have an occasional cocktail, because you might want need it. 🙂

    Eventually you will get resolution of your problem.

  9. Hi Phil,

    I relinquished US permanent residence status in July of 2010. The accountant who completed the 2010 an 2011 taxes for me included the 8854 with the 1040 and 1040NR . I have copies of those forms. The problem is that the IRS says it does not have my 8854 but there are no problems with 2009, 2010 or 2011 files. Questions:

    What do I do now?
    Do I re-send the 2010 8854 or do it now with a current 1040 and 1040NR?

    Thanks for you help!!

  10. Phil – below is my understanding (after hours and hours of search) of what needs to be done post expatriation:

    Dual Status Return

    You will need to file a dual status tax return for the year during which you expatriate. A dual status tax return consists of a Form 1040NR (for the portion of the year beginning with your expatriation date), with a Form 1040 (for the portion of the year preceding your expatriation date) attached as a schedule. See Publication 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens, for more information about dual status returns. You will need to report the tax that is due under the mark-to-market regime on the Form 1040, even if you elect to defer payment of that tax

    Initial Form 8854

    In every case, you will need to file Form 8854 with your dual status return to certify that you have been in compliance with all federal tax laws during the 5 years preceding the year during which you expatriate. The initial Form 8854 is also used for certain other purposes such as waiving treaty benefits for eligible deferred compensation items. See the Instructions for Form 8854 for further information.

    Annual Forms 8854

    If you are a covered expatriate and you elect to defer payment of the tax that is due under the mark-to-market regime, you must file Form 8854 for each year up to and including the year in which the full amount of the deferred tax and interest is paid. You also may need to file annual Forms 8854 in certain other
    circumstances. See the Instructions for Form 8854 for further information.

    Form W-8CE.

    If you are a covered expatriate and you have a deferred compensation item, a specified tax deferred account, or an interest in a nongrantor trust, you will need to file Form W-8CE with the payor of the income within 30 days of your expatriation date.

  11. Answered in this week’s Expatriation Only email blast, and if it isn’t already the answer will be posted as a blog post. Thanks for the question.

  12. Hi Phil,
    I just read Nick’s and your reply to his comments and I don’t know if it is because I have read to many of these forums and my brain is fuzzy but it is not clear to me what needs to be done.
    I am going for my interview to renounce on Feb 13/15. I don’t have any US income and I am not a “cover expatriate”. I have my 5 previous tax returns and FBAR’s filed. I will have to file another tax return for 2014 within the next 2 months. Do I file my 8854 with this return and then I am finished with the US? Or what else do I have to do? What is a 1040NR? Do I need to file 2 tax returns for 2015 too? ( Jan 1/15 – Feb 13/15 and then Feb 14/15 – Dec 31/15?
    I will sure be glad when I am done with all this!



  13. Despite being a DIY person, I will still be saying farewell to $2,450 on February 10th…
    Courtesy of the IRS’ 500% hike in “expatriation fees” instated a few months ago.

    Thanks again for your selfless help (selflessness…there is a concept the US has forgone a long time ago!)


  14. That’s the correct picture. 🙂 By the way we will be doing another one of our “expatriation for no covered expatriates” webinars in March and I will do a covered expatriates webinar in May. These may be helpful for you to understand things id you are a DIY person. If not, image sessions will help you be a savvy consumer when you buy “done for you” services.

  15. Thank you Phil for your answer.

    As I won’t have any US earned income, form 1040NR is just going to be a lot of zeros…

    So just to confirm, I will need to file:
    (1) Form 1040NR for the period 11 February – 31 December 2015
    (2) Form 1040 for the period 1 January – 10 February 2015 (filed jointly with form 1040NR)
    (3) Form 8854 (filed jointly with form 1040NR)

    What a mess! Thanks again for your input.


  16. You file Form 1040NR usually. You look at your tax status on Dec 31 2015. If you are a noncitizen of the USA and a nonresident as well, then you file a Form 1040NR with a bunch of crap (frankly) bolted onto it, caused partly by your expatriation and partly by the way the tax laws are written.

  17. Hi Phil,

    Thank you for this – it certainly is pretty confusing.

    I am set to take my oath of renunciation on February 10th 2015 (o happy day).
    I gather from your e-mail that I will have to wait until the beginning of 2016 to file:
    (1) File 1040 covering 1 January 2015 to 10 February 2015
    (2) Form 8854

    I have seen other websites / forums mention I might need to file a form 1040NR as well but that doesn’t really make sense to me. Do you have any insight on this?

    Many thanks for your help. Much appreciated!


  18. Thanks a lot Phil
    Yes I had my green card for 12 years, never missed a tax return and never went over below requirements:

    Extracted from ” Instructions for Form 8854″

    Who Must File
    If you expatriated after June 16, 2008,
    the expatriation rules apply to you if any
    of the following statements apply.
    1. Your average annual net income
    tax liability for the 5 tax years ending
    before the date of expatriation is more
    than the amount listed next.
    a. $139,000 for 2008.
    b. $145,000 for 2009.
    c. $145,000 for 2010.
    d. $147,000 for 2011.
    e. $151,000 for 2012.
    2. Your net worth was $2 million or
    more on the date of your expatriation.
    3. You fail to certify on Form 8854
    that you have complied with all federal
    tax obligations for the 5 tax years
    preceding the date of your expatriation.

    Basically I’m not a Covered expatriate.

    (You are a covered expatriate if at least one of the statements in paragraphs (1), (2), or (3),
    set out above (under Who Must File) applies.)

    Again thanks a lot, have a great day!

  19. I do not know the answer because I do not have enough information. 🙂

    The key piece of information that is needed is how long you held your green card. The requirement of filing Form 8854 is imposed when you had a green card for at least eight years.

    But it is not quite as simple as that. One of those 8 years could consist of a single day — if you receive your visa on December 31 of a year, this counts as one of the eight years.

    Then we have to look at elections under income tax treaties to be treated as a resident of another country. We’re these elections made?

    So it is not so simple, unfortunately. Politicians have complicated minds that produce complicated laws.

    As a general principle if you only had the green card issued to you a few years ago, you will be safe and will not file Form 8854.

    But you should look very carefully at the instructions for Form 8854 to see whether you must file. Get advice from someone if your conclusion is uncertain. My answer here is not good enough for you to rely on — I do not know the facts so I cannot give you advice. It is just like getting a medical diagnosis over the internet. You can learn a lot by reading but at some point you will want to visit a doctor. 🙂

  20. Hello
    I gave up my Long Term Residency (green card) in 2012, my last 5 years net worth are less than the ones listed in the 8854 form , should I still file form 8854 or not? Thanks in advance.

  21. The current withholding guidelines for social security payments; 85% of the payment is subject to 30% wht, hence net tax is 25.5%.

  22. Yes you will still receive Social Security. Tax will be withheld at 30% from the payment you receive.

  23. Do you know if it’s possible to relinquish citizenship and still get Social Security?

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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.