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Old 23.04.2015, 09:15
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Post US-Citizen as of February - Keep filing IRS?

Hey guys!

In my case, at least, renouncing my US citizenship turned out to be a remarkably quick process. I called the embassy in Bern mid-December, got an appointment in early January. I spent about 30 minutes at the embassy, did what I had to do - and got my exit papers in late February. Done.

(For the record, though: $2,350 is serious money for me. My Swiss wife and I have two teenagers, and losing that money has repercussions - as a 42-year-old who has lived in the US for a grand total of 7 years, all before his 11th birthday, I consider it an act of extortion. Also for the record: I had my laptop with me when I arrived at the embassy. Since I couldn't bring it in and they would not store it in the security area, I had to jog back to the train station to store it in a locker there. Good thing I was an hour early ... )

Anyway. As of March, my primary goal is achieved: My future in Switzerland is secure. In particular, UBS will let me have an invested 3rd Pillar account again, and I can start planning for retirement. Should we ever find ourselves in a position to purchase or inherit property, we will be able to do that.

However: I don't have a clue what my status with the IRS is - and since I have family in the US, I'd like to be able to visit without maybe getting arrested at the airport. (BTW, pity I couldn't have used that $2,350 for a family trip to the US ... )

- Am I still supposed to file tax returns for 2014-15? After all, I was a citizen until January.
- Do I have to send in some kind of statement about my gigantic financial holdings - and if so, who the heck do I send it to?? (No, there's very, very little there. Nowhere near enough to get slapped with exit taxes. But that's never been the point.)
- Is there anything else I'm supposed to do but don't know about?


BTW, I asked the questions three times at the embassy, but they kindly pointed out that they did know anything about IRS stuff, and I would have to find out somewhere else, and no, they didn't know where to find out, either. I'd hate to think what it would cost to get expatriated by people who could actually tell you what's going on ...
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Old 23.04.2015, 09:41
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Re: Post US-Citizen as of February - Keep filing IRS?

You are supposed to do tax forms up until the renouncement date, though I did mine until the end of the year.

Also, there is the 8854 to fill out.

That's it.

Tom
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Old 23.04.2015, 10:12
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Re: Post US-Citizen as of February - Keep filing IRS?

To avoid becoming a "covered expatriate", which is undesirable, the IRS requires that you certify that you have properly filed tax returns for the past five years, meaning 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014, when renouncing. You can do this under the Streamlined Procedures for all five years. (2015 is a stub year and a tax filing will also need to be filed by next June 15, 2016 for 2015 up until the day before you renounced. You will also need to file Form 8854, as Tom mentioned).

Under the Streamlined Procedures, you will also need to file separately (electronically) six years of FBARs (FINCen 114). I am not clear whether 2015 can be one of these six years, but you will also need to file a stub-year FBAR for 2015.

http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Inter...-United-States

You may find that you owe taxes but penalties are waived under this program.

There are occasional reports of expatriations where the taxpayer simply does not file with the IRS and then becomes a "covered expatriate".

I wish you the best of luck in dealing with the IRS and US government monster.
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Old 25.04.2015, 20:20
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Re: Post US-Citizen as of February - Keep filing IRS?

I've seen a lot of discussion, much anguished, about this lately. The risk of being a "covered expatriate" -- and if you are, every American who sees you thereafter must make the sign of the cross with his/her fingers I am told -- is terrible. As in terrorism.

I went to a lecture given by a Canadian lawyer, John Richardson, in Canada -- if you have any questions I think he may be the guy. There are, he said, lots of traps for the unwary. http://citizenshipsolutions.ca

And, unless your children (I assume they are your biological children, which if you had qualifying residence in the USA makes them US citizens -- in that sense (from a Swiss standpoint) certain IVF children maybe have an advantage) expatriate at age 18, they may wind up having to pay estate (inheritance, really) tax on whatever they inherit, eventually, from you. Or gifts, etc.

Really nasty. Here's just one site I looked up so I could make this comment without looking really ignorant: http://hodgen.com/inheritance-dual-c...-expatriation/

The irony is that to reject allegiance to the USA is like treason. And you "must be punished". And your descendants unto the X generation. What a country. Permanent allegiance. It's a re-run of the War of 1812. The argument that we thought was settled between Jefferson and Hamilton.
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Old 25.04.2015, 21:24
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Re: Post US-Citizen as of February - Keep filing IRS?

Congratulations on becoming an ex. Me too in 2013.

As others have said to clear your tax filing obligations you'll to file 5 back years of tax returns - this is for the 8854 form that st2lemans linked to. For Streamlined you need 3 years and 6 years of FBAR forms filing, but it's prefectly okay to add the additional 2 years to make the 5 for the 8854 form.

You have until 15th June 2016 to file the 8854 so there's no rush for that which gives you time to sort out the Streamlined and get that in order. FBAR's are reports of your "foreign accounts", i.e. any outside of the US. If any account/s come to an aggregate figure of more than $10,000 at any point in the year then they have to be reported on a FBAR. These are filed electronically nowadays and are fairly simple to deal with - basically you need to give what the equivalent amount in US dollars was and details of the bank and account. You can find various sources for working out the old currency exchange rates here:

http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Inter...Exchange-Rates

What you need to ascertain first though is whether your parents got you a SSN (Social Security Number) when you were born. If they did then you'll be able to go ahead and do the necessary filing to avoid being a "covered expat" - something that will occur automatically if the 8854 form isn't filed whether you meet the other covered expat requirements or not. If they didn't then you'll need to get a ITIN number if you can. I believe you can attach an application for that to the 8854 form, but I'm not sure if you can do that with the ordinary returns or not and you will need to do those first. If you can't get an ITIN then it gets a lot harder as you will need to apply for a SSN and may have to go to an office in the US to get one. It can also take them a long time to issue you with one which would delay your filings.

You could also decide that this is all too much trouble and do nothing. That would make you a covered expatriate and while at present there is little danger attached to that status there is always the possibility that things will change in the future. Mr. Reed is still trying to get his Reed Amendment implemented which would bar covered expats from ever entering the US again. There is also a $10,000 penalty for not filing the 8854 which, if you ever returned to the States, could be imposed on you at the border - both the IRS and border control get details of CLN's. So if you want to continue to visit family in the US without having the worry of possibly being caught and penalised it's best to go through the hassle of doing the filing.

The ultimate decision is yours. Caryl's link to John Richardson's site is well worth a look, he has a lot of sensible down to earth advice. I also suggest you hop over to the Isaac Brock Society website as they also have many people there who have been in the same boat as you and me: www.isaacbrocksociety.ca.

And remember when you do travel to the US again take a copy of the CLN with you. A very few people have been stopped and questioned at the border despite having a CLN so don't be surprised if this should happen to you in the future. Be patience and courteous and eventually the border guards should get their fingers out and let you through.
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Old 26.04.2015, 12:55
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Re: Post US-Citizen as of February - Keep filing IRS?

How to work effectively with the IRS:



It is possible to file all of those required documents to become an "uncovered expatriate" but it is will take a lot of work. Be prepared.
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Old 25.05.2015, 21:10
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Re: Post US-Citizen as of February - Keep filing IRS?

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In my case, at least, renouncing my US citizenship turned out to be a remarkably quick process. I called the embassy in Bern mid-December, got an appointment in early January. I spent about 30 minutes at the embassy, did what I had to do - and got my exit papers in late February. Done.

Lucky you. I quit first working day of January and am still waiting for the papers. Of course they told me, it could take 6 to 8 months for them to arrive, so I am not really worried. But looking at your 6 to 8 weeks .....
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Old 25.05.2015, 21:29
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Re: Post US-Citizen as of February - Keep filing IRS?

A few questions to the more experiences "renouncers" in this forum. I currently am clear with the IRS filing requirements up until 2014, where as the 2014 tax return (filed in 2015) is my 5th year for the 8854 form.

As mentioned above, I quit early January 2015. So I would like to confirm, on which filings are now required. I found some Infos on different websites, but some are confusing and some are contradicting.

So in 2015 I need to file the full 1040 form and FBAR for tax year 2014.

In 2016 I will need to file the famous form 8854 and the FBAR's for 2015.


I also read, that I have to fill out the 1040 up until the renounciation date and 1040NR (Non Resident Alien Income Tax Return) for remaining year 2015.


Is the FBAR filing for the highest values during still being US citizen or for the full 2015? This I could not find anywhere with a clear answer, but found both periods given in answers.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 25.05.2015, 22:49
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Re: Post US-Citizen as of February - Keep filing IRS?

I didn't need to file the 1040/NR forms, but I only did the FBAR's up to my renunciation date, not for the whole year. You're not a citizen after that date so they don't need to know if your bank account was higher later.
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