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Old 13.10.2014, 20:43
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I am becoming paranoid [US tax options for US/FR dual citizen living in CH]

Well, not I, of course, but my good friend Henry surely is...

Dear forum,
I shall not disclose any personal information here, and will refer to a virtual friend Henry for the sole purpose of jamming any possible track leading to me. Please refer to Henry. Thank you.

Well, Henry might be screwed: he just learned that, because he was born in the USA a long time ago, he had to pay taxes solely based on this fact.
At first it didn't make any sense to Henry, cause he's a rational guy, but the world is sometimes weird, and not so rational.
Henry spent his whole life in France, did very, very loooong studies, and finally moved to sweet Switzerland a couple of days from now. He wanted to open an account, to get some money from the people he works for, but he was asked a tremendous of papers from the 'Eye-Ahress' in order to proceed.
Then he started searching the internets for some advice, and for two days now, Henry sleeps quite bad and has nightmares about having to pay up to his last dime to an unspeakable octopus living on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.

So here is his situation:
Born in the USA
Dual citizenship France/USA
Has a USA passport, a french passport
Has a USA SSN and drivers licence
Never worked in the USA, never filed for the Eye-Ahress, never have been contacted by this otherwordly entity
Visited the USA twice in his whole life
Moved to Switzerland, and seems screwed

What should he do? Is he doomed? Are the shadows a fine place to be, the land of the brave being for him and his kind forever forsaken?
Should he renounce, even for the now hefty price of 2350 bucks?

Please help this poor Henry chap, cause he can't find no sleep...

Henry's good friend
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Old 13.10.2014, 20:45
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Re: I am becoming paranoid

Welcome to the forum.
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Old 13.10.2014, 20:46
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Re: I am becoming paranoid

Nice try whoever you already are on this forum but still an EPIC F.A.I.L !
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Old 13.10.2014, 20:58
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Re: I am becoming paranoid

Dear all,
thank you for your warm welcomings. It seems that I didn't make myself clear, which was intentional for humor/light hearted approach to a really 'important' subject (at least to me).
I never participated in an expat forum, nor do I know what sort of failure lies in my initial post, because, well, I became acquainted with this problem only very recently.
If the attempt of ximix was sarcasm, please explain me why. Check the IPs, see if I already participated, etc... It seems that I'm not the only one having this kind of epiphany regarding taxpayer liability, but I just wanted to know what could be the less worse option regarding my specifics.

I'll be honest, I have a lot to learn about you folks, and basically have nothing to give in return, apart maybe some advice in material physics or. basic watchmaking.
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Old 13.10.2014, 21:07
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Re: I am becoming paranoid

Option 1: Do US tax filings for the last 5 years using the Streamlined program then renounce at the embassy, file 8854 in a year's time and be done with the US.

Option 2: Renounce at the embassy, do US tax filings for the last 5 years using the Streamlined program, file 8854 in a year's time and be done with the US.

That's assuming you want to lose the US citizenship of course.

Otherwise, file 3 years of back taxes under the Streamlined program to bring yourself into US tax compliance and then continue to file for the rest of your life.

Welcome to the forum and the now crazy world of Americans abroad.
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Old 13.10.2014, 21:09
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Re: I am becoming paranoid

1. Don't worry too much
2. Seek professional advice
3. Congrats on getting your SSN and driver's license during your two visits to the USA
4. Renouncing may not be possible unless you're in good standing
5. Tell more about the nationality of your parents and how you got US nationality
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Old 13.10.2014, 21:17
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Re: I am becoming paranoid

Read the end of this thread where this issue was just discussed for another poster.
US State Dept hiking renunciation fees to $2,350
And search the EF, there have been several discussions of this.
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Old 13.10.2014, 21:24
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Re: I am becoming paranoid

Okay @FatCat, my bad and welcome to the forum.
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Old 13.10.2014, 21:27
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Re: I am becoming paranoid

Thanks for the replies.
To Medea:
I don't like options 1 and 2, but will definetely consider them if number 3 appears to be too problematic.

To Sean
1. I'll try, but I really shat some bricks when I read that some US canadian told he was stripped down by the IRS. I suppose he had some money to lose to begin with, which is not really my case.
2. OK, but I most likely won't be able to pay for professionnal advice. I guess that amateur advice is not as reliable, but with this and #1 that should do it for the moment:
3. The licence was really fast in Texas. Getting the SSN appeared to be painful and long. I stayed a couple months each time, with the intention of finding a job there. However life and love do basically ignore intentions.
4. What is good standing ?
5. Mom's french, Dad's vietnamese boat person with granted US citizenship, I was born in the US. Asked for a US passport in 2010 and got it very easily. It is possible that I should have broken my leg instead, but I have to live with the consequences of being a true wannabe american.
I find it amusing that absolutely nobody told me of the IRS by the time...
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Old 13.10.2014, 21:33
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Re: I am becoming paranoid

You appear to be hosed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourtee...s_Constitution

Hopefully you've not been earning for very long....that'll make it easier. If that's true, you may be able to do some of the filing yourself.....how old are you? Sorry, how old is Henry?
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Old 13.10.2014, 21:33
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Re: I am becoming paranoid

Really sorry to have to make another message.
To Runningdeer: since a couple days I have carefully read the other topics, and am an avid lurker when it comes to the renounciation subject. I don't like the idea of renouncing, but I'm so, so crippled with it.
It also seem that my case it a bit more dangerous since I ASKED for it, but I don't know how much dangerous it is...
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Old 13.10.2014, 21:34
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Re: I am becoming paranoid

Paying taxes to the USA is a small price to pay for being a citizen of the best country in the world!
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Old 13.10.2014, 21:41
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Re: I am becoming paranoid

Dear Sean,

By hosed, you mean something like doomed, right?
Henry is thirty three, with the very most of his lifetime studying (and very low incomes, 1200 euro/month), and travelling (with negative income). He is absolutely not against working and making money, by the way.
He can prove all the travels and the non-working period, and he kept every paltry salary file his lab gave him for his Ph.D.
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Old 13.10.2014, 21:44
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Re: I am becoming paranoid

Henry needs to embark on the instructions laid out in post #5, I'd say. Do the basics and manage the situation.....
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Old 13.10.2014, 21:46
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Re: I am becoming paranoid

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Paying taxes to the USA is a small price to pay for being a citizen of the best country in the world!
Oh gag post Soviet propaganda at its best.
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Old 13.10.2014, 21:46
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Re: I am becoming paranoid

You, sorry Henry, has to file… which apparently is a pain in the arse. You will also have a nightmare with banks. However, you only have to pay tax if earning over around $95K and only on what you earn above that.

http://www.expatinfodesk.com/expat-g...tax-liability/
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Old 13.10.2014, 21:50
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Re: I am becoming paranoid

Quote:
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Paying taxes to the USA is a small price to pay for being a citizen of the best country in the world!
Quote:
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Oh gag post Soviet propaganda at its best.
As he is a Brit… this can only be sarcasm
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Old 13.10.2014, 21:53
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Re: I am becoming paranoid

Ninety five thousand dollars???
How could poor Henry even dream of this sum?
Oh wait, that equates to slightly more than ninety five thousand swiss francs, which Henry will most likely never reach.

As a watchmaker, Henry is used to filing brass, and now all he has to do is filing forms? Looks like an easy job
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Old 13.10.2014, 22:19
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Re: I am becoming paranoid

It won't be when you find your Swiss pension being taxed by the US as income. Not to mention all the other things they'll dream up to squeeze more money out of you before you even reach that age.

Easy form filing? Have a look around the IRS website and find out what you need to file and then see if your answer is the same. Form 1040NR iirc to start with and then go on from there. Oh and don't forget the new electronic FBAR form for your "foreign" Swiss account/s. If the aggregate figure hits $10,000 or more at any point in the year the account/s have to be reported on a FBAR. If you've left any in France they'll need to be reported too.
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Old 13.10.2014, 22:27
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Re: I am becoming paranoid

Renounce. Obviously.

You'll earn more than the threshold at some point in your career but the tax bands, rates and cost to renounce may well change at some point. The advantages of your USA citizenship are zero and your liabilities are potentially massive but worse, are unknown.
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