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Old 11.10.2020, 12:42
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How many of you gave up your US citizenship since moving to CH!?

Just moved here from the UK (US citizen) - I always kept my US passport - a few forms to file every year (always did my own tax return with taxAct, even though they raised their fees to $50...) and now I probably have 2 to $300k of US tax credit.

Now I am in Geneva... I can't contribute to pillar 3 because of being a US citizen... My wife is a UK citizen so fortunately she takes care of all the investments and I've been gifting her every tax year whatever is the most amount you can give your spouse under uncle Sam's rules. Might have another kid so the plan was to give citizenship to the last one and then drop the US passport.
I've seen people really struggle in getting to the US - so I am really of two minds. I will eat up in my tax credit for the time being while I make up my mind and just sulk about not being able to contribute to pillar 3.

What went through your mind and what was your reasoning to say good bye USA? It's not a decision to take lightly as my understanding is that it basically shuts the door to you ever going back to the US.
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Old 11.10.2020, 12:57
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Re: How many of you gave up your US citizenship since moving to CH!?

Do you have another citizenship?
I donít have US citizenship so it doesnít concern me but Iím pretty sure you canít just give it up and make yourself stateless.
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Old 11.10.2020, 13:23
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Re: How many of you gave up your US citizenship since moving to CH!?

I have terrible knowledge about pensions and investments. But is there not an alternative to the 3rd pillar you can do? A private pension fund elsewhere etc?

I wouldnít give up a citizenship unless it was causing real major problems.
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Old 11.10.2020, 13:40
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Re: How many of you gave up your US citizenship since moving to CH!?

I canít because I donít have another yet. My husband was dual US Dutch, but the Dutch unceremoniously unDutched him when he wasnít paying attention. Long story. He doesnít want to reDutch.

Weíre both applying for Swiss next year, and weíll see when and if that happens. We really have no strong ties to the US, have no intention of living there and have no assets there. I am eligible for social security....but donít plan on accessing that for a couple of years - if ever - providing that there is any left.
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Old 11.10.2020, 13:50
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Re: How many of you gave up your US citizenship since moving to CH!?

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Do you have another citizenship?
I don’t have US citizenship so it doesn’t concern me but I’m pretty sure you can’t just give it up and make yourself stateless.
Ha - yes. Didn't think that was needed to clarify
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Old 11.10.2020, 13:54
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Re: How many of you gave up your US citizenship since moving to CH!?

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I have terrible knowledge about pensions and investments. But is there not an alternative to the 3rd pillar you can do? A private pension fund elsewhere etc?

I wouldn’t give up a citizenship unless it was causing real major problems.
The Pillar 3 account was a pretty 'meh' investment, so getting kicked out of OH's company plan because of our blue passports really was a non-event.

Pillar 3 provided no discernable tax benefit for us, and since we pay more tax to the US than we do to Switzerland that is where we focus tax efficiency strategies - which means investing in the US.

I prefer to invest on my own than in a plan where I have no control. Swiss pensions are certainly not something to give up my US citizenship for.

YMMV.

---

I have no plans to give up my US citizenship, as chances are we might return there after OH retires and the last mutt has left for Valhalla.

Despite 20+ years here I don't have too many strong ties to Switzerland, while ( the current dumpster fire notwithstanding) my heart is still with family and friends back home. The fact that I still refer to the US as home says it all, really.
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Old 11.10.2020, 14:31
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Re: How many of you gave up your US citizenship since moving to CH!?

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Just moved here from the UK (US citizen) - I always kept my US passport - a few forms to file every year (always did my own tax return with taxAct, even though they raised their fees to $50...) and now I probably have 2 to $300k of US tax credit.

Now I am in Geneva... I can't contribute to pillar 3 because of being a US citizen... My wife is a UK citizen so fortunately she takes care of all the investments and I've been gifting her every tax year whatever is the most amount you can give your spouse under uncle Sam's rules. Might have another kid so the plan was to give citizenship to the last one and then drop the US passport.
I've seen people really struggle in getting to the US - so I am really of two minds. I will eat up in my tax credit for the time being while I make up my mind and just sulk about not being able to contribute to pillar 3.

What went through your mind and what was your reasoning to say good bye USA? It's not a decision to take lightly as my understanding is that it basically shuts the door to you ever going back to the US.
Got rid of my in March 2013 and never regretted it. Finding out that I was supposed to be filing in US tax returns over 40 years after I'd left the country was just ridiculous to me and the fact that my husband's income would come into it was even worse since I don't earn anything myself.

My reasoning, when all this made me think about it, was that I was no longer an American. Which was a bit of a shock because I'd always considered myself an American first, British second. But when I looked closely I realised that my view of the world, viewpoints in general, opinions, etc, are more British/European based than American. And since I rarely travel there and had no intentions of ever moving back in the end it was a simple choice to give it up. Yes, I was a little sad when I left the embassy after renouncing, but only a little. That part of my life was long past.

And no, it doesn't stop you from either visiting the US again or even moving back if you want to. For tourism you simply need to fill out an ESTA form and as for moving back, you come under the same rules as any other non-US citizen. There have been attempts by some people in Congress to block people who've given up their US citizenship from returning, but so far they've been unsuccessful.
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Old 11.10.2020, 15:00
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Re: How many of you gave up your US citizenship since moving to CH!?

Never had any problem doing a 3a. Just with UBS making me give up my fund account. weirdly CS has let me keep my 3a fund. Generali too.
But keep in mind, as US citizen, investment in 3a is not US tax deductible.
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Old 11.10.2020, 16:04
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Re: How many of you gave up your US citizenship since moving to CH!?

I still have it, and have no plans to give it up due to the strong ties I have. I know I have the right to hop on the very next flight and go home if I must, Covid or not. It might take 3 stops and 5 airports, but I'll get there. I am fortunate to have Swiss citizenship as well, so I can always make it back to this home too. That flexibility is critical to me, tax nonsense is secondary. But that's me, and I realize how fortunate I am.

I fully understand that others have zero ties any more and if they want to renounce that's their choice. When I was at the embassy last year getting something notarized, 4 people renounced in the short time I was there.

There was an EF member recently who ran into a dilemma. That person gave up citizenship years ago and there was never any problem traveling back and forth to see family - until Covid. Now a parent is ill and the person wanted to get back to see the parent. Except as a non-U.S.citizen presently in Shengen, under current Covid rules the person is not allowed to travel to the USA, not even with quarantine upon arrival. Maybe there's a compassionate visa thing, I don't know.

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Got rid of my in March 2013 and never regretted it. Finding out that I was supposed to be filing in US tax returns over 40 years after I'd left the country was just ridiculous to me and the fact that my husband's income would come into it was even worse since I don't earn anything myself.
Your husband's income should not have come into it for taxes unless he was A) a U.S. citizen, B) a green card holder, or C) a resident of the USA. My husband is none of these and his income is not part of my taxes in any way.

However if you have shared accounts then of course those accounts that exceed 10K USD have to be reported on the FBAR. In our case, we have no shared accounts so again his money is completely out of it.
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Old 11.10.2020, 16:47
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Re: How many of you gave up your US citizenship since moving to CH!?

US citizens certainly can have 3P accounts.

It was not a factor in my decision to dump mine 11 years ago.

I certainly have no regrets.

My daughters plan on doing the same.

Tom
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Old 11.10.2020, 18:17
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Re: How many of you gave up your US citizenship since moving to CH!?

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US citizens certainly can have 3P accounts.

It was not a factor in my decision to dump mine 11 years ago.

I certainly have no regrets.

My daughters plan on doing the same.

Tom
My understanding regarding Pillar 3 accounts held by US citizens is that it can be a nightmare from a tax perspective as many 3rd Pillar investments qualify as PFICs (Passive Foreign Investment Company) and a separate form has to be filed with the IRS (and the tax rate on these investments can be steep). Just found a link with info on PFICs:

https://www.taxesforexpats.com/guide...pany-8621.html
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Old 11.10.2020, 19:16
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Re: How many of you gave up your US citizenship since moving to CH!?

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My understanding regarding Pillar 3 accounts held by US citizens is that it can be a nightmare from a tax perspective as many 3rd Pillar investments qualify as PFICs (Passive Foreign Investment Company) and a separate form has to be filed with the IRS (and the tax rate on these investments can be steep). Just found a link with info on PFICs:

https://www.taxesforexpats.com/guide...pany-8621.html
That's essentally it - I had *some* advice from a tax guy. Essentially he said as a US citizen don't bother with the 3rd pillar due to taxes - no advantages, just hassle.
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Old 11.10.2020, 20:20
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Re: How many of you gave up your US citizenship since moving to CH!?

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That's essentally it - I had *some* advice from a tax guy. Essentially he said as a US citizen don't bother with the 3rd pillar due to taxes - no advantages, just hassle.
My accountant said the same
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Old 11.10.2020, 20:53
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Re: How many of you gave up your US citizenship since moving to CH!?

The reason given for kicking Americans out of OH's company's 3A plan was that the fund wanted/needed the freedom to invest without concerns about stocks US citizens are not allowed to hold.
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Old 11.10.2020, 21:39
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Re: How many of you gave up your US citizenship since moving to CH!?

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The reason given for kicking Americans out of OH's company's 3A plan was that the fund wanted/needed the freedom to invest without concerns about stocks US citizens are not allowed to hold.
But is does not suit US citizens to invest in Third pillar funds which qualify as PFICs either... They are penalized tax wise.
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Old 11.10.2020, 22:11
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Re: How many of you gave up your US citizenship since moving to CH!?

The problem is that you never know how things will turn out. A good friend of mine gave up his US citizenship after 30 years in Ireland on the basis that his whole family were in Ireland. Within two years, his wife died and his two kids moved to the US, leaving him with only a sister-in-law in Ireland.

After the birth of his first grandchild he returned to the US as a retired Irish citizen, with the Irish government picking up the tab for his private healthcare.
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Old 11.10.2020, 22:25
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Re: How many of you gave up your US citizenship since moving to CH!?

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The problem is that you never know how things will turn out. A good friend of mine gave up his US citizenship after 30 years in Ireland on the basis that his whole family were in Ireland. Within two years, his wife died and his two kids moved to the US, leaving him with only a sister-in-law in Ireland.

After the birth of his first grandchild he returned to the US as a retired Irish citizen, with the Irish government picking up the tab for his private healthcare.
How do retired Irish citizens get into the US?
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Old 16.10.2020, 19:33
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Re: How many of you gave up your US citizenship since moving to CH!?

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How do retired Irish citizens get into the US?
Most come by boat to Boston.
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Old 16.10.2020, 19:52
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Re: How many of you gave up your US citizenship since moving to CH!?

I'm about to face this decision. I should have a Swiss passport in my hand by the end of the year. This will make me a US/CH passport holder.

But I am considering dropping the US passport. My husband is CA/UK/CH, so we have a choice of "better" places to live. I have no intentions of moving back to the US. I do have some family there, but they are scattered and we aren't that close. Friends are all on the west coast and easy enough to visit.

I suppose I could also let the US passport sit in a drawer for a while... there is no hurry to make this decision.
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Old 16.10.2020, 19:56
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Re: How many of you gave up your US citizenship since moving to CH!?

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I'm about to face this decision. I should have a Swiss passport in my hand by the end of the year. This will make me a US/CH passport holder.

But I am considering dropping the US passport. My husband is CA/UK/CH, so we have a choice of "better" places to live. I have no intentions of moving back to the US. I do have some family there, but they are scattered and we aren't that close. Friends are all on the west coast and easy enough to visit.

I suppose I could also let the US passport sit in a drawer for a while... there is no hurry to make this decision.
I think it's fine to sit on it a while, unless you feel like the FATCA burden is too high. Maybe start thinking seriously when it's about to expire?

Now that I have both citizenships, the only time I use the U.S. passport is to go there. Otherwise I use the Swiss passport. Even when we went to Canada I entered as a Swiss.
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