Thank you for your question. The answer depends on the level of the
person's income. From what I can tell, if a person pays less in taxes
than $124,000 a year or have less than $2 million in the bank, as long
as the IRS' reporting requirements are followed one would be safe from
taxes starting for the first year that citizenship is not held.
IRS -- Expatriation Tax
If the renouncer has a high income, he will be assessed and possibly
still have to pay tax for up to 10 years after citizenship is
renounced. Anyone else will have to notify the Department of State or
Department of Homeland Security that they have renounced citizenship
or continue to be taxed.
"Amended IRC 877 eliminates the tax avoidance criteria for imposition
of the expatriation tax on certain types of income for 10 years
following expatriation, and creates objective criteria to impose the
tax on individuals with an average income tax liability of $124,000
for the 5 prior years or a net worth of $2,000,000 on the date of
expatriation. In addition, it requires individuals to certify to the
IRS that they have satisfied all federal tax requirements for the 5
years prior to expatriation and requires annual information reporting
for each taxable year during which an individual is subject to the
rules of IRC 877. Further, expatriated individuals will be subject to
U.S. tax on their worldwide income for any of the 10 years following
expatriation in which they are present in the U.S. for more than 30
days, or 60 days in the case of individuals working in the U.S. for an
unrelated employer. Finally, even if they do not meet the monetary
thresholds for imposition of the IRC 877 expatriation tax, the new law
provides that individuals will continue to be treated as U.S. citizens
or long-term residents for U.S. tax purposes until they have notified
the Secretary of the Department of State or of Homeland Security of
expatriation or termination of residency."
If a person has not paid his or her taxes promptly and accurately for
the past five years, he or she would still be subject to the same
rules that wealthy people are as listed above.
"If all federal tax requirements have not been satisfied for the 5
years prior to expatriation, even if the individual does not meet the
monetary thresholds in IRC 877, the individual will be subject to the
IRC 877 expatriation tax provisions."
If one does not fill out the form notifying the IRS of the situation,
one would be subject to a $10,000 fine.
"The Internal Revenue Service reminds practitioners that anyone who
has expatriated or terminated his U.S. residency status must file Form
8854, Initial and Annual Expatriation Information Statement (PDF).
Form 8854 must also be filed to comply with the annual information
reporting requirements of Internal Revenue Code section 6039G, if the
person is subject to tax under Section 877 of the Code. A $10,000
penalty may be imposed for failure to file Form 8854 when required."
renounce citizenship taxation
citizenship renounced tax purposes
If you need any additional clarification, let me know and I'll be glad
to assist you.
Clarification of Answer by
28 Oct 2006 07:06 PDT
Yes, the rule is that if you have a net worth of $2 million or more OR
pay more than $124,000 a year (adjusted for inflation) in taxes, you
are assumed to be moving for tax reasons and you still have to pay US
taxes for the next 10 years. Net worth includes everything that you
have, so even money in the bank that you never touch would count.
There is a loophole I found which could help you in these
US Transfer and Tax Rules
"Except as provided in 3. below, an expatriate will be subject to tax under
§ 877(b) for the 10-year period after expatriation if as of the date of
expatriation he had a net worth of at least $2,000,000 or an average net
income tax for the five years prior to the expatriation of more than
$124,000, or he fails to certify under penalties of perjury that he has met
all U.S. tax obligations for the 5 preceding taxable years or fails to submit
such evidence of compliance as the Treasury Secretary may require. The
$124,000 limit is subject to a cost of living adjustment for years after
As far as I can tell, this does include the estate tax (death tax):
"To the extent that an individual meets the criteria stated above,
(s)he will be deemed to have renounced citizenship or surrendered
his/her greencard for tax avoidance purposes.
In this case, US income (as well as estate and gift) taxes will be
imposed on broader categories of US source income and US situs assets.
This will continue for 10 years from the time of expatriation."
There is a possible loophole that you should definitely check out, but
whether a ruling would be in your favor or not, I don't know. If you
are going back to the country of your birth, you may be able to get
out of the taxation clause.
"The current rules do allow for certain individuals to apply for a
ruling to gain exemption from these regulations if it can be shown
1. The expatriation does not have as "one of its principal purposes"
the avoidance of US tax.
2. If the individual is expatriating to the country of his/her birth
(or that of his/her spouse or parents).
Note: Expatriation to the country of birth does not automatically
result in exemption from Sec. 877 rules. Rulings against the taxpayer
in such circumstances have occurred."
irc 877 estate tax
If you need any additional clarification, let me know and I'll be happy to help.