Relief Procedures for Certain Former US Citizen

Filing under Relief Procedures for Certain Former Citizens

In 2019 the IRS released a new Procedure for certain persons who have relinquished, or intend to relinquish, their US citizenship and wish to comply with their US income tax obligations. With the pandemic, and closures of Embassies and consulates worldwide, there hasn't been much opportunity to relinquish US citizenship. Still, as the world continues to open up, we expect we will begin o see a flurry of activity in this area.

The new Relief Procedures for Former Citizens is designed to support former US citizens to come back into compliance with their US tax filing obligations.

To use the Procedure, taxpayers must meet the following criteria:

  1. Their failure to file tax returns was non-willful.
  2. They did not previously have a US citizen or resident filing history.
  3. They had an average annual net income tax liability after credits for the five years ending before the year of expatriation below a certain annually-adjusted threshold (US$168,000 for 2019).
  4. They had global net assets of less than US$2,000,000 at the time of expatriation and at the time of filing their return under these procedures.
  5. They did not have an overall tax liability of more than US$25,000 over the five tax years before expatriating and in the year of expatriation.
  6. They agree to complete and submit all required Federal tax returns for the six tax years at issue, including all necessary schedules and information returns, including FBAR.

Under the Procedure, you would file the following documents:

  • A copy of your Certificate of Loss of Nationality
  • A copy of a valid passport or birth certificate and government-issued identification.
  • Dual status return and Form 8854 for the final year of US citizenship (year of expatriation)
  • US tax returns and related forms for five years preceding the year of expatriation.

Giving up your US citizenship can have unintended consequences, so we recommend you seek advice before taking the plunge! We can help you with this and filing your tax returns. Contact us for more information.