The term expatriating taxpayers refers to U.S. citizens or long term green card holders who decide to cut their ties with the United States, and stop filling income tax returns with the IRS (Internal Revenue Service). These taxpayers renounce their U.S. citizenship and terminate lawful permanent residency status (“expatriates”). For example, U.S. citizens who live in Israel and have no intention to return back to the United States. For some of them the requirement to file and pay income tax with the IRS may be discouraging. They may prefer to relinquish their citizenship or green card.
Many people believe that when they surrender their U.S. passport or green card at the nearest U.S. embassy, their relationship with the IRS comes to an uneventful end. They are wrong. U.S. law imposes tax on expatriating taxpayers. This is called “exit tax”. US tax law treats expatriates as if they “sold” all their assets on the expatriation date.
Before you decide to surrender your U.S. passport or your green card at the nearest U.S. embassy, call “Eli Jacoby CPA” in order to avoid tax payment or at least minimize it. Wealthy taxpayers may have to pay substantial amount of tax to the IRS, if they do not plan their steps ahead. Even if you do not have to pay a dime to the IRS, there is still obligation to be up to date with filling income tax returns and other disclosure reports.
U.S. citizens who have been living in Israel for a long time without filling any income tax returns, can take advantage of the “Streamlined Filling Compliance Procedures” (“Streamlined Program”-see details in this web site). This program enables them to be current with their tax obligations, without incurring any penalties. It also allows them to file income tax returns and FBAR reports (Foreign bank Account Report) for recent years only. If they get accepted to the streamlined program, it will be easier for them to expatriate. This is a very important step to go through before expatriating
Taxpayers who do not qualify to the streamlined program, may consider other ways of coming into tax compliance, such as “Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program” (OVDP-see more details in this web site).
The IRS made it very clear in its regulations that “an individual who loses U.S. citizenship or terminates long-term resident status will continue to be treated for federal tax purposes as a citizen or long-term resident of the United States, as the case may be, until the individual fulfils all the filling requirements with the IRS