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Questions & AnswersCan I renounce my US citizenship…
Anonymous asked 2 years ago

I moved to Canada from the US in 2008. I’m a US citizen but since I’ve moved I have not filed US tax. Can I simply renounce my US citizenship to avoid filing Canadian tax returns?

1 Answers
Phil HoganPhil Hogan Staff answered 2 years ago

Unfortunately it’s not that simple. In order to renounce your US citizenship for tax purposes, you’ll need to file form 8854, which shows the IRS and the US government that you have expatriated for tax purposes when you actually relinquished citizenship. However, in order for that to be successful you need to have filed 5 years worth of US tax returns. So if you haven’t been filing while you’ve been in Canada, you won’t be compliant for 5 years, therefore you won’t be eligible to renounce or expatriate tax purpose.

So what you’re going to want to do is catch up on filing your US tax returns. And we have some fairly decent options with respect to catching up late US tax returns. Currently, the IRS is administering a program they call the Streamline Tax Filing Program. And the IRS will allow those who are eligible to file 3 years of the late US tax return and at least 6 years of foreign banking account reporting forms, commonly referred to as FBAR forms (form 114).

This outlines the process in a very general manner and it can get much more complicated than that. It would be best if we chatted over the phone on your particular situation. Please give me a call at 250-381-2400 or you could email me at phil@hutcheson.ca

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