This is the first of a video series I am developing on “Renouncing US Citizenship”. My goal is to to try to provide a number of perspectives to aid you in your deliberations.
Also from Joe:
A move to another country is a very significant life decision. A “Green Card” is actually a “permanent resident” immigrant visa. A U.S. “permanent resident” visa comes with significant opportunities and significant responsibilities.
Permanent resident visa for immigration purposes: The visa is valid for immigration purposes only as long as the person retains the subjective intent to live permanently in the United States.
Permanent resident visa for tax purposes: Under United States law, one’s status for immigration purposes is different from one’s status for tax purposes. Generally the rules for “tax residence” are found in Internal Revenue Code Sec. 7701(b).
What follows is my answer on Quora that considers the “benefits and burdens” of the Green Card. I suggest that you read all answers to this question.
But, wait! There’s more. If you have the Green Card for 8 years or more, you can’t leave the United States without being subject to the S. 877A Exit Taxes.
Interesting article on why immigrants may find Canada to be a more attractive destination
But, Canada may have tax advantages too
— John Richardson – lawyer for "U.S. persons" abroad (@ExpatriationLaw) September 1, 2018
Introduction: The Purpose and Limited Scope Of This Post
This post focuses on Green Card holders who are filing the 1040 tax return. The 1040 is the return that is filed by all individuals unless you are a “nonresident aliens”. Non-resident aliens file the 1040-NR. This post does NOT discuss (1) when it could be advantageous for a Green Card holder to file a 1040-NR (using a tax treaty tie breaker provision) and (2) what the (DANGEROUS) consequences of filing a 1040-NR (from both a tax and immigration perspective) could be. For a Green Card holder, there can be both disadvantages and also substantial advantages to using a tax treaty tiebreaker to file a 1040-NR.
This post assumes that the Green Card holder is filing a 1040 and is specifically focused on the following question:
Is it wise for a Green Card holder who is temporarily outside the United States to use the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion found in Section 911 of the Internal Revenue Code (as opposed to the Section 901 Foreign Tax credits) when filing the 1040?
(Most tax practitioners agree, that in general, it is better to use the Sec. 901 foreign tax credits and and not sue the S. 911 Foreign Earned Income Exclusion. Here is a post that explains why this is so. So, why would anybody ever use the FEIE? The answer is that some people live in countries where there is income tax and therefore no foreign tax credit to use against income that is taxable from a U.S. perspective.)
United States permanent residence and the right to travel outside the United States with the Green Card
Beginning with my answer to a similar question on Quora …
Introduction – Where this post came from …
In July of 2018 I moderated a discussion on “tax residency”. The discussion was at an immigration conference in Los Angeles that was primarily focused on the EB-5 program. The EB-5 program will lead to a Green Card (meaning that one becomes a permanent resident of the United States).
Here is a video of the discussion. Some parts are audible and others not. But, I decided to create a post which focuses on the issues discussed.
Introduction to the world of Global Mobility
Global mobility is the norm in the 21st century. The United States, Canada and Australia are prime destinations for those seeking “permanent residency” and ultimately a second “citizenship”. Canada has been a pioneer in investor immigration. The United States has long been an area of prime interest. It is important to distinguish between “residency” for immigration purposes (are you legally allowed to live in a country) from “residency” for tax purposes (to what extent are you subject to taxation in the country).
Once you have become a “permanent resident” under the immigration laws, you will have become a “tax resident” under the tax laws. Tax residency in a CRS and FATCA world has become increasingly important. I have previously discussed OECD definitions of tax residency.
There are many “citizenship and/or residency by investment” programs. One example is Portugals’s Golden Visa Program.
The purpose of this post is to create awareness of some aspects of what it means to become a “tax resident” of the United States. When a non-citizen becomes a U.S. “permanent resident” (for immigration purposes), one becomes a “tax resident” of the United States. Once a “tax resident” of the United States (1) very specific procedures must be followed to sever “U.S. tax residency” and (2) “long term residents” will be subject to the S. 877A Exit Tax rules.
If you are a “tax resident” of a country, it is important to understand the tax rules. This is particularly true when considering becoming a “permanent resident” and “tax resident” of the United States.
This is Part 18 of my series of posts discussing the Section 965 U.S. Transition Tax. This has been reposted with permission from Americansabroadfortaxfairness.org.
Time out from our regular programming with this special message – A Call To Action – from Attorney Monte Silver:
Hi Fellow Americans:
On August 1, 2018, the Treasury/IRS issued proposed regulations that interpret the Repatriation tax law – a 250 page very complicated document. I discovered that in issuing the document, Treasury, the IRS and other Federal agencies seriously violated numerous Federal laws and procedures. This gives us tremendous leverage in negotiating for an exemption from the Repatriation & GILTI laws.
It is not unreasonable to expect that this battle may be won by December 15, 2018. What you can do to help win the battle? Easy! Treasury needs to hear your voice in a few short paragraphs (as outlined below) – by October 7, 2018.
We are within reach! Lets do it.
p.s. – as you may have an October 15, 2018 filing deadline, there is a way for you to extend the filing date until December 15, 2017. See IRS Publication 54, page 4 (can be seen at silvercolaw.com/blog). I suggest that you discuss this with your U.S. tax person.
— John Richardson – lawyer for "U.S. persons" abroad (@ExpatriationLaw) September 2, 2018
What follows is a summary of a presentation I made in March of 2018 in London, UK: