Tag Archive for Exit Taxes

Part 15 – Understanding “Exit Taxes”

John Richardson 24
Interview with – Citizenship based taxation, PFIC, the S. 877A Exit Tax and #Americansabroad

On May 22, 2015 I was interviewed by Gordon T. Long. There is NO way to discuss U.S. “citizenship taxation” (which is primarily “place of birth taxation”) without discussing the S. 877A Exit Tax rules. During the month of April 2015, I wrote a 14 part series on “How the S.877A rules affect Americans abroad“. The interview with Mr. Long serves as a good reminder (or if you don’t want to read the posts) on:

– what it means to be a “covered expatriate

how the U.S. S. 877A “Exit Tax” rules operate to impose punitive “taxation” on non U.S. pensions (See the actual Read more

Part 13 – Understanding “Exit Taxes”

John Richardson 22

“I relinquished U.S. citizenship many years ago. Could I still have U.S. tax citizenship?”

Attn: Former U.S. Citizens: Are you STILL or have you EVER BEEN a U.S. “Tax Citizen”?


This is a long post. In fact, it is too long for the average reader. Therefore, I wish to summarize the purpose and possible (but not certain conclusion) of the post in a few simple sentences.

Here goes:

If you were born in the United States (and became a U.S. citizen at birth) who moved to Canada and naturalized as a Canadian Citizen prior to June 3, 2004:

1. Without informing the U.S. State Department or applying for a Certificate of Loss of Nationality; and Read more

Part 12 – Understanding “Exit Taxes”

John Richardson 21
“The two kinds of U.S. citizenship: Citizenship for “immigration and nationality” and citizenship for “taxation” – Are we taxed because we are citizens or are we citizens because we are taxed?”

The United States of America – One country two citizenships – Introducing the “Tax Citizen”.  Dual Citizenship – American style – All Americans are both “Citizens” and “Tax Citizens”. One Country – Two Citizenships.

First Citizenship – Citizenship for Nationality Purposes

Americans have always been proud of their U.S. citizenship. Most U.S. citizens regard their U.S. citizenship as the most valuable thing they have. Most Americans will fight for their citizenship. They will die for their citizenship. They Read more

Part 11 – Understanding “Exit Taxes”

John Richardson 20
S. 2801 of the Internal Revenue Code is NOT a S. 877A “Exit Tax”, but a punishment for the “sins of the father”

Updated September 12, 2015 – the IRS has issued “proposed rules”  governing the issue of “The sins of the father”.

The following was a comment on Part 9 of this “Exit Tax” series.

“I know many tax compliant, patriotic Americans who have renounced. Many have done so seeing the $2m threshold approaching, to protect their families and get on with their lives. All with heavy hearts.

You did not mention the additional burden on those who renounce who have US citizen relatives–the tax their Read more

Part 9 – Understanding “Exit Taxes”

John Richardson 18
For #Americansabroad: US “citizenship taxation” is “death by a thousand cuts”, but the S. 877A Exit Tax is “death by the guillotine”.

1995 – The origins of the S. 877A Exit Tax –
Video of House Oversight Committee (see video below).

This testimony in this video covers a number of perspectives. It includes a consideration of whether the S. 877A rules are a “human rights violation”. This video should be watched in its entirety. It illustrates the viciousness of the Exit Tax and the attitude of the Clinton administration. There is a suggestion that the purpose of the S. 877A rules was to “keep people from leaving”. If you find any testimony or questions that address the problems of “Americans Abroad”, please leave a comment describing the speaker, time Read more

Part 8 – Understanding “Exit Taxes”

John Richardson 17
“The U.S. “Exit Tax vs. Canada’s Departure Tax – citizenship taxation vs. residence taxation”

Cdn Departure Tax has a logic to it. To have to pay a US “exit tax” when I left > 30 years ago, beggars belief. 

The above tweet references the following comment:

“At least the departure tax has a sliver of logic to it, and an appropriate name. To have to pay a US “exit tax” when I left empty handed over thirty years ago, beggars belief. Perhaps if they called it an escape tax or freedom tax that would make more sense.” Read more

Part 7 – Understanding “Exit Taxes”

John Richardson 15
Why 2015 is a good year for many #Americansabroad to relinquish US citizenship – It’s the “Exchange Rate”

The purpose of my series of posts on the S. 877A “Exit Tax” has been to explain how the tax actually works. I have provided actual examples. The results have been enlightening and have demonstrated how arbitrary the results have been. In “Part 5” of this series you will find the actual examples and draft tax returns. I provided examples of how much the S. 877A “Exit Tax” could be. The examples were based on one consistent set of financial circumstances and demonstrated how that one set of financial circumstances would apply to five different people. We learned that there were wide variations in the amount of the “Exit Tax” payable. A person who was a “dual citizen” from birth may have paid on “Exit Tax” of $0.00. A person who was born Read more

Part 6 – Understanding “Exit Taxes”

John Richardson 13

Part 6 – “Surely, expatriation is NOT worse than death! The two million asset test should be raised to the Estate Tax limitation – approximately five million dollars – It’s Time”


Many Americans abroad have had their lives turned upside down by the combination of FATCA and the enforcement of U.S. “place of birth” taxation. Those who are “long term” residents abroad find themselves caught between a “rock and a hard place”.

On the one hand they can’t afford the costs and complexity of filing U.S. tax returns.

On the other hand, many “middle class” Americans abroad cannot relinquish their U.S. citizenship (freeing themselves from the complexity of U.S. tax laws and the IRS) without Read more

Part 5 – Understanding “Exit Taxes”

John Richardson 12
“The “Exit Tax” in action – Five actual scenarios with 5 actual completed U.S. tax returns.”

In order to see the graphic and brutal confiscatory effects of the U.S. Exit Tax in action I asked a licensed U.S. CPA who specializes in International Tax to consider the following scenario:

Relinquishment date: A person who renounced U.S. citizenship on November 1, 2014.

Profile: He was a “middle class” person who was completely tax compliant in his country of residence. He was a saver and investor. He had worked hard for this money. Read more

Part 4 – Understanding “Exit Taxes”

John Richardson 11
“You are a “covered expatriate” – How the “Exit Tax” is actually calculated”

How the Exit Tax is calculated in general – what is subject to the “Exit Tax”?

Remember that a person who relinquishes U.S. citizenship does not actually sell his assets or realize income from his assets. The Exit Tax is designed to ensure that the U.S. collects tax on assets as if they were sold OR as if generated an income stream (even though there is no sale). This means that one is forced to pay a massive tax when has not realized income to pay that tax!

The General Theory: Read more

Part 3 – Understanding “Exit Taxes”

John Richardson 10
“The “Exit Tax” affects “covered expatriates” – what is a “covered expatriate”?”

In a FATCAesque world, where “relinquishments” are becoming a form of “self defense”, it’s important that you understand:

Issue A – Who is affected by the Exit Tax? What is a “covered expatriate”? Only “covered expatriates” are subject to the “Exit Tax”

1. What are the sections of the Internal Revenue Code that govern the Exit Tax?

2. Who is subject to the “Exit Tax” and why? Read more

Part 2 – Understanding “Exit Taxes”

John Richardson 9
Part 2 – Understanding “Exit Taxes” in a system of residence based taxation vs. Exit Taxes in a system of “citizenship (place of birth) taxation

Let’s begin with some politics …

In an interesting post Robert Wood writes:

Both Mayor Johnson and Senator Cruz are U.S. citizens. Both Mayor Johnson and Senator Cruz either have or are renouncing the citizenships of the countries where they were born. There will no tax consequences to Senator Cruz for renouncing Canadian citizenship. Mayor Johnson will probably be spared America’s draconian “Exit Tax” (assuming he was born a dual citizen) for renouncing U.S. citizenship. The “Exit Tax” Read more