Renouncing US citizenship? How the S. 877A “Exit Tax” may apply to your Canadian assets – 15 Parts

 
This is a 15-part series which is designed to provide you with some basic education on:

How the U.S. S. 877A Exit Tax rules work; and
 
How they particularly affect Canadians with a U.S. birthplace, who lived most of their lives in Canada.
 

 
The 15 parts are:
 
Part 1 – April 1, 2015 – “Facts are stubborn things” – The results of the “Exit Tax”
 
Part 2 – April 2, 2015 –“How could this possibly happen? “Exit Taxes” in a system of residence based taxation vs. Exit Taxes in a system of “citizenship (place of birth) taxation”

 
Part 3 – April 3, 2015 – “The “Exit Tax” affects “covered expatriates” – what is a “covered expatriate”?”
 
Part 4 – April 4, 2015 – “You are a “covered expatriate” How the “Exit Tax” is actually calculated”
 
Part 5 – April 5, 2015 – “The “Exit Tax” in action – Five actual scenarios with 5 actual completed U.S. tax returns.”

Part 6 – April 6, 2015 – “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”
 
Part 7 – April 7, 2015 – Why 2015 is a good year for many #Americansabroad to relinquish US citizenship – It’s the “Exchange Rate”

Part 8 – April 8, 2015 – “The U.S. “Exit Tax vs. Canada’s Departure Tax – Understanding the difference between citizenship taxation and residence taxation”

Part 9 – April 9, 2015 – “Why understanding the U.S. “Exit Tax” teaches us all we need to know about “citizenship taxation”

Part 10 – April 10, 2015 – “The s-877a exit tax and possible treaty relief under the canada us tax treaty”

Part 11 – April 11, 2015 – “S. 2801 of the Internal Revenue Code is NOT a S. 877A “Exit Tax”, but a punishment for the “sins of the father (relinquishment)”

Part 12 – April 12, 2015 – “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?”

Part 13 – April 13, 2015 – “I relinquished U.S. citizenship many years ago. Could I still have U.S. tax citizenship?”

Part 14 – April 14, 2015 – “Leaving the U.S. tax system – renounce or relinquish U.S. citizenship, What’s the difference?”

Part 15 – May 22, 2015 – “Interview with GordonTLong.com – “Citizenship taxation”, the S. 877A Exit Tax, PFICs and Americans abroad”

 
reposted from: Citizenshipsolutions blog

Leave a reply


 
Introduction:
 
usexittax-300x168

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

There is much discussion of the U.S. rules which operate to impose taxation on the residents of other countries and income earned in those other countries. You will hear references to “citizenship taxation”, “FATCA Canada“, PFIC, etc. It is becoming more common for people to wish to relinquish their U.S. citizenship. The most common form of “relinquishment is renunciation”. The U.S. tax rules, found in the Internal Revenue Code, impose taxes on everything. There is even a tax on “renouncing U.S. citizenship”. I don’t mean the $2350 USD administrative fee which everybody has to pay. (Isn’t that really a tax?). I mean a tax on your assets. To be clear:
 
You must pay a price to NOT be a U.S. citizen.
 
This tax is found in S. 877A of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code.
 
It’s defined as the:
 
“Tax responsibilities of expatriation”

Few people are aware of this tax. Fewer still understand how it works. As FATCA operates to enforce U.S. taxation on many Canadian citizens, and increasing numbers wish to NOT be U.S. citizens, the importance of understanding the U.S. “Exit Tax” increases.

It is particularly important to understand what triggers the “Exit Tax”. You will be subject to the “Exit Tax” if you are a “covered expatriate”. You must know what that means and why, sooner or later, everybody will become a “covered expatriate”.
 
The “Exit Tax” is not a simple “token tax”. For Canadians, the tax can be a significant percentage of their net worth. Furthermore, the tax is payable NOT on actual gains, but on “pretend gains”. (Where would the money come from to pay the tax?)
 
Hang on to your seats. You will shocked, amazed and horrified by this.
 
Since the advent of FATCA in Canada, this issue is increasingly important.*
 
To be forewarned is to be forearmed!
 
This is a 15-part series which is designed to provide you with some basic education on:

How the U.S. S. 877A Exit Tax rules work; and
 
How they particularly affect Canadians with a U.S. birthplace, who lived most of their lives in Canada.
 
This will be covered over a 15 day period in a “15-part” series.
 
Although this series is beginning on “April Fools Day”, I assure that this is NOT a joke.

____________________________________________________________________________
 
 

* Why this is of increased importance: The role of FATCA and U.S. taxation in Canada
 
A picture/video tells a thousand words. Have a look at the “Rick Mercer FATCA video” in the following tweet:

FATCA is U.S. law which is designed to identify financial assets and people, outside the United States, that the U.S. believes are subject to its tax laws. (It makes no difference whether the person is a Canadian citizen”.) This includes people who were:

– born in the U.S.

– Green card holders

– people born to U.S. parents in Canada

– “snow birds” who spend too much time in the United States

The Government of Canada is assisting the United State to implement FATCA in Canada. To be specific:

– on February 5, 2014 the Government of Canada formally agreed to change Canadian to identify “U.S. connected” Canadians in Canada

– in May of 2014, the Government of Canada passed Bill C 31 which contained the implementing legislation

– on July 1, 2014 FATCA became the law in Canada

– since July 1, 2014 many Canadians have received a “FATCA Letter” (can the U.S. claim you as a taxpayer?)

The Alliance For The Defence Of Canadian Sovereignty has sued the Government of Canada in Federal Court on the basis that the participation of the Canadian Government in FATCA, is in violation of the Charter Rights of Canadians. You can keep up with their progress on the Alliance blog” which is here.

FATCA is a tool to enforce “U.S. taxation in Canada”. The result is that more and more Canadian citizen/residents will be forced to pay U.S. taxes. But, U.S. tax rules include much more than tax. They are source of comprehensive information gathering and “information returns”. Typical returns required by U.S. taxpayers in Canada include: FBAR, FATCA Form 8938, Form 5471, Form 3520, Form 3520A and many more.

In addition, U.S. tax rules are different from Canadian tax rules. The most painful example is that when:

– Canada allows a “tax free” capital gain on your principal residence

– the
U.S. imposes a 23.8% tax on the sale of your principal residence
(you get a $250,000 deduction)

Sound horrible?

It is, but:

It’s only Canadian citizens with a past “U.S. connection” who will be subject to these taxes. It is estimated that approximately one million Canadians may be subject (as “U.S. Subjects”) to these rules. But, Canadians with a “U.S. connection” are members of families. Therefore, U.S. taxation in Canada will impact all members of a Canadian family which has at least one “U.S. connected” member.

John Richardson

 

3 thoughts on “Renouncing US citizenship? How the S. 877A “Exit Tax” may apply to your Canadian assets – 15 Parts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Optionally add an image (JPEG only)