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Surprisingly US citizen

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Scamp247Scamp247 Forumite
1 posts
MoneySaving Newbie
Yesterday (during the process of opening a bank account) I discovered that I am apparently still a US citizen. I was born in the US in 1966 to British parents and have lived in the UK since being 2 weeks old. Although having a US passport at birth to return to UK I have only ever since had a uk passport and voted married etc as a UK citizen. I am unclear as to the implications and legalities around this and would like advice on this matter please. 

Replies

  • Jeremy535897Jeremy535897 Forumite
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    It means that, from a tax point of view, you should have been filing US tax returns every year. Do you actually intend ever to visit the US?
  • EdSwippetEdSwippet Forumite
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    You appear to fit the classic description of an accidental American. There is a Facebook group that tracks issues and pushback against US extraterritorial tax law for people in your situation:

    https://www.facebook.com/AccidentalAmericans/

    The positives: you can get a US passport; you have the right to live, work and vote in the US. These might or might not be benefits, depending on your life plans.

    The negatives: the US will seek to tax your entire worldwide income no matter where you live; many UK and other non-US banks and investment providers now reject US citizens outright due to FATCA; renouncing US citizenship is expensive and time-consuming. These can be significant disadvantages for anyone for whom the positives are not benefits.

  • Andy_LAndy_L Forumite
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    Well if you break the law the Home Secretary could strip you of your UK citizenship as you're a dual national
  • EdSwippetEdSwippet Forumite
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    Andy_L said:
    Well if you break the law the Home Secretary could strip you of your UK citizenship as you're a dual national
    Hardly likely. Perhaps technically true, but of no use whatsoever to the OP.

  • Cook_CountyCook_County Forumite
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    Assuming your parents were not present in the United States on diplomatic visas at the time of your birth, you became a US citizen at birth and have remained a US citizen. This situation is quite common. Nothing to be panicked about. Most folks would use the official penalty-free IRS Streamlined Foreign Offshore Procedures (SFOP) as the lowest risk and lowest cost way of catching up. https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/u-s-taxpayers-residing-outside-the-united-states.
  • Cook_CountyCook_County Forumite
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    You are currently due a few thousand dollars in stimulus refunds from the US government. You'll need to file US tax returns to claim the refunds.
  • EdSwippetEdSwippet Forumite
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    You are currently due a few thousand dollars in stimulus refunds from the US government. You'll need to file US tax returns to claim the refunds.
    But only providing annual income falls below the cut-off for these payments. If it does, once claimed, the OP could use this money to fund the US's exorbitant $2,350 fee for renouncing citizenship.

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