If I renounce my US citizenship, am I free from US taxes?

The answer to this question is maybe!

When the Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax Act of 2008 passed through Congress, the possible financial consequences of renouncing your citizenship changed a bit. This act imposes an exit tax above and beyond standard US expat taxes on covered expatriates who surrender their US citizenship. You are considered a covered expatriate and subject to the exit tax if you meet three conditions:

  • Your average annual net income tax for the 5 years prior to the date of expatriation is more than a certain amount that is adjusted for inflation each year ($155,000 for 2013, $157,000 for 2014 and $160,000 as of 2015).
  • Your net worth is $2 million or more on the date of your expatriation.
  • You fail to certify on Form 8854 that you are fully compliant with your US tax obligations for the 5 years preceding the date of your expatriation.

If these conditions do not apply, you will not be subject to additional US taxes after you officially renounce your citizenship.