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Expatriation — Am I exempt? Exit Tax & Renunciation Process are two separate things!

Parse the instructions carefully

IRS Publication 519 provides a long list of exceptions titled: Exception for dual-citizen and certain minors. The next line, although not bolded and less exciting, is arguably more important as it indicates what the exception is referring to!

“The exceptions listed here refer to being exempt from the Exit Tax – not the process of expatriation, which no one is exempt from.”

What if I am a minor who left the US at birth – am I not exempt from the renouncing process?

Correct — unfortunately you must go through the same process as full grown gainfully employed adults.

Even if you are a minor US citizen, you must still file form 8854 to expatriate. Until you do so you will remain a US tax resident (even if you have no requirement to file at the moment). In order to file 8854, you must also certify that you are up to date on your last 5 year tax returns.

In sum – do not make the mistake of assuming that you are not required to go through the process. In order to give up your US citizenship and US tax filing requirements for the future, you must still file 5 years of tax returns (even with no income to declare), along with form 8854.

Whole Story at TFX.

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