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US Citizenship - any reason not to?

US Citizenship - any reason not to?

Old Dec 17th 2017, 6:21 pm
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Default US Citizenship - any reason not to?

We have been in the US 13 years, green card for little over 6. Very settled, own home here, worked at same company last 10 years, don't expect that to change.

We have been thinking we want to become citizens, this is very much home, we would like to vote, I have a nagging concern that in theory we could be turned away at the door (although know some unlikely, but it's there).

Only potential downside is should we find ourselves living in the UK again in the future we should still need to complete a US tax return, but really isn't that difficult to do, so not concerned about it.

My question is, have we missed anything else as reasons not to do this?
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Old Dec 17th 2017, 6:29 pm
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Default Re: US Citizenship - any reason not to?

This Wiki article may be useful - Pros and Cons to Getting US Citizenship : British Expat Wiki

HTH.
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Old Dec 17th 2017, 6:44 pm
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Default Re: US Citizenship - any reason not to?

Originally Posted by christmasoompa View Post
Thanks, I had missed/completely forgotten about the wiki section, this is a very helpful read.
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Old Dec 17th 2017, 7:12 pm
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Default Re: US Citizenship - any reason not to?

The only downside I can think off is FBAR and FACTA. Not filling out the forms which are fairly straightforward, but making sure you are declaring all the accounts which need to be reported. Other than that I have not experienced any problems with being a US citizen.
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Old Dec 18th 2017, 4:38 pm
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Default Re: US Citizenship - any reason not to?

We are eligible to become US citizens in 3.5 yrs time, assuming we retain our GCs. My concern is our children - they would automatically become US citizens as well. This is great, but the downside for them would be if they wanted to move back to the UK and purchase a property. The potential FX gains on the mortgage would be something they would need to consider very carefully
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Old Dec 18th 2017, 4:59 pm
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Default Re: US Citizenship - any reason not to?

Originally Posted by lansbury View Post
The only downside I can think off is FBAR and FACTA. Not filling out the forms which are fairly straightforward, but making sure you are declaring all the accounts which need to be reported. Other than that I have not experienced any problems with being a US citizen.
If the OP moved back to the UK, it would potentially be a much larger issue than that. They would still have to file a US tax return on their worldwide income; they would find it difficult/impossible to invest in UK investments; they would still be subject to things that the US taxes but the UK doesn't, e.g. capital gains on first residences etc. If I were to move back to the UK permanently, I'm pretty sure I would renounce my US citizenship.
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Old Dec 20th 2017, 11:41 pm
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Default Re: US Citizenship - any reason not to?

Originally Posted by Giantaxe View Post
If the OP moved back to the UK, it would potentially be a much larger issue than that. They would still have to file a US tax return on their worldwide income; they would find it difficult/impossible to invest in UK investments; they would still be subject to things that the US taxes but the UK doesn't, e.g. capital gains on first residences etc. If I were to move back to the UK permanently, I'm pretty sure I would renounce my US citizenship.
I understood that more than 8 years on a green card or renouncing US citizenship would cause one to have to pay the Exit tax. So was conclusion was I have to either end up doing that or live with having to file US returns for rest of life. So either path has a down side.
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Old Dec 20th 2017, 11:46 pm
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Default Re: US Citizenship - any reason not to?

Originally Posted by Mercury39 View Post
I understood that more than 8 years on a green card or renouncing US citizenship would cause one to have to pay the Exit tax. So was conclusion was I have to either end up doing that or live with having to file US returns for rest of life. So either path has a down side.
There's an exit tax if your assets or income are above a certain level.
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Old Dec 21st 2017, 5:26 pm
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Default Re: US Citizenship - any reason not to?

Originally Posted by Giantaxe View Post
There's an exit tax if your assets or income are above a certain level.
The threshold for exit tax is only $2mn, not sure if you can double that amount as a couple. There may be strategies to mitigate some of this by incorporating depending how the assets are held.
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Old Dec 21st 2017, 6:11 pm
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Default Re: US Citizenship - any reason not to?

Several:

You are stuck with the US citizenship and thus with the US if you remain and have to live with the horrible, expensive and mercenary healthcare insurance system. You have to declare worldwide income on your US taxes. You have to declare your pensions and/or retirement benefits obtained from the UK and thereby have your social security retirement benefits reduced under the windfall act. Your children, if you have any and continue to live in the US, will have to endure inferior education in primary, secondary and university institutes of learning. You will have to deal with a country that is not liberal. I can only see negativity in obtaining US citizenship for any British citizen.
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Old Dec 21st 2017, 6:21 pm
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Default Re: US Citizenship - any reason not to?

You always stand a risk of not being able to keep your family together as non USCs. This was shown just last year when certain green card holders were refused entry. You never know what the future holds and family security is number one in my books.
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Old Dec 21st 2017, 6:32 pm
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Default Re: US Citizenship - any reason not to?

Originally Posted by Rete View Post
Several:

You are stuck with the US citizenship and thus with the US if you remain and have to live with the horrible, expensive and mercenary healthcare insurance system. You have to declare worldwide income on your US taxes. You have to declare your pensions and/or retirement benefits obtained from the UK and thereby have your social security retirement benefits reduced under the windfall act. Your children, if you have any and continue to live in the US, will have to endure inferior education in primary, secondary and university institutes of learning. You will have to deal with a country that is not liberal. I can only see negativity in obtaining US citizenship for any British citizen.
If you're going to do sarcasm, it always pays to get your actual facts at least roughly right when you try and do it - WEP is applied regardless of citizenship.

Last edited by Giantaxe; Dec 21st 2017 at 6:36 pm.
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Old Dec 21st 2017, 6:34 pm
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Default Re: US Citizenship - any reason not to?

Originally Posted by mrken30 View Post
The threshold for exit tax is only $2mn, not sure if you can double that amount as a couple. There may be strategies to mitigate some of this by incorporating depending how the assets are held.
Right. It's not stopping record numbers from going the renunciation route though, mainly because of the impact FATCA has on their ability to use banking and investment services where they live outside the US.

Last edited by Giantaxe; Dec 21st 2017 at 6:37 pm.
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Old Dec 21st 2017, 6:43 pm
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Default Re: US Citizenship - any reason not to?

Originally Posted by Giantaxe View Post
If you're going to do sarcasm, it always pays to get your actual facts at least roughly right when you try and do it - WEP is applied regardless of citizenship.
Not if you don't take that overrated, stupid SSI payment.
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Old Dec 21st 2017, 6:46 pm
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Default Re: US Citizenship - any reason not to?

Originally Posted by mrken30 View Post
Not if you don't take that overrated, stupid SSI payment.
SS not SSI. SSI = Supplementary Security Income.

Not at all stupid if you have a solid SS record. In fact, it can yield far more income than the UK equivalent - max is about 3 times the UK amount iirc.

But anyway this is all irrelevant to citizenship.

Last edited by Giantaxe; Dec 21st 2017 at 6:54 pm.
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