How do I give up my US citizenship?

Renouncing US citizenship has become more and more popular with expatriates in order to reduce their tax and reporting burdens to the US government.

If you are an American who has decided to renounce your US citizenship, you’ll need to follow these steps to complete the process:

  • Obtain citizenship in another country — Typically, the US will not allow you to be “stateless” so you’ll need to present proof of your second passport or nationality.
  • Complete the renunciation request form (Form DS-4079) – Use this form to provide information on your citizenship status and why you want to renounce. One of the main goals of the form is to ensure that you are electing to renounce voluntarily and not under duress.
  • Appear before the U.S. Consulate in a foreign country — You will need to visit a US Consulate or Embassy outside the United States to meet with a representative, complete forms, and provide identification documents.
  • File your final tax return and Form 8854 — You’ll need to file a final tax return to report taxable income earned between January 1st and the day your renounce your US citizenship. Along with your final tax return, you’ll need to file Form 8854, which is used to calculate if you’ll owe the exit tax.
  • Pay the renunciation fee — Currently, the US government charges $2,350 to renounce your US citizenship.
  • If required, pay the exit tax — Renouncing Americans are required to pay the exit tax if: (1) their average annual net income tax in the past five years was $172,000 or more (for 2021), (2) their net worth is more than $2 million, or (3) you fail to certify that you have been tax compliant for the 5 years prior to renunciation.

Please note: once your citizenship has been revoked, you must turn in your passport and will be treated as a non-resident any time you come to the United States for a visit. Further, you will never be able to receive US citizenship again after you have renounced your citizenship or Green Card. This decision should not be taken lightly.

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