Do Dual US Citizens Have to File US Taxes?

Being a dual citizen in the United States and another country comes with advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, dual citizens can benefit from certain privileges of having citizenship in two countries at once. On the other hand, they’ll have to consider their taxes in two countries. Luckily, there are several programs in place to prevent United States citizens that also have citizenship in another country from being taxed twice. Keep reading to learn more about how to qualify, other advantages and disadvantages of being a dual US citizen, and how an international tax accountant from U.S. Tax Help can help you file your taxes as a dual citizen.

Do Dual Citizens Pay U.S. Taxes?

U.S. citizens that have dual citizenship in another country must file taxes in the United States. The United States imposes taxes on citizens regardless of where they live and where they earn their income. Dual citizens who are living abroad may owe taxes to both the United States and the country in which they earn their income. Some countries have tax treaties that eliminate a citizen’s tax liability, meaning that they will only have to pay taxes in one country. Working with a qualified international tax accountant can allow you to understand which countries have tax treaties with the United States and whether you have tax liabilities in that country.

Understanding Dual Citizenship

There are two ways to become a dual citizen: either birth or the completion of a legal process. People can gain dual citizenship through birth if they are born in the United States to parents who have citizenship in a different country. Conversely, children who are born in other countries to parents with United States citizenship will likely be a citizen of both the United States and the country they are born in (exceptions are made for children born to foreign diplomats, though). Not all countries have dual citizenship. In some countries, a baby born to foreign parents will be a citizen of the country they are born in until they are naturalized into the citizenship of another country.

Another way to obtain dual citizenship in the United States and another country is to become a naturalized United States citizen while maintaining citizenship status in another country. To be naturalized as a United States citizen, a foreign national must: reside in the United States for five consecutive years (three years for spouses of citizens) while being physically present in the United States for at least fifty percent of the time, be at least eighteen years old, read and write basic English, demonstrate knowledge of United States civics, show good moral character, show that they are attached to the principles of the Constitution, and pledge an oath of allegiance to the United States.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Being a Dual Citizen

Aside from potential double taxation, being a dual citizen of both the United States and another country carries a number of advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages of Dual Citizenship

One of the main advantages of dual citizenship is access to the benefits and privileges of the two countries. Dual citizens can, for example, work in either country without a work permit or visa. They are also able to attend school in either country in which they have citizenship. Another benefit of dual citizenship is having two passports, which can make traveling easier, especially if you have an important reason to travel back and forth between the two countries, such as family or business. Access to more business opportunities is a significant advantage of having dual citizenship. Dual citizenship can give people more opportunities to own property since some countries restrict land ownership to citizens. Dual citizenship also allows citizens to extend citizenship to their children. For example, children under the age of 18 who are in the legal and physical custody of parents who are being naturalized will automatically become citizens of the United States when they turn 18.

Disadvantages of Dual Citizenship

One of the major disadvantages of having dual citizenship is double taxation. Other disadvantages that dual citizens may face are based on the obligations that come from being a citizen of two countries. A dual citizen can, for example, lose their citizenship in one country if they serve in the military of another. Having dual citizenship can also prevent certain people from obtaining positions within the United States government or gaining security clearances to do work in specific fields.

How to Renounce Citizenship

Some people who are naturalized into citizenship in another country may renounce their United States citizenship to avoid dual citizenship. Many people renounce their United States citizenship solely to avoid United States tax compliance. To renounce United States citizenship, you must request a Certificate of Loss of Nationality from a United States consulate. The process of citizenship renunciation will cost $2,350 to complete, which is much less than some people expect to pay in taxes as a dual citizen of the United States. Note that renouncing citizenship is different from relinquishing citizenship, which happens when a citizen performs an expatriating act.

Expert Accountants Specializing in Foreign Real Estate

You don’t have to feel daunted by the thought of having to pay taxes to two countries if you are a dual U.S. citizen. Allow an international tax expert from U.S. Tax Help to help you with tax preparation and planning if you are a U.S. citizen with dual citizenship or a U.S. expat living abroad. The team of international accounting experts from U.S. Tax Help can put their years of experience to use to make the process of paying your international taxes easy. Call (541) 362-9127 to speak with them today.