form 8854 and expatriating

Get compliant with your US tax obligations if you’re a US citizen or tax resident expatriating or relinquishing citizenship or residency

relinquish your US citizenship or residency with a clean tax record and peace of mind

Our team of CPAs are experts in tax filing requirements for US citizens, green card holders, and other long term residents. We will get you back into US tax compliance so you can expatriate with a clear conscience. 

To learn more, schedule a FREE consult with us today.

if you're a citizen or long term resident expatriating, YOU’RE REQUIRED TO:

  • ✔️  File form 8854 with your tax return during the year you are filing to expatriate
  • ✔️ Testify that you are currently in tax compliance with the IRS and have submitted correct tax returns for the last 5 years
  • ✔️ Report worldwide income, assets and accounts on your tax returns
  • ✔️ Pay tax on foreign income, and

The IRS Streamlined Procedures as well as other tax remediation programs such as VDP and DIIRSP are designed to bring you back into US tax and reporting compliance before expatriating, if you have not met the requirements above.

form 8854 and becoming tax compliant

If you’re a US citizen or Long-Term Resident (have been a US green card holder for 8 of the last 15 years) looking to renounce your citizenship, you may have come across Form 8854. Form 8854 is a form you must fill out and submit with your income tax return for the year you are expatriating. Part II, line 6 on the form requires individuals to certify under penalty of perjury that they have been US tax compliant for the past 5 years. If you have come across this part of the form and think there’s a chance you may not have been compliant with your US tax returns for the past 5 years, contact us for a free discovery call so we can discuss your options.

US taxpayers, including citizens and long-term residents, are required to submit tax returns each year and declare all worldwide income, assets and accounts. Failure to declare these makes one noncompliant with US taxes and therefore at risk of penalties and criminal prosecution. Fortunately, the IRS offers tax remediation programs for people in this situation who are looking to renounce their US citizenship or long term residency. 

 It is important to ensure that you are caught up with your US tax filing obligations before you renounce US citizenship or Long-Term Residency. If you are required to file Form 8854, but do not file it, you could be subject to a $10,000 fine if caught. 

 Our team of expert CPAs are specialists in IRS tax amnesty or remediation programs. We have successfully helped hundreds of people expatriate with peace of mind and a compliant tax record through Streamlined Procedures, Voluntary Disclosures Procedures and the Delinquent International Information Returns Submissions. If you are looking to expatriate or relinquish US citizenship or residency and need help getting back into tax compliance, book a free discovery call today.


  • ✔️  File amended or missing tax returns together with required information returns
  • ✔️  Settle your outstanding tax obligations (plus any interest accrued) on income from undisclosed financial assets arising from filing amended or delinquent returns,
  • ✔️  File FBARs previously missing, for up to 6 years,
  • ✔️  Get amnesty from higher IRS penalties
  • ✔️ File Form 8854 and expatriate with peace of mind


Non-willful Conduct

Non-willful conduct is conduct resulting from:

  • Negligence,
  • Inadvertence,
  • A mistake, or
  • A good faith misunderstanding of the requirements of the law.

To use SFOP, you must certify your failure to report all income, pay all taxes, and submit all required information returns, including FBARs, was due to non-willful conduct.

Foreign Financial Assets

Foreign financial assets refer to assets held outside the US, including:

  • Bank and investment accounts maintained by a foreign financial institution,
  • Stocks and securities issued outside the US,
  • An interest in a foreign retirement/pension or deferred compensation plan.

Certain assets are not considered foreign financial assets by the IRS, including:

  • Real estate outside the US.

Do You Know Your Us Taxpayer Obligations?

Taxpayer Obligations for US Citizens

As a US citizen, you’re required to:

  • Report all worldwide income,
  • File tax returns on time, including international information returns such as FBARS,
  • Pay taxes owing on your worldwide income.

All US citizens must file US tax returns, even if you’re living or working outside the US.

Taxpayer Obligations for Foreign Expats in the US

As a foreign expat and US resident for tax purposes, your tax obligations are the same as for US citizens. So you’re required to:

  • Report all worldwide income,
  • File tax returns on time, including international information returns such as FBARS,
  • Pay taxes owing on your worldwide income.

Even if you’re not a resident for tax purposes, you’re still required to file US tax returns and pay US taxes. 

Resident vs Non-Resident Tax Status

You’re a US resident for tax purposes if:

  • You’re a Green Card holder,
  • You’re a visa holder, and you meet the substantial presence test.

Otherwise, you’re a non-resident for tax purposes.

Certain visas are exempt from the substantial presence test for a set number of years, including the J-1 visa.

Regardless of your tax resident status, you’re still required to file a US tax return.


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