Should one give up US citizenshi[ quote to be a paying customer please -

Hi David,
I am distressed by reading your comments regarding my possible future obligations to the IRS as a dual citizen.  I was born in BC to US parents, grew up in the States from age 4 to 33 and have been living back in BC for the past 19 years.  I have a small IRA (12,000 USD) in the US, which I opened 20 years ago and have not added to since.  I have no other US assets, nor have I earned income there for 20 years. I have intermittently filed US income tax returns over the years - never owed them anything due to foreign tax credit.  I have not filed for the past two years because I changed accountants, I moved within BC and the new guy doesn't file US returns.  I have however, completed W8 forms with various investment firms. I don't have a US passport nor do I receive any benefits from the US. I never intend to reside in the US or seek employment there.   I have not voted since I left. However, my networth is beginning to grow as is my income (earned and investment) and I do not want Uncle Sam to view me as an opportunity to pay for the many unfunded liabilities they have promised the aging babyboomers (I am one of those boomers) 
I am wondering whether I should relinquish my US citizenship and whether I can consult with you or would you recommend someone else to discuss my situation in detail? What fees might I expect?  I am in the Vancouver area. I want to know what potential ramifications there might be from a legal and tax perspective of relinquishing.  I imagine I would first collapse my IRA - pay the tax and then attend the US Consulate, complete a questionnaire, and take an oath, etc. but I wonder about any potentially negative implications?  Do I need to file the last 2 years taxes and next year's if I collapse my IRA?
I obtained US citizenship for my 10 and 12 year old daughters who were born in Canada by registering them for the US citizens born abroad program - so now they have dual citizenship. What do I do for them as I don't want them to be obliged to have to declare their world income to the IRS into perpetuity?
Would you please provide us a quote for back filing my US tax returns for the last 2 years, I have a copy of my CAD returns and don't owe $ to the IRS? I am a xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx employed by xxxxxxxxxx,
I own 3 rental properties in the Lower Mainland and had some stock investments (jointly with my wife) - all of our income has been earned in Canada and I have no ties to the US (except the IRA mentioned above). We are also wondering what it might cost to have you be our accountant to file our CAD and US taxes for 2007 and discuss relinquishing the US citizenship?
david ingram replies:
Do NOT expect replies as fast as this in the future. It was sent to an address that I do NOT answer questions from as well. I have over 700 unanswered email questions that arrived before yours.
However, this arrived as i was cleaning up my files so here goes.
Giving up your US citizenship to avoid income tax filing results in your being banned from the US in perpetuity.  It is usually not a good idea an dfewer than 50 people a year actually go through the process because of the ramifications.
In addition, you trigger a 'departure' tax when you do and the rules are that you are supposed to keep on filin US returns for 10 more years.
What you are talking about is filing two returns.  More work, and more cost but rarely more tax. people in 43 states and the Province of Quebec file two physical returns and it does not kill them.
You should likely come and see me for a $400.00 hour.
In general, for a current year, we charge $800 to $2,800 for a US / Canadian return.  If you have three rentals and capital gains, you are likely in the $1,500 range.
Doing the two old ones at this time of year wouold likely be under $1,000 unless you have multi stock trasdes, etc.
and you must do them.  Not filing form TDF 90-22.1 is now a stated minimum $10,000 penalty.  Not filing form 8891 for your RRSP is a fine of 35% of the prinicipal plus 5% for every year not reported.
And, cheer up.  In another 9 years, you qualify for US social Security.
 David Ingram wrote:
It is very unlikely that blind or unexpected email to me will be answered.  I receive anywhere from 100 to 700  unsolicited emails a day and usually answer anywhere from 2 to 20 if they are not from existing clients.  Existing clients are advised to put their 'name and PAYING CUSTOMER' in the subject and get answered first.  I also refuse to be a slave to email and do not look at it every day and have never ever looked at it when I am out of town.  e bankruptcy expert  US Canada Canadian American  Mexican Income Tax help
However, I regularly search for the words"PAYING CUSTOMER" and always answer them first if they did not get spammed out. As an example, as I write this on Oct 18, 2007 since June 16th (124 days), my 'spammed out' box has 34,939 unread messages, my deleted box has 11854 I have actually looked at and deleted and I answerd 1078 email questions for clients and strangers.  I have also put aside 622 messages that I am maybe going to try and answer because they look interesting. -e bankruptcy expert  US Canada Canadian American  Mexican Income Tax help

Therefore, if an email is not answered in 24 to 36 hours, it is lost in space.  You can try and resend it but if important AND YOU TRULY WANT OR NEED AN ANSWER, you will have to phone to make an appointment.  Gillian Bryan generally accepts appointment requests for me between 10:30 AM and 4:00 PM Monday to Friday VANCOUVER (Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles) time at (604) 980-0321. expert  US Canada Canadian American  Mexican Income Tax help.

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This is not intended to be definitive but in general I am quoting $900 to $2,900 for a dual country tax return.
$900 would be one T4 slip one W2 slip one or two interest slips and you lived in one country only (but were filing both countries) - no self employment or rentals or capital gains - you did not move into or out of the country in this year.
$1,100 would be the same with one rental
$1,300 would be the same with one business no rental
$1,300 would be the minimum with a move in or out of the country. These are complicated because of the back and forth foreign tax credits. - The IRS says a foreign tax credit takes 1 hour and 53 minutes.
$1,600 would be the minimum with a rental or two in the country you do not live in or a rental and a business and foreign tax credits  no move in or out

$1,700 would be for two people with income from two countries

$2,900 would be all of the above and you moved in and out of the country.
This is just a guideline for US / Canadian returns
We will still prepare Canadian only (lives in Canada, no US connection period) with two or three slips and no capital gains, etc. for $175.00 up.
With a Rental for $375
A Business for $375 - Rental and business likely $500
And an American only (lives in the US with no Canadian income or filing period) with about the same things in the same range with a little bit more if there is a state return.
Moving in or out of the country or part year earnings in the US will ALWAYS be $800 and up.
TDF 90-22.1 forms are $50 for the first and $25.00 each after that when part of a tax return.
8891 forms are generally $50.00 to $100.00 each.
18 RRSPs would be $900.00 - (maybe amalgamate a couple)
Capital gains *sales)  are likely $50.00 for the first and $20.00 each after that.

Catch - up returns for the US where we use the Canadian return as a guide will be $150 to $500.00 depending upon numbers of bank accounts, RRSP's, existence of rental houses, etc.

Just a guideline not etched in stone.
This from "ask an income trusts tax and immigration expert" from or or David Ingram deals on a daily basis with expatriate tax returns with multi jurisdictional cross and trans border expatriate problems  for the United States, Canada, Mexico, Great Britain, United Kingdom, Kuwait, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, China, New Zealand, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Russia, Georgia, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Scotland, Ireland, Hawaii, Florida, Montana, Morocco, Israel, Iraq, Iran, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Mali, Bangkok, Greenland, Iceland, Cuba, Bahamas, Bermuda, Barbados, St Vincent, Grenada,, Virgin Islands, US, UK, GB, and any of the 43 states with state tax returns, etc. Rockwall, Dallas, San Antonio Houston, Denmark, Finland, Sweden Norway Bulgaria Croatia Income Tax and Immigration Tips, Income Tax  Immigration Wizard Antarctica Rwanda Guru  Consultant Specialist Section 216(4) 216(1) NR6 NR-6 NR 6 Non-Resident Real Estate tax specialist expert preparer expatriate anti money laundering money seasoning FINTRAC E677 E667 105 106 TDF-90 Reporting $10,000 cross border transactions Grand Cayman Aruba Zimbabwe South Africa Namibia help USA US Income Tax Convention. Advice on bankruptcy  e bankruptcy expert  US Canada Canadian American  Mexican Income Tax help.

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