The proper care and feeding of the Green Card – An interview with “long term resident” Gary @Clueit

UPDATE 10 SEP 2018

Gary replied to this same post on the Citizenship Taxation Facebook Group. .

Gary Clueit In the example of the Covered Expat inheritance 40% tax on heirs I gave during the interview, I misstated that there was no credit available for any foreign estate tax or IHT paid, giving the UK as an example. Apparently, the amount due to the IRS can be offset by any amount paid to a foreign country. It makes no difference in my case, since my domicile is a country that has no estate or inheritance tax.

Also, only 4 OECD countries (Japan, South Korea, France, UK) have an estate tax equal to or more than the US. Every other country either has none (including 15 OECD countries), or is at a lower rate than the US. Which means, unless you are domiciled in one of the very few high tax countries, your heirs will still lose a significant portion of their inheritance.

It is one thing to pay death taxes where you are living/domiciled. It is an entirely different matter to have to pay anything to somewhere you once lived, left and paid an exit tax on ALL unrealized gains at the time. And zero credit for any increase in wealth since you departed.

Exceptionalism at its best!


Cross-posted from Citizenshipsolutions

JR 24UG2014 pic


The Internal Revenue Code of the United States imposes worldwide income taxation on ALL individuals who are U.S. citizens or who are otherwise defined as “residents” under the Internal Revenue Code. “Residents” includes those who have a visa for “permanent residence” (commonly referred to as a Green Card).

        John Richardson

A visa for “permanent residence” is a visa for immigration purposes. Once an individual receives a visa for “permanent residence” he will be considered to be a “resident” under the Internal Revenue Code. His status as a “resident” for tax purposes continues until he fulfills specific conditions to sever his “tax residency” with the United States. The conditions required to sever “tax residency” with the United States are found in S. 7701 of the Internal Revenue Code. (Basically a Green Card holder can’t simply move from the United States and sever tax residency.)

In the same way that U.S. citizens are subject to taxation on their worldwide income even if they don’t reside in the United States, “permanent residents” will continue to be subject to taxation on their worldwide income until they take specific steps to sever tax residency in the United States. In certain circumstances Green Card holders living outside the United States can avoid filing some of the “forms” that are required of U.S. citizens living abroad.

The steps to sever tax residency are found in S. 7701(b) of the Internal Revenue Code. Those wishing to explore this further are invited to read my earlier posts about Gerd Topsnik: Topsnik 1 and Topsnik 2. Those “permanent residents” who qualify as “long term residents” will be subject to the S. 877A Exit Tax rules if they try to sever tax residency with the United States. It’s probably easier to secure a “permanent residence visa” for immigration purposes, than it is to sever tax residency for income tax purposes.

On September 5, 2018 I had the opportunity to participate in a conversation with Mr. Gary Clueit who has been a permanent resident of the United States for 34 years. The following tweet links to the podcast of the conversation. Anybody considering moving to the United States as a “permanent resident” should listen to this podcast.

Mr. Clueit has previously written on how the S. 877A Exit Tax affects his situation. The following two tweets link to posts which capture his writing.
First, from

Gary Clueit:

As a long-term GC holder with no way to escape “covered expatriate” status, the article doesn’t really cover all the insidious side-effects. For example, determining the $2M net worth threshold does not cover any assets you might have had before moving to the US, or assets due to bequests from relatives that have never set foot in the US. Even after paying the exit tax on the “deemed sale” of everything you own worldwide, you will have to pay actual capital gains when you do actually sell. And every penny of any bequest or gift you make to someone resident in the US (i.e. a child or grandchild, even if they are not US citizens) is then further taxed at 40% (that they have to pay) with no limit. So, for example, if your net worth is $2.5M on the date of expatriation (i.e. covered expat), you pay the exit tax. Say your wealth increases to $250M AFTER you leave the US – if your heirs live in the US (again, whether citizens or not) and you leave that wealth to them, the entire $250M estate will be taxable to them at 40% regardless of the fact that 99% of your wealth at the time of death was created outside the US.

Even if GC holders decide to stay in the US, they are perpetually screwed. Besides never being allowed to vote (not really an issue since one never desired to be a citizen), though they are still expected to pay taxes on worldwide income. The worst comes at death:
US citizen spouses can transfer or gift an unlimited amount between each other. If you are the spouse of a GC holder the maximum transfer is $149,000 annually.

Upon death, a citizen can leave an unlimited amount to their spouse. If your spouse is a GC holder, the max is just over $5M. If you spouse is a nonresident alien, the maximum is $60,000. Amounts above that are subject to 40% estate tax.

There is also the possibility of being caught up in double estate tax issues when you die.
This is the ultimate in taxation without representation – one of the founding principles behind the creation of the US. Tea parties were held!

Second, from the Isaac Brock Society:

Perils & Pitfalls of Being a Green Card Holder

gary clueit

I am posting this comment of Gary Clueit that appeared on the Robert Wood article couple of days ago. Over the past few months, we have “met” Gary on FB, Twitter etc. Especially the Wednesday Tweet Rally- A group that just keeps on giving!!

by Gary Clueit
continued at the original post here


For more on Green Cards please see the following three articles by John Richardson:

Green Card Holders; the Tax Treaty TieBreaker rules and taxation of subpart F and PFIC income

Green Card Holders, the Tax Treaty Tie Breaker and REporting Forms 8938, 8621, and 5471

Green Card Holders, the Tax Treaty Tiebreaker and Eligibility or Streamline Offshore