Expat Forum For People Moving Overseas And Living Abroad banner

1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I know this is a personal decision, but we have some doubts. I would appreciate any advice.

In two months my wife and I can apply for citizenship after 5 years with green card. Our plan is to apply for us nationality and then go back to our country, Spain, and stay there the rest of our life.

We think it would be better to have double nationality so will have USA doors opened. Who knows if for whatever reason we decide to go back to USA.

I have been reading that there are more and more Americans renouncing to their nationality due to taxation. Is this so painful? Has anybody had any experience about it?

Is having double nationality going to be a headache more than having the freedom to live wherever you want?

Thanks for any advice,

Charles
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
36,241 Posts
Hello,

I know this is a personal decision, but we have some doubts. I would appreciate any advice.

In two months my wife and I can apply for citizenship after 5 years with green card. Our plan is to apply for us nationality and then go back to our country, Spain, and stay there the rest of our life.

We think it would be better to have double nationality so will have USA doors opened. Who knows if for whatever reason we decide to go back to USA.

I have been reading that there are more and more Americans renouncing to their nationality due to taxation. Is this so painful? Has anybody had any experience about it?

Is having double nationality going to be a headache more than having the freedom to live wherever you want?

Thanks for any advice,

Charles
you do realise that Spain doesn't recognise dual nationality?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,094 Posts
This would put you in a difficult position with the Spanish government because they don't recognize dual nationality with the United States. I'm not sure if the United States would somehow inform Spain that you've taken on US citizenship, but even if they didn't you'd always have to hide the fact from Spanish authorities.

The tax thing is not to be taken lightly. You would have to file a US income tax return reporting any income earned anywhere in the world for the rest of your life. There's a dual tax agreement on earned income under about $100,000, but you would be liable for paying tax on unearned income. You'd also have to file an FBAR report with the US Treasury Department every year if you have more than $10,000 in total in foreign banks or securities.

I totally understand your concern, however, about not wanting to close doors on future possibilities in the US. Especially with the economic situation as it is in Spain I would not rush into anything. I think you're going to have to think long and hard about your prospects here and decide based on that. Good luck!
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
36,241 Posts
Yes, I know. I meant: I would have two passports, not double nationality. Thx
I'm not sure that you would have two passports - & that is the same as dual nationality

I know for sure that if I take Spanish nationality I have to hand over my UK passport & Spain sends it to the British Consulate

would the US not expect the same?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,245 Posts
Now, the US isn't going to be any worse than Spain in terms of taxes, but I wouldn't do it if I were you. I would only get the nationality if you feel you want to be forever linked to a nation you say you're no longer going to live in.

Are there any laws about the US revoking the nationality of naturalized citizens who move home? I know you can't get a green card if the US isn't going to be your residence...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
When you say that you would be liable for paying tax on unearned income, then this income is not included in the dual tax agreement? What happens if in the future I have unearned income that I have paid taxes for in Spain. Should I also have to pay taxes for this to the usa?
Thanks very much.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I have read that there are many spaniards with usa and spanish passport and they don't have issues. Thanks very much
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
36,241 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
387 Posts
I would never take us citizenship because it is one of the only countries in the world where you have file a tax return even if you do not live there. Also you are liable to pay us taxes over a certain amount. They think they own you even when you are resident in spain. Secondly they have an exit tax on your wealth should you decide to renounce your US citizenship.

http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2012/05/18/tax-history-why-u-s-pursues-citizens-overseas/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,094 Posts
When you say that you would be liable for paying tax on unearned income, then this income is not included in the dual tax agreement? What happens if in the future I have unearned income that I have paid taxes for in Spain. Should I also have to pay taxes for this to the usa?
Thanks very much.
There's a Foreign Earned Income Exclusion and a Foreign Tax Credit...it's all rather complicated and I'm no expert. I agree that the place to start asking for details is on the Expat Tax forum here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
212 Posts
Just to set the record straight on an American getting Spanish citizenship, they do not ask for your American passport. They do make you swear you intend to give up your American citizenship.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,245 Posts
I would never take us citizenship because it is one of the only countries in the world where you have file a tax return even if you do not live there. Also you are liable to pay us taxes over a certain amount. They think they own you even when you are resident in spain. Secondly they have an exit tax on your wealth should you decide to renounce your US citizenship.

Tax History: Why U.S. Pursues Citizens Overseas - Washington Wire - WSJ
It's a real pain in the neck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,055 Posts
I'm not sure that you would have two passports - & that is the same as dual nationality

I know for sure that if I take Spanish nationality I have to hand over my UK passport & Spain sends it to the British Consulate

would the US not expect the same?
One used to have to hand over the passport, not sure that that happens now
I am informed by the consulate here, because the U.K. authorities will not accept renunciation of nationality they will send your passport back to you.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
36,241 Posts
One used to have to hand over the passport, not sure that that happens now
I am informed by the consulate here, because the U.K. authorities will not accept renunciation of nationality they will send your passport back to you.
me too :)

I don't know if that would apply to a Spaniard taking US citizenship though :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34 Posts
best not tell Spain then ;)
they know or else it wouldn't be allowed no lol? All my friends in similar position to me (born in USA to Spanish parents) all have dual nationalities and I don't think it's ever been an issue. I mean been to the Spanish consulate plenty of times here in the USA to renew paperwork such as DNI etc and they never stated otherwise.

I think they may not recognize under certain circumstances like if you're a Spanish citizen who becomes a citizen of another country after a certain age but those of us lucky to be born in another country to Spanish parents I think we are automatically allowed to be given dual nationality? AFAIK.
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top