Entering the US
Ask your questions about Entering the US (before or after renunciation/relinquishment) here.
This thread will be focused closely on Entering the US questions and answers. If the conversation starts to ramble, those comments will be moved to another thread.
Previous Entering the US thread
Previous Related Thread: Dealing with Banking, Consulate and Entering the US
Or the fact that the US is the only country from which you can make a land crossing into Canada.
Based on my experience, the US doesn’t seem to pay much attention to dual citizenship data at the border.
The only citizenship that really matters to the US is US citizenship. Any other citizenship they mostly consider to be an annoyance. All those foolish people slavishly believe that the US is the greatest country in the history of the world. That’s not surprising when you consider that most Americans will never apply for a passport and will never travel outside of the US. Legends in their own minds…..
Canadians travelling to or through U.S. should pay close attention to their withering rights’
‘Latest changes to Preclearance Agreement give U.S. officials dangerously extended power on Canadian soil’
H.M. Jocelyn · for CBC News Opinion · Posted: Dec 15, 2019 4:00 AM ET
Renounced long ago, I need to return to the US to find care for my elderly mother. AFAIK I am in one of the cases allowed to enter the US, having immediate family (my mother). Have people in similar positions gone to the US this summer? What documents did they need to furnish at Immigration (birth certificate? mother’s passport?)?
I have no experience on this issue but a couple of thoughts. You have two separate problems:
1. Getting over the border. Currently there don’t seem to be any great restrictions on people flying to the US, it’s much easier than driving. I would try flying first, but in both cases I would bring some sort of supporting documentation to prove your story.
2. Your loss of US citizenship. The regular advice is to not say anything about renunciation, but bring a copy of your CLN in case they notice the US birthplace on your Canadian passport. As a former citizen you no longer have an absolute right to enter the US, so if someone wanted to be a dick about it, they could keep you out.
You might also want to call CBP at your planned point of entry to discuss the situation.
I assumed you were Canadian. If not, whole different ball game. Depends on where you’re coming from.
Coming from Europe. I’ve often been to the US after renouncing. Only once did I have to show my CLN.
Anyway, because of Covid the US is restricting access from Europe mostly to US citizens, with some exceptions, including the one I fit under, having an immediate family member. So I’m wondering has anyone entered the US over the summer from Europe under this exception? And what documents does one need to show, if any?
I will enter via Boston. I could change to NYC.
Someone may report back, or not. In the meantime call CBP or the consulate I guess. Presumably you need an ESTA waiver to enter now?
You wrote “Think of Ghandi’s peaceful resistance to the British in India. Why not a peaceful resistance to FATCA? What is the world’s biggest debtor going to do about it?”
This raises a question I had on a FATCA-based thread on Quora – the guy I was discussing it with suggested I post here. I was wondering quite how worried one should be if one was, say born in the USA (or parents born in the USA) but no other ties to the US, and the IRS decides you owe them $600k for not filing tax returns (as I believe is plausible).
Is it a matter of being unable to fly to the US without fear of being arrested, or is the US able to take action to reclaim funds even if you stay where you are (be that Canada, the UK or elsewhere)?
The IRS has admitted their inability to do anything meaningful with the FATCA data which has been sent thus far. Bank account balances tell them very little. If you have no financial life in the USA, how would the IRS even know that you are *supposed* to file US tax returns?
The IRS would have to prove that you owed that much before any sort of arrest warrant could be issued. Again, what information would they have to do so? And would it be worth their while?
As for trying to claim funds from abroad, only five countries have agreements with the IRS, and even those countries will not assist if the person involved were also a citizen of their country at the time the ‘debt’ was incurred. Canada has an assistance agreement but will not help against their own citizens. The UK does not have an assistance agreement.
I renounced in October 2018 and never filed a single bit of US tax paperwork. I don’t lose any sleep over this. Nor do I have any fear about entering the USA.
I don’t need to repeat the previous answer so I’ll skip that for some specifics:
Of the things you fear:
1. Can the IRS determine that you owe it money? The only data it would have about you is possibly FATCA information for accounts being reported by your bank (which is not all accounts). That includes year-end balance plus interest/dividend income, but no transaction details. If that income was in the millions the IRS might eventually notice and generate a substitute return to figure out what you might owe, but no evidence as yet of the them having done so.
2. Can the IRS collect money from you outside the US? Only in very limited cases, if you live in one of five countries (Canada, Denmark, France, Netherlands, Sweden) but are not a citizen of that country. Otherwise no, unless possibly some you are some sort of massive international tax criminal and they want to spend the money it would cost to attempt to seize assets and/or extradite you.
3. Can you be arrested on entry to the US? If you owed a massive amount of money and a warrant had been issued for your arrest, then yes. Otherwise, if you owe a moderate amount of money there is a program under which you might be flagged on entry and pulled aside to gather contact information. (You might also have your US passport taken away.) Presumably in both cases one would have had a prior conversation with the IRS and be aware of the risk. Otherwise there is no risk of being detained for simple non-compliance (excepting the highly unlikely scenario in question 1 of huge FATCA numbers leading to a substitute return). US customs and immigration has no access to IRS data – they can’t check to see if you’ve been filing – and even if they did it means nothing, as many millions of people with lower incomes fall below the threshold at which one must file tax returns.
Despite all of the above, it is still well worth taking precautions to avoid being reported under FATCA. This is your first line of defence. If you are born outside the US and have another citizenship (i.e. US parentage) this is dead easy. If you were born in the US, it can be difficult in some countries, easy in others. In Canada you can open an account using ID that does not show place of birth, and simply skip over the little box on the form that asks if you are “resident in another country for tax purposes.” In other countries it’s taken more seriously, ID showing birthplace is required. US-born dual citizens sometimes have a difficult time keeping their accounts open, never mind avoiding reporting.
All in all, the risks of non-compliance are exceedingly low unless you are playing around with huge sums of money. I don’t bother with Quora but feel free to quote this answer back at anyone.
For #3 above, “moderate” means in excess of $50,000 owed.
The IRS is incapable of linking foreign bank accounts without a social security number attached to the account. If the “foreign” account holder never submitted a ssn, then there is no chance
the IRS could determine that there were taxes owed. Their primary target is individuals living in the US with hidden foreign assets. Persons living elsewhere with no US ties have nothing to fear.