U.S. Expatriation on or after June 17, 2008

If you expatriated on or after June 17, 2008, the new IRC 877A expatriation rules apply to you if any of the following statements apply. Your average annual net income tax for the 5 years ending before the date of expatriation or termination of residency is more than a specified amount that is adjusted for inflation ($151,000 for 2012, $155,000 for 2013, $157,000 for 2014, and $160,000 for 2015).


Your net worth is $2 million or more on the date of your expatriation or termination of residency. You fail to certify on Form 8854 that you have complied with all U.S. federal tax obligations for the 5 years preceding the date of your expatriation or termination of residency. 


If any of these rules apply, you are a “covered expatriate.” A citizen will be treated as relinquishing his or her U.S. citizenship on the earliest of four possible dates:

  1. the date the individual renounces his or her U.S. nationality before a diplomatic or consular officer of the United States, provided the renunciation is subsequently approved by the issuance to the individual of a certificate of loss of nationality by the U.S. Department of State;
  2. the date the individual furnishes to the U.S. Department of State a signed statement of voluntary relinquishment of U.S. nationality confirming the performance of an act of expatriation specified in paragraph (1), (2), (3), or (4) of section 349(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1481(a)(1)-(4)), provided the voluntary relinquishment is subsequently approved by the issuance to the individual of a certificate of loss of nationality by the U.S. Department of State;
  3. the date the U.S. Department of State issues to the individual a certificate of loss of nationality; or
  4. the date a U.S. court cancels a naturalized citizen’s certificate of naturalization.

For long-term residents, as defined in IRC 7701(b)(6), a long-term resident ceases to be a lawful permanent resident if:

  1. the individual’s status of having been lawfully accorded the privilege of residing permanently in the United States as an immigrant in accordance with immigration laws has been revoked or has been administratively or judicially determined to have been abandoned, or
  2. the individual: commences to be treated as a resident of a foreign country under the provisions of a tax treaty between the United States and the foreign country, does not waive the benefits of the treaty applicable to residents of the foreign country, and notifies the IRS.

IRC 877A imposes a mark-to-market regime, which generally means that all property of a covered expatriate is deemed sold for its fair market value on the day before the expatriation date. Any gain arising from the deemed sale is taken into account for the tax year of the deemed sale notwithstanding any other provisions of the Code. Any loss from the deemed sale is taken into account for the tax year of the deemed sale to the extent otherwise provided in the Code, except that the wash sale rules of IRC 1091 do not apply.


The amount that would otherwise be includible in gross income by reason of the deemed sale rule is reduced (but not to below zero) by $600,000, which amount is to be adjusted for inflation for calendar years after 2008 (the “exclusion amount”). For calendar year 2014, the exclusion amount is $680,000.


The amount of any gain or loss subsequently realized (i.e., pursuant to the disposition of the property) will be adjusted for gain and loss taken into account under the IRC 877A mark-to-market regime, without regard to the exclusion amount. A taxpayer may elect to defer payment of tax attributable to property deemed sold.