Hello
Guest

Sponsored Links


Topic: The legalities of being an American in Britain  (Read 64228 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

  • *
  • Posts: 136

  • Liked: 0
  • Joined: Jan 2003
  • Location: Swindon, Wiltshire,
Re: The legalities of being an American in Britain
« Reply #45 on: May 15, 2004, 06:06:02 PM »
This is really great info Lisa (I don't come to this website as much as I should!)

I'm curious about something. I've got various savings plans through my previous US employers. I'm keeping them going because I know if I take the money now, I'll be taxed. If I was to become a UK citizen would that have any affect on my US accounts? I don't plan to do this, I'm just wondering.



  • LisaE
  • A Brit in an American shell
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 3033

  • From Naples, FL to Melksham, Wilts. No contest.
    • Well House Consultants
  • Liked: 4
  • Joined: May 2002
  • Location: Wiltshire
Re: The legalities of being an American in Britain
« Reply #46 on: May 17, 2004, 07:34:49 AM »
No effect on your US accounts. But do keep filing taxes, even though you won't have to pay anything. I've got an IRA (Individual Retirement Account), same early withdrawal penalties you're talking about, and have kept that going all this time.
Married to Graham, we run our own open-source computer training company in beautiful Wiltshire out of our 1814 Georgian Regency home (a former lodging house and once featured in Antiques Roadshow)


  • *
  • Posts: 8

  • Liked: 0
  • Joined: Jul 2003
  • Location: Leeds
Re: The legalities of being an American in Britain
« Reply #47 on: June 13, 2004, 09:42:14 AM »
Hi,
I haven't read this topic before, I should have because I too was told by my tax consultant in the states, that I did not have to pay income tax,  and never thought about it again.  (The ignorance thing), Now I am worried because I haven't filed in the 2 years since I have been here, What does one do to find out about how to straighten things out.  I have visions of the IRS waiting for me on my next visit in the states at the airport, with some sort of warrant.  Help!!!
Celia 
Never laugh at anyone's dreams. People who don't have dreams
don't have much.



  • LisaE
  • A Brit in an American shell
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 3033

  • From Naples, FL to Melksham, Wilts. No contest.
    • Well House Consultants
  • Liked: 4
  • Joined: May 2002
  • Location: Wiltshire
Re: The legalities of being an American in Britain
« Reply #48 on: June 16, 2004, 09:27:49 AM »
The IRS would be very happy for you to just fess up and file the last two years. It happens all the time and really, honestly, no offense intended, but you're not really a human face to them, so they're not focusing on you. The worst that will happen is that you might have to pay some sort of late penalty. The best thing? Your peace of mind. I wouldn't sweat not filing in the sense of feeling too guilty to make up for it. Just shrug, say "oops" and go ahead and file. It is that easy.
Married to Graham, we run our own open-source computer training company in beautiful Wiltshire out of our 1814 Georgian Regency home (a former lodging house and once featured in Antiques Roadshow)


  • *
  • Posts: 886

    • Dharma in the Dishes
  • Liked: 0
  • Joined: Jun 2004
  • Location: Midlands
Re: The legalities of being an American in Britain
« Reply #49 on: June 23, 2004, 03:43:37 PM »
I need to contact the IRS and request the appropriate form for me. I have lived and worked in the UK since 2002, but I have not filed any of the income I've earned here. What forms do I need and how do I get them?? somebody please help, I am hopelessly inept at these things


  • LisaE
  • A Brit in an American shell
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 3033

  • From Naples, FL to Melksham, Wilts. No contest.
    • Well House Consultants
  • Liked: 4
  • Joined: May 2002
  • Location: Wiltshire
Re: The legalities of being an American in Britain
« Reply #50 on: June 23, 2004, 05:30:42 PM »
Contact the American Embassy in London...the IRS has an office there.
Click for IRS Frequently Asked questions
(Also contains phone and address in London.)
Married to Graham, we run our own open-source computer training company in beautiful Wiltshire out of our 1814 Georgian Regency home (a former lodging house and once featured in Antiques Roadshow)


Re: The legalities of being an American in Britain
« Reply #51 on: July 15, 2004, 10:31:55 PM »
Lisa, did you find out the scoop about life insurance? I am British married to a US citizen living in the UK and we both have life insurance of £100,000 via Norwich Union. Will his being a US citizen affect this?

Another thing people might want to know: some travel insurance policies do not apparantly cover US citizens for emergency medical treatment in the US. We have annual travel insurance (about £9 a month for us as a couple through Goldfish).
« Last Edit: July 15, 2004, 10:34:21 PM by Squirrel »


  • LisaE
  • A Brit in an American shell
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 3033

  • From Naples, FL to Melksham, Wilts. No contest.
    • Well House Consultants
  • Liked: 4
  • Joined: May 2002
  • Location: Wiltshire
Re: The legalities of being an American in Britain
« Reply #52 on: July 23, 2004, 10:03:34 PM »
I was able to get life insurance here in this country for myself. The company knows I'm American. I would suggest that if you're thinking about doing the same, make sure the company KNOWS he's American and agrees to insure him because it could affect the payout.

I have car insurance with Norwich Union for an American car and have had no trouble.
Married to Graham, we run our own open-source computer training company in beautiful Wiltshire out of our 1814 Georgian Regency home (a former lodging house and once featured in Antiques Roadshow)


  • *
  • Posts: 1249

  • Liked: 0
  • Joined: Aug 2004
  • Location: High Wycombe, Bucks
Re: The legalities of being an American in Britain
« Reply #53 on: August 01, 2004, 11:58:57 PM »
The US gov't does not require you to file taxes if you earned less than a certain amount in a year - these amounts are very small.\
For example, if you are single, you are exempt from filing taxes if you made less than about $7,800 for the year.
Anything above that and you're required to file (it varies for married filing jointly or separately).

If you need to file a US tax return, in most cases, due to a treaty between the UK and US, you are exempt from having
to pay tax on the first $80,000 you earn over the year.  You must have lived in the UK for a certain period of time to qualify
otherwise you will have to pay the tax and then later request a refund when you are eligible.

Inheritance tax in the UK is based on any amount over £255,000.  There's no tax levied on anything below this.

I really like the UK tax system where most people tend to only pay tax via the PAYE system right out of their paycheck.  Really beats having to fill out tax returns every year.  Obviously, if you're a higher rate tax payer or have had certain circumstances you will need to file a UK tax return or it may be in your interest to do so.

Matt
And the world first spoke to me in Sensurround


  • *
  • Posts: 1674

  • Liked: 5
  • Joined: Jul 2004
  • Location: Asia, but coming back to London
Re: The legalities of being an American in Britain
« Reply #54 on: August 02, 2004, 01:02:03 AM »
Quote
Ok, maybe I'm just completely dense, but I don't really understand the whole "domicile" concept.  What is the difference between domicile and residency? 
This is my understanding.  All US citizens have to file Federal income tax returns. 

Whether or not you file a state return depends on if your state is a domiciliary residence state and if your state has an income tax.  Obviously, if you were a resident of a non-income tax state, you never filed state income tax returns and won't in thhe future.  That's the easy one. 

For all the other states, you have to figure out if they are a domiciliary residence state.  This information is generally on the state's department of revenue website.  If your state is one of these, you continue to file state income tax returns, unless you can prove that you became a resident of another state (look at the earlier list LisaE provided).  Moving to another country doesn't get you out of this.  The only way to get out of filing in that state is taking up residence in another STATE. 

On the other hand, some states do not have domicile rules.  For instance, my residence is in LA and it is a not domiciliary residence state.  I will not have to file state income tax, in the future, because of this, regardless of the fact that I will still have ties to the state (like voting, bank accounts, etc.).


  • LisaE
  • A Brit in an American shell
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 3033

  • From Naples, FL to Melksham, Wilts. No contest.
    • Well House Consultants
  • Liked: 4
  • Joined: May 2002
  • Location: Wiltshire
Re: The legalities of being an American in Britain
« Reply #55 on: August 02, 2004, 11:37:16 AM »
The US gov't does not require you to file taxes if you earned less than a certain amount in a year - these amounts are very small.\
For example, if you are single, you are exempt from filing taxes if you made less than about $7,800 for the year.
Anything above that and you're required to file (it varies for married filing jointly or separately).
I'm going to challenge this... not for any other reason that I don't think it holds true for people living outside the US. For those INside the US, yes, I agree.
Married to Graham, we run our own open-source computer training company in beautiful Wiltshire out of our 1814 Georgian Regency home (a former lodging house and once featured in Antiques Roadshow)


  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 5875

  • You'll Never Walk Alone
  • Liked: 4
  • Joined: Apr 2002
  • Location: Rochester, Kent
Re: The legalities of being an American in Britain
« Reply #56 on: August 02, 2004, 12:23:07 PM »
Jemima is right.  If you make under a certain amount for your filing status, even outside the US, then you don't even have to file at all.
"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."

- Benjamin Franklin


  • LisaE
  • A Brit in an American shell
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 3033

  • From Naples, FL to Melksham, Wilts. No contest.
    • Well House Consultants
  • Liked: 4
  • Joined: May 2002
  • Location: Wiltshire
Re: The legalities of being an American in Britain
« Reply #57 on: August 03, 2004, 10:38:20 AM »
It makes sense. I think my confusion comes from the fact I went through a custody thing where all my finances from the past four years were put under a neutron microscope...and I had to file whether there was income or not.
Married to Graham, we run our own open-source computer training company in beautiful Wiltshire out of our 1814 Georgian Regency home (a former lodging house and once featured in Antiques Roadshow)


  • *
  • Posts: 16

  • Philobabblist, Writer, Smoker, Ex-Californian.
    • The National Cynical Network's Voicejail FAQ
  • Liked: 0
  • Joined: Sep 2004
  • Location: Hoo St. Werburgh, Kent
Re: The legalities of being an American in Britain
« Reply #58 on: September 09, 2004, 11:29:28 PM »
By now you should know well that the IRS is a very reptillian & unforgiving & suspecting creature. It clearly informs you at its website that all Americans have to file a 1040 (or whatever's applicable) every year if they make any income and live anywhere on this planet. The only time you don't have to file is when you have made absolutely zero income---and even then it is in your best interest to file so that it doesn't appear to their computers that you are dodging & hiding.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2004, 01:31:09 AM by Mr. Toke »
A mortal world can never be real because it is obviously temporary. And because this world is unreal, I do not believe in it. It's a lie. The truth exists on the other side of death.


  • *
  • Posts: 1096

  • Liked: 0
  • Joined: Aug 2004
  • Location: Birmingham, UK
Re: The legalities of being an American in Britain
« Reply #59 on: September 09, 2004, 11:47:55 PM »
I agree with Mr. Toke on this one.  My teenagers have had incomes some years and not others, but I've ALWAYS filed a tax return for them, with the same thought in mind - is someone at the IRS going to wonder why they didn't file this year?  My 16-year-old, at the rate she's going  ;D will not earn a penny this year, but I'll still file a federal return for her.  It's a short form, easy to fill out and mail, I'd rather be safe than sorry no matter where I live.
I speak from experience and what can be found here:  http://www.bia.homeoffice.gov.uk/


Sponsored Links