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Lev
Lev, Tax Advisor
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 28084
Experience:  Taxes, Immigration, Labor Relations
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Born in the USA but left as a child and have lived in Canada

Resolved Question:

Born in the USA but left as a child and have lived in Canada since leaving the USA. Do I need to file US income tax? worked in USA for one school semester and married an American girl
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Lev replied 5 years ago.

LEV :

Hi and welcome to Just Answer!
"Born in the USA" - means you are ab US citizen.
As an US citizen - you have to file your tax return and report all your worldwide income the same way as all other US citizens.
Filing requirements are based on total income, types of income, filing status, age, etc.
If you are single you generally must file if your income is above $9350. (For 2010) - see IRS pub 501 page 3 - http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p501.pdf
Because you are leaving abroad - you may exclude foreign earned income from taxable income. In additional if the same income is taxed in the US and in Canada - you may claim a credit for foreign tax paid - thus will effectively avoid double taxation.
So it is very likely that you do not owe any US taxes - but might still need to file your tax return.
Let me know if you need any help or clarification.

Customer:

So having not lived in the UAS since I was born does not exempt me from the filing requirement? Does this extensive time away from the USA not qualify as essentially not being a US citizen and therefore not having to file taxes. Is there an IRS publication that defines situation such as this?

LEV :

The IRS doesn't determine if you are an US citizen or not.
The 14th Amendment defines citizenship this way: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside."
However - if you are an US citizen - you have same filing requirements as all other US citizens.
IRS publication 54 deals with situations when US citizens are living abroad - http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p54.pdf - see filing requirements on page 3.

Customer:

So the IRS bases there definition of a citizen on the 14th amendement?The phase "and subject to the jurisdiction thereof"

LEV :

That is correct - that is 14th amendment of US Constitution.

Customer:

The phrase" and subject to the jurisdiction thereof" could be read to be a second condition of citizenship.Has this been tested in court? Are there any precedent cases that test this type of situation?

LEV :

We are not talking about the tax law that was recently introduces. That is 14th amendment of US Constitution. It was ratified on July 9, 1868 and has a long history.

Customer:

Are there any precedent cases that deal with long time residency in Canada as this relates to having the file USA tax forms?

LEV :

scroll down on this page - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourteenth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution
to see references to court cases.

LEV :

There is nothing specific related to residency in Canada.
However please be aware of the US-Canada tax treaty - that identified how income is taxed - http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p597.pdf
It has nothing to do with US filing requirements.

LEV :

Again - most likely you do not owe any taxes - thus there will not be any penalty - but still are required to file if your income is above certain level.

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