WASHINGTON, D.C. — A leading European Union official asked U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to reduce the cost for renouncing U.S. citizenship in a letter proposing a range of relief from tax and financial reporting requirements for European residents who are U.S. citizens by birthright but weren’t raised in America.
The so-called accidental Americans, citizens because they were born in the U.S. or born of U.S. parents abroad, owe U.S. taxes and face numerous filing obligations. Many would like to relinquish their U.S. citizenship, but it costs $2,350 and there are also expenses for filing tax returns and tax liabilities, wrote Terhi Järvikare, director general and head of the tax department for Finland’s Ministry of Finance.
“We would therefore propose to lower the cost of renunciation, to simplify the filing procedure and not require it for all cases,” she said Dec. 3 in a letter publicized Wednesday.
Finland holds the presidency of the EU Council.
Järvikare also petitioned Mnuchin for more clarity on some bank reporting requirements as part of information exchanges between European financial firms and U.S. authorities, without which accounts could get closed, and asked for improved reciprocity from the U.S.
“We are hoping to find a workable solution for the EU financial institutions and the US persons living in the EU Member States, without affecting the goals of the exchange of information, and we would like to continue discussions to that end,” Jarvikare said.
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