Form 8854

Initial and Annual Expatriation Statement

On occasion, U.S. citizens decide to give up their citizenship and cut ties with the U.S. Whether that’s because you’re an Accidental American or you’ve established a life overseas, you still have a few tasks you’ve got to check off your U.S. tax list before renouncing U.S. life for good. Filing IRS Form 8854, Initial and Annual Expatriation Statement, may be one of those tasks.

Find out what Form 8854 is, who has to file, and how to file with H&R Block below. Ready to begin? Get started with an Expat Tax Advisor now.

What is tax form 8854 used for?

Two U.S. citizens abroad looking at tax form 8854

Tax form 8854 is the form every U.S. citizen or long-term resident needs to file before giving up their U.S. citizenship/residency for good. It shows that you are not a covered expatriate and proves to the U.S. government that you’ve settled all your tax bills. If it turns out you’re considered a covered expatriate, you may end up owing an exit tax.

A covered expatriate is someone who meets at least one of the below standards:

  1. You have a personal net worth of over $2 million at the date of expatriation
  2. Your average net income tax liability from the past five years is over a set amount ($171,000 for 2020)
  3. You fail to indicate on Form 8854 that you’ve filed a tax return for each of the past five years

Who has to file IRS Form 8854?

Tax form 8854 is used by long-term residents giving up their Green Card and U.S. citizens relinquishing their U.S. citizenship. Long-term residents are those who have held a Green Card for eight out of the past 15 years. So, if you are a Green Card holder and have only had it for two years, you would not have to file this form.

If you’re required to file and you don’t, the penalties are steep: If you fail to file Form 8854 when you’re supposed to you could be fined up to $10,000.

How to file Form 8854 with H&R Block Expat Tax Services

We don’t recommend you try and file this form on your own because of all the small details that have big impacts. For example, you’ll need to check the box that states the last five years of your U.S. taxes have been correctly filed. If you know they’re not 100% correct, you’ll have to get them amended.

Here’s the simple process of filing Form 8854 for expatriation with an H&R Block Expat Tax Advisor:

  1. Register online and complete your tax organizer.
  2. We'll assign you the right advisor for your situation
  3. We prepare your U.S. tax return
  4. You’ll pay for and review the return
  5. We file your return with the IRS

Need help filing Form 8854 to expatriate? Trust the experts at H&R Block’s Expat Tax Services to get it done right.

If you need to file tax Form 8854 to expatriate from the U.S., we’re here to help. Our highly trained experts have helped thousands of Americans file their U.S. expat taxes, so you can trust our expertise and guidance to help determine the best tax strategies for you.

Start with an Expat Tax Advisor for free today!