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Tax Law (Questions About Taxes)/expatriation tax question


I am an American citizen, married to a Canadian who has held a green card since 1986 who has employment in the USA almost a year ago and has been unable to find work in his field since then. Last week he was contacted by a Canadian employer who offered him a job back in his native country. If he accepted he would have to surrender his green card status.
Would he, under these circumstances, be forced to pay the US expatriation tax or is there an exemption for someone who leaves the USA under these circumstances? Thank you

Dear Mary,

Expatriation tax applies only to the "covered expatriates". If your wife otherwise does not meet conditions as covered expatriate, then surrendering a green card as a condition of employment does not make her one.  However, filing of form 8854 is required anyway.

Please see for details.

Hope this helps
I.J.Zemelman, EA

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IJ Zemelman, EA MBA


I am an IRS-authorized EA and principal of a Tax Preparation firm focusing on U.S. Expatriates. We specialize in all tax issues faced by American citizens living abroad - such as foreign earned income, tax treaties, foreign spouse, etc. Visit our website - - for more information.


18 years professional tax experience, 12 with expatriate taxes.

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MBA from Zicklin School Of Business, IRS Enrolled Agent

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