Imagine this: you consider yourself hardly American. Your husband is Dutch and your children, born and raised in Holland are as Dutch as a ‘broodje kroket’, but the US government doesn’t agree, they perceive your children as American and they want to collect taxes.
Sounds far-fetched? Unfortunately, it is not. For many parents and offspring of American descent living abroad, this is a disconcerting reality.
‘My father is Dutch and my mum, born in Oklahoma, has been living in The Netherlands for over 41 years’, says Annemijn. She came here as a little girl with her parents. After that she never lived in the States again, never studied there, and never worked there. “Personally I have no ties with America except with my dear family members living there and my American nationality, which I never asked for.’’
By American law, Annemijn, born in the Netherlands in 1988, is Dutch and American, receiving her American citizenship automatically through her mother. Last year her mother received the so-called FACTA letter from the RABO bank, stating that she, being American, has to file taxes in the U.S. and her daughter as well.
It often disheartens Annemijn. ‘In January we started the procedure to annul our American citizenship. This will cost us 2.115 euros and give us a lot of administrative hassle. And we still have to file American taxes over the past five years. This is something that gives my mother and me sleepless nights. I understand the law is created to catch American tax evaders, but we are not tax evaders. We are hardworking Dutch citizens.’
For the past eight years, Annemijn has been working as a nurse in The Hague. ‘This year I am going to marry my Dutch boyfriend. We would love to buy a house and work on a future together, but with this business going on we do not dare to buy a house because what would America think of that? Do I have to pay taxes on that as well? It feels so unfair. We pay taxes on all our belongings in Holland, the land we live in, the country we love.’
A lot of Americans living outside of the U.S. are totally surprised when they find out that their children born abroad also have American nationality and are obligated to file taxes in the U.S. In reality, it rarely occurs that they have to pay US taxes as well.
A lot of people are simply unaware of the fact that American citizenship is perceived through an American parent. And annulling their US citizenship can only be done when they are 18 years and over.
Annemijn: ‘Through an article on the news site NOS I learned about the organization Americans Overseas. They are the only source giving me the right information on what is going on with the FACTA law.’
Unfortunately, the story of Annemijn is not an exception. In May 2016, American Overseas was asked by the Dutch government to survey this group. Over 1000 people participated. The results were, together with all the letters that American Overseas had received, handed over to the Dutch Parliament.
Americans Overseas helps Americans living abroad to become US tax compliant in an organized way and avoid unnecessary double taxation. Based on your personal situation, we introduce you to the appropriate US tax advisor in our AOS network who will make you a tailor-made offer to help with your tax filings free of charge and free of any obligations.
Understanding the US tax system, the obligations, and all the additional terms can be difficult. Especially if one lives outside of America. Is your question not answered? Contact us.
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