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The Great Win of Boris Johnson? He Defeated the Internal Revenue Service

The deposed British Prime Minister was undoubtedly unique, whether you liked him or not.

He will continue to receive criticism for some time, most likely much more criticism than praise.

But he might inspire some admiration in those who have battled the formidable IRS of the United States.

After all, despite being a Brit, he faced the IRS and ultimately managed to defeat them. Mr Johnson served as foreign secretary before being elected prime minister of the United Kingdom.

He was, however, also a well-known American citizen, having been born there and leaving at the age of five.

In addition to British taxes, that meant dealing with the IRS yearly. He had a dislike for paying taxes to the IRS and had been vocal about it for years by refusing to do so and acting as a sort of tax protestor.

Then, in 2017, it was revealed that he had given up his American citizenship the year before and was listed on the official published list of people who had done so.

He was well-known for avoiding IRS fines and foregoing his citizenship in the end to settle his tax dispute. Mr Johnson once dared to publicly refuse to pay the IRS.

Prime Minister of the Conservative Party and departing official Boris Johnson

In fact, as retaliation, he once criticized the American Embassy in London for failing to pay the city’s congestion tax.

He long objected to paying American taxes, and according to some reports, he had long since renounced his citizenship.

Despite threats to renounce in a column from 2006, the BBC has confirmed that he did not give it up until 2016.

Check out Johnson’s NPR interview from 2014 if you want to hear a displeased taxpayer complain about being bombarded with capital gains tax demands from the IRS.

Even though it was exempt from tax in England under UK law, the IRS taxed the sale of his first home in the U.K. Taxing Americans everywhere, according to Mr Johnson, is inexcusable. Since the age of five, he hasn’t resided in the United States.

When questioned in 2014 about paying the bill, Johnson responded:


“No is the response. It absolutely disgusts me, in my opinion. Why would I? I feel like, you know, I’m not a… Since the time I was five years old, I haven’t lived in the United States.

I pay the majority of my taxes, in full, in the United Kingdom, where I live and work.

Has Boris actually defeated the IRS? Renouncing, however, would not eliminate a past or present tax debt.

Although specifics are private, Mr Johnson likely had to pay the IRS to be able to renounce.

You typically need to demonstrate five years of U.S. tax compliance, and in some cases, you must also pay an exit tax, to leave the country.

Some long-term residents who renounce their Green Cards must also pay the tax. The U.S. Treasury Department releases a list of people who have given up their citizenship every three months.

Renouncing is obviously not for the weak of heart, but for people who have left the U.S. and don’t want to pay the IRS forever, it is an option.

A politician is not required to be tempted. Many Americans have been tempted while abroad. According to data from the Federal Register, renunciations increased after Congress passed FATCA—the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act.

Although the IRS and FBI both keep track of Americans who renounce, nobody seems to be certain of the precise size of the problem.

There is no single explanation for the rise, though some renouncers provide their motivations for doing so.

Family, tax and legal issues can all be justifications for renouncing. But some people give up because of FATCA and global tax reporting.

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Non-U.S. banks and financial institutions are compelled by FATCA to disclose information about American accounts or face severe fines.

Generally speaking, Americans who live and work abroad must file tax returns and pay local taxes.

However, they must also keep submitting tax returns in the United States, where reporting is based on their worldwide income.

Some claim that switching to residence-based taxation would be an impossible fix for the United States.

The specific tax agreement Boris made with the IRS to get them off his back may never be revealed. He may have, but I’m betting that he paid the taxes in full and with interest.

penalties were evaded. One victory, however, that you cannot take away from him was giving up his American passport and ceasing to report and pay his yearly taxes to the American IRS.

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