IRS to go after Phil/Ams

Philippine Dual Citizenship Guide

I cam upon a news article today that could have implications for Filipino Americans, particularly people who have dual citizenship.  It is about how the IRS is handling Dual Citizens.  Could this affect you?

Filipino-Americans are now finding out much to their chagrin that maintaining American citizenship is becoming more complicated and expensive. In 2010, more than 1,500 people gave up their US citizenships, and those suspected of doing so for the sole purpose of avoiding taxes are barred from re-entering the US under a little known provision in immigration reform called the “Reed Amendment,” which was enacted in 1996. Not surprisingly, the new taxation program has generated a lot of controversy, not to mention fear, from American expats who have become naturalized citizens in their adopted countries. They resist what they call “double taxation” because they have been paying taxes in their adopted countries and so over the years, have not been filing US federal income tax returns. Even people who were born elsewhere, have never set foot and have never worked anywhere in the US – are considered American citizens simply because one of their parents happens to be a US citizen, and are therefore subject to the tax provisions of the IRS and required to file US taxes and disclosures. The US has income tax treaties with more than 42 countries – and the IRS can ferret out information on US citizens living in those countries and get a list of persons who have not been filing their income tax returns. Tax delinquents who returned to the US after living abroad for so many years found themselves not only swamped by tax assessments and penalties – they also had to pay fees far exceeding the original taxes they owed with their properties seized.

It is said that in this world, only two things are certain: death and taxation. For US citizens, the latter is turning out to be a nightmare. Worse for some people, they feel it is better to die than go to jail for tax evasion.

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Will this affect you?


  1. Dave Hooyer says

    Bob, That ammendment is 15 years old. I have not personally heard of anyone this has happened to, have you?

      • mcmad says

        Bob, if I acquire the dual Citizenship (as american and filipino) and if Im here in the US, do i need to pay taxes in the Philippines though Im not working there?
        If I have property there, I know I should pay taxes there in Philippines, do I need to pay taxes here in US regarding my property in Philippines?
        You’re reply will be highly appreciated.. Thank you..

        • says

          Hi mcmad – If you become a dual citizen, and are living in the USA, you will only have to pay income taxes in the Philippines if your income is derived from the Philippines. So, if you are working for a US company in the USA, there should be no Philippine income taxes due.

          You do not have to pay property taxes in the USA for Philippine properties.

          Good luck.

    • Mike Collins says

      Whether you live in the US or not, if you are a US Citizen you have to file at least one form to the IRS every year regarding your income/investments earned anywhere you go in the world regardless of where you live.
      TDF 90-22.1 this month; to be received by the Treasury Department by June 30th.
      That will include your children if the are US Citizens, even if they have never set foot on US soil or even worked in the US. This is US law so be aware as that article is very true. As a country going broke they are looking at individuals all over the world now to find any tax they can.
      This applies to ALL US Citizens period. Gotta luv that and the only way you can get away from doing that all your life is to renounce your US Citizenship. They have and can refuse that if they think you are doing that to afford taxes. The second part about refusing re entry back in the US is coming but not passed as yet.

  2. Dave says

    Bob, I have a question for you. My brother has been living here since 1994 and he is a dual citizen (Filipino and American). All of his Children are dual citizen but they have never set foot on US soil. If they get married here in the Philippines and give birth here can they still pass on the dual citizenship to their children? Or do they need to go to US to give birth?

    • says

      Hi Dave – It is my understanding that because those kids have never been to the USA, even though they are US citizens, they cannot pass US Citizenship to their children. Check with the US embassy to be certain, though.

  3. John Eat Mor Chikin says

    Hi Bob, how does dual citizenship work? What will be the marker that says I am of dual American and Philippine citizenship aside from a valid Philippine and U.S. Passport? What is the processing fee for, in attaining the re-acquisition/retention act? A stamp or a separate validation? Can I just enter Japan with my valid U.S. passport and leave the country to the Philippines with a valid Philippine passport without getting dual citizenship? And does triple citizenship exist? Philippine, American, Japanese? Or does Japan only limit to residency card? What about marriage? If I marry my Japanese American wife? What kinds of citizenship will she get and for our future children? Please advise me before I apply for a dual citizenship. And how long is the processing for re-acquisition? Thanks!

    • says

      Hi John Eat Mor Chikin – Hmm.. how much chicken do you eat? Is that your real name? I doubt it, and really hate it when people use phony names when asking for help or advice.

      • John Eat Mor Chikin says

        Lol. Sorry to offend you, but I wanted to remain anonymous. Isn’t it obvious? But anyway, I would gladly like to get respond with the relevant questions asked if you don’t mind. Thanks!


  4. Mer says

    Good day Bob,
    I am so glad to have seen this website of yours tackling about dual citizenship. I have been drooling here in the Net the whole day about my daughters concern. So here is my question..My daughter was born here in the Philippines and acquired US citizenship after 3 yrs. She is now 6 yrs. old and up to this date haven’t touched the US nor any other countries soil. This school break I’m bound to go to Australia and I want to bring my daughter with me since she has US Passport so she didnt needed to apply for visa. She also have Philippine passport as well. My question are will the Immigration counter at the airport going to ask me to pay for fees coz I’m going to use her US passport and not the Philippine Passport? Is there any written statements saying that a dual citizen doesn’t need to pay immigration fees? Do I still need to apply for dual citicenship card for her even she haven’t went to US since birth?

    • says

      Hi Mer – I would advise that your daughter show both of her passports when she arrives at the Philippine airport where you will be leaving from (I presume NAIA?). I can’t say for sure what theywill do about the exit tax, but if she shows both passports this should give her the best situation.

  5. Laurice Fernando says

    Hi John Eat Mor Chikin …*laughs*— I have an Aunt who has lived in Japan for decades, up until now, she’s only considered a resident. Japan is really strict with their citizenship. I don’t think you are allowed to be a citizen there (if you’re actually not Japanese). They only recognize pure Japanese (by blood) as their citizens. Anybody else are just residents.

  6. William says

    Japan does not allow for dual citizenship at all. I know because my father is american, my mother is Filipino and I’m born in Japan. If they did allow for it I would be a tri-citizen.

    • says

      Actually, William, you are only partly correct. You actually CAN be a tri-citizen, since it was because of the circumstances of your birth. You can find this on Wikipedia:

      A Japanese national may also acquire a second citizenship through no action of his or her own, such as being born to a non-Japanese citizen parent and acquiring that parent’s citizenship as a result of that country’s laws or by being born in a jus soli country. They must choose one citizenship/nationality before the age of 22 or within two years if the second citizenship is acquired after the age of 20, or they may lose their Japanese nationality.

  7. GunnyD says

    I know when this story started that there had not been any prominent cases we knew about that the 1996 Reed law applied to but, the co-owner of Facebook, Eduardo Saverin is going to have this applied to him. He left the US, gave up his naturalized citizenship just before the Facebook IPO (which that has been a debacle in itself).

    My wife and I have discussed this and she will be applying for US Citizenship soon. She will then, after the required waiting period, reaquire her Philippines citizenship before we move there for retirement. I reminded her that as long as I’m living I’ll be filing joint tax returns for us here in the US but that after I pass on that she will have to continue to file alone as she will have survivor benefit income from my current employer and social security (if it survives).

  8. Cris says

    From my understanding from the article if I am a dual citizen of Canada and the Philippines and I make my income in Canada, I do not have to report income taxes in the Philippines.

    My question now is if I’m a dual citizen of Canada and the Philippines and I make my income in the Philippines and report my income taxes and pay them there do I have to report my income taxes in Canada and pay there too?

  9. Violet says

    Hi Bob! I’ve become really paranoid about this subject of double taxation. I’m a dual citizen: born to Filipino parents (hence, the Filipino citizenship) in the USA (hence, the US citizenship) and raised/residing here in the Philippines. Currently, I work for the family business and receive a minimum wage salary. What I’m actually worried about is whether I have to declare in the USA, in the future, any dividends I receive from our family corporation. And if I have to pay any property taxes in the event I inherit my family’s properties here in the Philippines. Also, do I have to file taxes in the event I receive an interest earned coming from joint bank accounts with my parents?

    • says

      Hi Violet – If you are a US Citizen, no matter where in the world you earn money, the taxes are due to the US Government. Philippine Property taxes are only payable to the Philippines, not the USA. Whether you earn interest or any other kind of income in the Philippines, you must file and pay taxes in the USA.

  10. Katerina Sims says

    Hi Bob, I am a Filipina and married to a Phil-Am, he is Filipino by blood but he was born in USA, we have a 4 year old son who is also a US citizen by birth ( through CRBA). and was born here in the Philippines. I just want to ask, is he a dual citizen or just american citizen? We’re planning to bring him to USA soon. You’re reply will be appreciated, thank you so much :)

  11. Katerina Sims says

    Thank you Bob for replying, i appreciate your immediate answer. :) Ive been looking for a thread like this or a situation just like ours but i couldnt find a blog or a thread that tackles about a Filipina Mother and a Filipino-American father. I just want to know, if he’s a dual citizen now and holding a US Citizen passport, can i just get him a Philippine passport right away? Then we can fly him to US already? or we have to register him to Philippine embassy also? he has a Philippine NSO birth certificate, and a US passport already. but never left Philippines yet since the day he acquired his US Citizenship. Please enlighten me, Thanks again Bob :)

    • says

      Hi Katrina – If your child was born on Philippine Soil and either you or his father is a Philippine Citizen, then he is a dual citizen now, and you can just go to the DFA and get him a passport. Good luck to you!

  12. Katerina Sims says

    @Bob, thanks again for replying good sir. This is just one last question ( i promise :) ) because i just want to make sure to know the details before we leave (prevention is better than cure so they say hehe) Is he overstaying in the Philippines already? do i have to pay when we leave if i exit him from the Philippines? or i just need a Philippine passport and we’re good to go? im sorry i ask too much :) i hope you dont mind Thanks :)

    • Katerina Sims says

      #correction: i meant last inquiry not last question coz i had so many questions on that post :) sorry Bob and Thanks again good Sir :)

    • says

      Get the Philippine passport. Once your child has his passport it proves he is a citizen. A citizen cannot over stay because he has the right to stay forever. If you get the passport your child will not be over staying. If you don’t get the passport then your child is over staying and fines will be due.

  13. Mary Deche says

    Hi Bob ,I have a question for you.If am a dual citizen (USA and Philippines)
    How much property I can acquire for residential and or business.
    I appreciate your response

  14. says

    Hi Bob

    My wife and I are dual citizen (Filipino-American). What do you have for the benefits afforded for dual citizens living here in PI such as voting, government position, and acquiring properties? Need your opinion on these matters. Thanks and more power.

  15. B. Ricka says

    I am American. I am planning to marry my Filipino girlfriend. We intend to reside in the Philippines and I would like to become a Philippine Citizen. If I become a citizen, does my U.S. company become eligible to own land and property outright? The place we want is about 4.7 hectares with a home on it. Can I do this in my name if I am a dual citizen? I would be willing to start a new company in the Philippines if necessary because we are planning to build a resort. Sorry if that was confusing. I am confused!! Thanks for your tireless work here!
    B. Ricka

    • says

      Hello B. Ricka – You can become a Philippine Citizen, but you can never become a dual citizen. Under Philippine law, the only people who are eligible to become dual citizens are former Filipinos who gave up their citizenship. They can reclaim that citizenship.

      People like you and I who have never been Philippine Citizens can become naturalized as Philippine Citizens, but as part of the process we must renounce our US Citizenship.

      A US company can not own land in the Philippines. If you become a Philippine citizen (not a dual citizen), you need to form a Philippine company if you want a company to own land in the Philippines.

  16. B. Ricka says

    Wow, thanks Bob. Would the Philippine company then be allowed to own 100% of the land? And would this company have to be incorporated by a certain number of people? Does my naturalized citizenship allow me to own a Philippine company?

    Respectfully, B

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