Ex-US military and giving up of U.S. citizenship - Germany

Then moving to Germany, tax and pension benefits


Floridian
My question relates to the US citizenship and having served in the Military.
Is anyone out there that could give me legal information about what exactly happens if you

a) give up your US Citizenship
(do you also automatically give up your retired military pay and social security - if there'll be any left at all ...?)
(still have to pay your Ex-wife her share of the retired military pay although you gave up the US Citizenship?)
(still able to come to the US for a visit in case of a family emergency or death?)

b) move i.e. to Germany, Austria, or Switzerland, don't give up US Citizenship but live there permanently
(do you still receive the retired military pay, and of course still pay Ex-wife her share of ret. military pay)

What European countries (other than Germany) does the US have a tax treaty with?

Thanks!
dolfan
a) You still get your pay, you have to pay your wife and you can visit the US under the same terms as anyone one else from whatever country you think you are going to become a citizen of.

b) You would still get pay and pay wife.

What are you running from, the ex or taxes, both, something else?
murphy
good answer!
Conquistador
Especially interesting question from someone who identifies as a German citizen only, assuming their TT profile is accurate.

As to the tax treaty question:
http://www.irs.gov/businesses/internationa...d=96739,00.html
BadDoggie
Part A: Giving up your US Citizenship
do you also automatically give up your retired military pay
Possibly. Contact your branch's Dept of Veterans' Affairs to be certain.

and social security
No. You keep that as long as you're qualified. Check with the SSA to ensure you've fulfilled at least the minimum number of quarters' FICA payments.

still have to pay your Ex-wife her share of the retired military pay
If it's been ordered by the court or a part of your divorce agreement, yes... unless you lose it (see first answer), in which she's entitled to that half which becomes 0. She may go to court and try to get an order for you to pay her the amount she would have otherwise been entitled to had you not given it up. Your intentions will be a factor in a court's decision regarding that scenario.

still able to come to the US for a visit in case of a family emergency or death
Yes but...
You'll not only be treated shittily like every other foreigner, sent through the slow line, fingerprinted, eye-scanned, questioned and generally treated like a criminal (way to increase tourism!), you'll be treated by most of the border control guards like a traitor for having given up your citizenship despite your US military service.

Part B: Moving permanently to DE/AT/CH, retaining US Citizenship
First, <Astro>rotsa ruck</Astro>. It's a lot harder these days to just come here unless you're getting married, and even then you'll be more heavily scrutinised than you would have 10 or 15 years ago.

(do you still receive the retired military pay, and of course still pay Ex-wife her share of ret. military pay
Of course. You're still a US citizen.

What European countries (other than Germany) does the US have a tax treaty with?
Treaty, shmeaty. As a US citizen abroad you are still obliged to file an income tax statement, even if you're paying taxes over here and receiving no benefit whatsoever (which is more or less life as a resident of Washington, D.C.). Your taxes will, in most cases, be offset by the (probably) higher taxation over here up to a certain level, but you still have to file the additional forms. The Finanzamt doesn't rat you out to the IRS and the IRS has no agents over here in any official capacity beyond possibly consultative through the consulates, but your bank &/or investment accounts (if they're with US firms like Citi) will rat you out automatically.

Even in this scenario -- as to enforcement of payment of your retirement benefits - all your ex- has to do is go to court and file to garnish the military pay and have your monthly check cut twice, half to you and half to her.

Use the search function here for things like US-EU tax filings and requirements and talk to an attorney knowledgeable in both US & EU law, preferably one who's licensed to practice on both sides of the Atlantic. I think a couple of them still advertise here. Check the list of advertisers.

woof.
Floridian
Thanks for all the answers.

As for the TT profile ... I am German, hubby is US Citizen ... that should answer it all.
He's tired of his Ex sucking the life out of him (and money) and besides that likes Europe a lot and eventually wants to retire there.

Definitely agree to get answers from a tax attny who's familiar with both countries and the situation. I don't think there's too many
US Citizens that actually move elsewhere and give up their citizenship. Wouldn't make sense to me but hubby was thinking about it.
eurovol
Tell hubby it is a stupid idea and to stop thinking about it.
leky
He could always join the Iraqi army, he'd probably lose it then!
Floridian
Eurovol,
I am dealing with a very stubborn hubby that doesn't want to realize the fact of an Ex and that it comes with paying monies.
I don't mind moving to the EU, either way, he still will have to pay her the retirement portion until she dies. At least there's no double taxation, that's not too bad.
TT Logo
You are viewing a low fidelity version of this page. Click to view the full page.