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To get or not to get Swedish citizenship

I'm ambivalent about it

Miss Kitten
post 10.Mar.2012, 02:55 PM
Post #1
Location: Kronoberg
Joined: 20.Aug.2007

Hello Localers...

It's been a long time since I've posted a thread here, but I've been thinking about this for a long time and wanted to get your advice and opinions.

I'm originally from the States, but I've been living in Sweden for almost seven years. I have a permanent job and speak fairly decent Swedish. I got my permanent visa in 2009 and I've been thinking about applying for citizenship, not because I love Sweden with a passion, but mainly because I pay tons of money in tax to this country's government and I should therefore have all the rights and benefits of a full citizen of Sweden and the EU.

However, I feel that one should be more enthusiastic about a country before taking the steps to become a citizen of it. Know what I mean?

That being said, I do like it here, and I'm not planning on leaving any time soon.

Those of you who became citizens, what made you decide to do it?
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johnjohn
post 10.Mar.2012, 03:09 PM
Post #2
Joined: 10.Dec.2010

You can of course have dual citizenship with the U.S. As far as rights, privileges, and responsibilities goes you have them now with the exception of serving in the military, some voting rights, and some special jobs.
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Svensksmith
post 10.Mar.2012, 03:36 PM
Post #3
Joined: 28.Jul.2011

I think that if I had the opportunity, I would get the Swedish citizenship. I really don't see what the downside would be.

As far as not being enthusiastic, I'm not 100% gung-ho, love it or leave it American, yet I have US citizenship. Gives me the right to vote in useless elections and pay taxes. Yeehaw!
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Miss Kitten
post 10.Mar.2012, 03:37 PM
Post #4
Location: Kronoberg
Joined: 20.Aug.2007

I'm aware of all that, hence my ambivalence. Oh well, I think I might end up doing it just because at this point there's no real reason not to.
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Essingen
post 10.Mar.2012, 04:15 PM
Post #5
Joined: 2.Nov.2008

Any US citizens living here need to be aware that in 2013 there will be new legislation introduced by the US called FACTA (Foreign Account Tax Compliant Act). You should all be aware of what this might involve for you, and if your tax obligations to US authorities aren't 100% correct, this year is the time to put it right.
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rtharper
post 10.Mar.2012, 04:20 PM
Post #6
Joined: 2.Feb.2011

Not really sure why that is relevant to the discussion...
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Miss Kitten
post 10.Mar.2012, 04:30 PM
Post #7
Location: Kronoberg
Joined: 20.Aug.2007

QUOTE (Essingen @ 10.Mar.2012, 04:15 PM) *
Any US citizens living here need to be aware that in 2013 there will be new legislation introduced by the US called FACTA (Foreign Account Tax Compliant Act). You should all b ... (show full quote)

I found myself wondering about this shortly after I moved to Sweden. I looked at the website for the American embassy in Sweden, which said that the nearest office to file taxes for Americans living abroad was in London, and any tax questions should be addressed to them in writing. So I sent them a letter explaining my situation and asking whether it was necessary for me to file taxes in the US, since at the time I was working only part time and had hardly any income. I did nevertheless pay 30% of insignificant earnings to the Swedish government. Additionally, I have no assets, no car, no property, and no bank account other than a savings account containing less than $200 dollars.

I sent this letter about six years ago and I'm still waiting to hear back from them. Their lack of response either means that the answer to my first question (about whether I need to file taxes) is no, or it means that my letter, and the questions contained therein, and myself, are all so insignificant and unimportant and inconsequential to them that they simply couldn't be bothered to offer a response.

I strongly suspect this is the case, though I'd still like to know whether I need to file taxes or not.
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rtharper
post 10.Mar.2012, 05:07 PM
Post #8
Joined: 2.Feb.2011

QUOTE (Miss Kitten @ 10.Mar.2012, 03:30 PM) *
I strongly suspect this is the case, though I'd still like to know whether I need to file taxes or not.

...yes. As a US citizen you are eligible to be taxed on your worldwide income *regardless of residency*. You are obliged to report all of your income every year, regardless of whether or not you will end up owing taxes on it. If you have not done this, I suggest you bring your tax filings up to date with the IRS.

Furthermore, I suggest you read up on the Foreign Income Exclusion, which allows you to automatically deduct the first 91,500 USD from your tax return, so unless you make significant money, or money outside of wages, you are already home free (there are plenty of ways, including the Foreign Tax Credit and tax treaties to mitigate any remaining liabilities). Regardless *you must report your income every year*. Furthermore, as was said (and is apparently more relevant than I thought), there are new reporting requirements that are coming into effect. Essentially, if the aggregate amount of money you hold outside of the US every exceeds 10,000 USD, even for one day in the preceding year, you must report the account information and balance of *all* of your foreign bank accounts to the IRS that year. Failing to *report* the information accurately (to say nothing of whether or not you are dodging taxes by doing so) is going to incur severe penalties.
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Miss Kitten
post 10.Mar.2012, 05:20 PM
Post #9
Location: Kronoberg
Joined: 20.Aug.2007

Thank you, this is all very good to know. I would still like to know how to report my foreign income, though, since the embassy website wasn't very helpful and, as I've already mentioned, the letter I wrote was never answered.
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rtharper
post 10.Mar.2012, 05:27 PM
Post #10
Joined: 2.Feb.2011

http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/intern...d=97324,00.html is a good starting point.
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Rick Methven
post 10.Mar.2012, 06:23 PM
Post #11
Location: Linköping
Joined: 30.Nov.2005

QUOTE (Miss Kitten @ 10.Mar.2012, 02:55 PM) *
Hello Localers...It's been a long time since I've posted a thread here, but I've been thinking about this for a long time and wanted to get your advice and opinion ... (show full quote)

As a Brit, I have never had the urge to get Swedish citizenship, neither did my wife feel the desire to get British citizenship when we lived in England. being an EU citizen is enough. In your case, having only one country ( Sweden) wanting to tax you may have some benefits, alongside easier travel. To be really free however you may have to give up your US citizenship to be free of the IRS wink.gif
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DamnImmigrant
post 10.Mar.2012, 06:40 PM
Post #12
Location: Sweden
Joined: 17.May.2009

The Swedish government does not value Swedish Citizenship so you should not worry about placing too much value on it yourself.

That said, I got my Swedish Citizenship which NOW ALSO allows me to move to and reside anyplace in Europe based on my Swedish citizenship. There are a few places in Sweden that people who are NOT citizens are forbidden from entering.

You do not need to file American taxes if you make under a certain amount. Make more than that and you DO need to file taxes but you NORMALLY do not need to pay US taxes if you make under a certain amount BUT there are significant exceptions. Then there is the FUBAR (FBAR) document which is biting a lot of expatriates really hard with BULLSHIT penalties.

Talked about here: http://www.thelocal.se/39522/20120306/
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Gamla Hälsingebock
post 10.Mar.2012, 06:45 PM
Post #13
Joined: 21.Dec.2006

Miss Kitten,

My late wife (Irish) never filed for US citizenship, I think because she felt "less Irish" if she did.

Deep down do you think this may be why you are holding back?... You know, less of a "Yankee" laugh.gif

Just a thought.
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Miss Kitten
post 10.Mar.2012, 08:47 PM
Post #14
Location: Kronoberg
Joined: 20.Aug.2007

I'm sure that might have something to do with it. smile.gif

And thanks everyone for all the advice and suggestions.
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entry
post 10.Mar.2012, 09:49 PM
Post #15
Location: Västra Götaland
Joined: 1.Jul.2007

QUOTE (Gamla Hälsingebock @ 10.Mar.2012, 06:45 PM) *
Miss Kitten,My late wife (Irish) never filed for US citizenship, I think because she felt "less Irish" if she did.Deep down do you think this may be why you are hold ... (show full quote)

QUOTE (Miss Kitten @ 10.Mar.2012, 08:47 PM) *
I'm sure that might have something to do with it. smile.gif . And thanks everyone for all the advice and suggestions.

The end of last year I put in for my Swedish Citizenship. I was hesitant and throughout the past few years have spoken with various people at the United States embassy in Stockholm regarding pros and cons. Nobody ever came up with a con(I am sheltered tax wise).

My reasons for filing revolved around the fact that I will most likely live in Sweden exclusively for the rest of my life and that I wanted to be a European Union citizen so I can more easily travel with my family.

The processing was remarkably fast. I hardly think the Swedish administrators had time to read anything. They must have open my envelope containing my application and my United States Passport, stamped everything and mailed it back to me in the same motion. I was impressed.

Eventually I do have to get a Swedish Passport but I am quite put off by travel these days.

Good Luck MK however you decide.
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