“Kathleen, I’m a U.S. citizen thinking about retiring in Corozal, Belize. My question is do I still have to pay U.S. income tax if I become a Belize citizen? We visited there last year and enjoy it very much.
“This question never got answered. So I would be thankful if you would answer it.”
–John A., United States
Yes, as long as you keep your U.S. citizenship, you’re required to file a tax return with the IRS every year. This obligation stays with you no matter where you go, where you establish residency, and where else you acquire citizenship.
The only way to eliminate your U.S. tax reporting obligation is to give up your U.S. citizenship.
Note that it takes at least five years to qualify for Belize citizenship and another year or so for naturalization to be approved. Therefore, if you decided to apply for Belize citizenship with the thought that, once you’ve qualified, you’ll give up your U.S. citizenship, you’re looking at a delay of at least six years.