Case Study 4: Knowing your US tax filing requirements

Adviser name: Jacob Griffiths

Case Study 4: Knowing your US tax filing requirements



This case study shows how being an “Accidental American” still means you you have tax filing requirements in the US.

Robert was born in New York while his parents – both UK nationals – were working in the bright lights of Manhattan.

Even returning as a baby creates compliance requirements

The family all returned to the UK when Robert was just six months old. He attended school and university in the UK. He also acquired a US passport.

Robert visited the US a few more times on holiday but never worked there or had any US assets or income.

When he opened a bank account, he was asked whether or not he was a US citizen and of course, he ticked “yes”. This meant the bank sent him a Form W-9 to provide his social security number, which he did not have, having never lived or worked in the US.

So, he contacted Satis Tax for assistance.

Untangling the web

In the initial meeting, we advised him that he had an ongoing filing requirement because US citizens living overseas were required to file a tax return even if they had no US source income.

He contacted the Federal Benefits Unit at the US embassy and obtained his social security number. Then, we were able to get him back into the US tax system by using the Streamlined Filing Programme, a process available for US citizens who do not (wilfully) fail to file US tax returns.

Does this sound like your situation? If it does, get in touch, as we can help you.

What our clients say

As an American residing in London, I have complex tax requirements having to file both in the USA along with the UK.

Satis Tax has not only undertaken this massive assignment with rigour, but more importantly, it has been the very personal engagement and insightful counselling that has shaped the relationship beyond the professional requirement. Their work undertaken has been flawless in its execution. Without hesitation I would recommend their services to all those that require a level of professionalism that goes beyond a remit.


Ross Badger, and now his team at Satis Tax, has been handling my US and UK tax affairs for almost 25 years. Aside from the high quality of the firm’s work and its tireless effort to ensure that tax planning in both jurisdictions is as efficient as permissible, what I have particularly liked is the unstinting personal service that Ross and his colleagues provide. But, perhaps, the best indication of my satisfaction with Satis’ work is the numerous clients I have referred to the firm all of whom have been equally happy with their experience.


Although tax time is no fun for most people Satis Tax makes it easy and painless. Their knowledge of both US and UK tax requirements along with their quick response to queries has enabled me to spend more time on other pressing issues.

Phoenix, AZ

One or more of the Satis Tax principals has been handling my personal taxes, both US and UK, for over 35 years. That fact speaks for itself. Several aspects of Satis' work impress me: 1) Thorough understanding of both the UK and USA tax systems; 2) Attention to detail; 3) A conservative approach combined with an appreciation that for the client "every dollar/pound matters" when it comes to limiting one's tax liabilities.


Having decided to emigrate to the U.S., I was completely unprepared for how complex the interaction between the UK and US tax systems would be. From initial tax planning advice prior to emigrating, several subsequent complex business transactions, to filing both our UK and US annual returns, I’ve always felt assured that Satis have a complete understanding of the complexities of the tax regulations. This has freed us from the worry of tax compliance in both countries. Over and above keeping us complaint, they have been an invaluable sounding board when we have found ourselves facing personal decisions that have had tax consequences through the years we have been living in the US.