Americans moving to Europe

Old Jun 1st, 2020, 12:41 PM
  #41  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 7,249
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by scrb11 View Post
Saw this article recently, about ways to get the "golden visa" for people willing to purchase property in the EU:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/21/r...nvestment.html
<quoted from article>

But others say that getting visas through real estate transactions involves vetting for criminal records, for instance, which is a far more restrictive process than the scrutiny faced by the million people a year who are given European Union passports through marriage or the reuniting of family.
I have an Italian passport acquired through marriage. The passport certainly was not issued without scrutiny. I had to furnish police reports from every jurisdiction where I had ever lived. I also was interviewed to see whether I had learned the language and whether I was integrated into Italian society. After I was approved, there was a little ceremony in the mayor's office to confer the citizenship.
bvlenci is offline  
Old Jun 1st, 2020, 03:35 PM
  #42  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 3,404
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by bvlenci View Post
I don't keep large sums of money anywhere. My pension checks get deposited in the US, and there's no reason to transfer the money to Italy. I can withdraw cash at an ATM with my American debit card, which I can also use to make purchases.
And for things like utilities, Internet access and the like?
scrb11 is online now  
Old Jun 1st, 2020, 08:24 PM
  #43  
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 1,024
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by scrb11 View Post
And for things like utilities, Internet access and the like?
You can always pay things like that at the post office.

The golden passport schemes are/were Malta and I think Bulgaria. There are other options for the very wealthy. The UK has non doms. Italy brought in something similar. I think. But people in that rarefied air usually have multiple homes around the world and private jets to connect them.
Traveler_Nick is offline  
Old Jun 2nd, 2020, 12:40 AM
  #44  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 49,000
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You can buy your way into European citizenship in several countries, but you have to have significant wealth to do so. Half a million USD, I think, to buy Spanish citizenship.

Yes, here in France you can pay utility bills at the Post Office, too. Our utilities are paid by "prélèvement" directly from our French checking account. There are only two: EDF, our electricity company, and SOGEDO, our water company. Our French taxes are paid monthly also by prélèvement. Internet is part of a package that includes a fixed land line and TV. There are dozens of choices of providers. We're in a very remote location so we chose a satellite dish and are reasonably happy with it. The whole package costs 39,99 euros a month.

I used to leave our pension checks in our US account and withdraw money from it at a local ATM, but lately I've decided, with no legitimate reasoning behind it, that I'd just rather have my money here in France.

StCirq is offline  
Old Jun 2nd, 2020, 06:07 AM
  #45  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 3,404
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It seems there are ways to get visas without full citizenship, which may have tax consequences.

Did those of you who got citizenship renounce US citizenship?

If your pension or savings are in US institutions you may be liable for taxes both to the US and to the EU country as well?
scrb11 is online now  
Old Jun 2nd, 2020, 07:48 AM
  #46  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 7,249
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by scrb11 View Post
It seems there are ways to get visas without full citizenship, which may have tax consequences.
Visas are just permission to stay in a country for a fixed amount of time, and are not related to citizenship. If you're in a European country legally for five years (with a visa) you may be eligible for permanent EU residence, which I explained above, but not citizenship. Then, in five more years, most European countries will allow you to apply for citizenship.

Originally Posted by scrb11 View Post
Did those of you who got citizenship renounce US citizenship?
No, both Italy and the US regognize dual citizenship. I am actually a citizen of three counties, counting Ireland. All three countries regognize all three citizenships.

Originally Posted by scrb11 View Post
If your pension or savings are in US institutions you may be liable for taxes both to the US and to the EU country as well?
Yes, but you can deduct taxes paid in another country. Because of a tax treaty, US Social Security income is taxable only in ITALY. I believe other countries have similar treaties. The US also doesn't tax the first x dollars of income for overseas residents. After this income adjustment and deducting my Italian taxes, I owe very little in the US. However, I am not in a high tax bracket anyway.

My Italian taxes are much higher than they would be in the US, but I save a bundle on health insurance.

Last edited by bvlenci; Jun 2nd, 2020 at 07:58 AM.
bvlenci is offline  
Old Jun 2nd, 2020, 08:31 AM
  #47  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 3,404
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
So do you still file a US income tax return?
scrb11 is online now  
Old Jun 2nd, 2020, 11:05 PM
  #48  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 20,233
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by swandav2000 View Post
I don't like coralling and cleaning up the waste after dealing with fruits or vegetables... especially the endless tiny bits of spinach leaves and stems. Grrrrrrr. While doing that, I do let my mind drift to the bygone days when I'd just stuff everything down the drain and swish water after it. Oh *sigh*.
Do you not have a
sink strainer sink strainer
?
PatrickLondon is offline  
Old Jun 3rd, 2020, 01:12 AM
  #49  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,957
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
So do you still file a US income tax return?
Unfortunately all US citizens are required to file a tax return with the IRS even if they’ve never lived or worked in the United States. There are exemptions, so most don’t actually pay taxes to the US, but filling out the return every year is a pain. Many dual nationals are renouncing their US citizenship for that reason.
Heimdall is offline  
Old Jun 3rd, 2020, 02:01 AM
  #50  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 49,000
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We file a US tax return every year, which is indeed a PITA, as we don't owe any taxes. But it's a requirement. We have no revenues in France, so we don't pay any taxes other than taxes foncières and taxes d'habitation, which amount to about 160 euros a month, a LOT higher than when we first moved here. We also get reimbursement for money we pay for certain "green" projects, like double-pane windows and doors, and solar installations, and attic insulation, so in most years we actually get a check from the French government for a percentage of what we've paid out for jobs like that. And if we hire micro-entrepreneurs and pay them with "cheques de service," they, and we, get a tax deduction for that. Considering that we don't pay for health insurance, and prescription drugs are ridiculously inexpensive, it's a good deal all around.

Filling out the US tax returns is never such a pain that we'd renounce American citizenship. My DH does it most years. I do the French returns, which frankly are equally painful. I have no idea how any of this will change, or if it even will, when I get French citizenship.

As for sink strainers, almost everything vegetal now goes into a plastic bag that I keep in a tiny refrigerator on our veranda to make soup stock with - leafy leftovers, onion and shallot and garlic skins, herb stems, everything. I have to deal with leftover fruit bits, which I don't use so often for cooking, but the vegetables just get scooped up and saved.
StCirq is offline  
Old Jun 3rd, 2020, 04:50 AM
  #51  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 7,249
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by scrb11 View Post
So do you still file a US income tax return?
Yes.
(Quote from StCirq) Filling out the US tax returns is never such a pain that we'd renounce American citizenship. My DH does it most years. I do the French returns, which frankly are equally painful. I have no idea how any of this will change, or if it even will, when I get French citizenship.
It shouldn't change at all.

I keep my American citizenship for several reasons, including the right to vote in federal elections.

Last edited by bvlenci; Jun 3rd, 2020 at 04:56 AM.
bvlenci is offline  
Old Jun 3rd, 2020, 07:50 AM
  #52  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 49,000
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Me too. Especially now!
StCirq is offline  
Old Jun 3rd, 2020, 09:44 PM
  #53  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,930
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by PatrickLondon View Post
Do you not have a sink strainer?
Funny question!

Of course I have a sink strainer! But those things don't catch everything, do they? Little bits of spinach leaves, tiny spinach stalks, slithery slices of onion, coffee grounds and more all find their way past the holes in the strainer. And when you empty the strainer into the bio or the garbage, again those bits and bobs go wild and end up attached to a corner or edge of the sink, and you wrestle with it again to catch it before it disappears down the drain. I have to use draino or its equivalent about twice a year, and I abhor that.

As for paying utilities... All my pensions are deposited into my American bank. At the beginning of the month, I just use the atm to withdraw cash from that bank and then deposit it into my German Bank. All payments are made automatically from my German bank. Well, I should say that I used to withdraw & transfer by atm -- these days I just transfer money by a wire service like transferwise.

s
swandav2000 is offline  
Old Jun 4th, 2020, 09:33 AM
  #54  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 3,404
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Transferwise charges fees.

ATM is free?

scrb11 is online now  
Old Jun 4th, 2020, 09:58 AM
  #55  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 49,000
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I don't know about bvlenci, but my US credit union charges nothing for overseas wire transfers. My French bank allows me to withdraw five times per month from any ATM not at one of its branches before it imposes any fees. I've never come close to reaching that limit, so I don't know what those charges might be. No fees at all for withdrawing at a branch bank (and they are everywhere in France). I think there's also a small fee for withdrawing more than 1,000 euros in a week, but again, I've never done that. If I DO use a non-branch ATM, there is sometimes a limit - usually 300 euros - for using whatever bank that may be.

Oh, and my US credit union reimburses me for any withdrawals I make using its debit card.

Last edited by StCirq; Jun 4th, 2020 at 10:03 AM.
StCirq is offline  
Old Jun 4th, 2020, 10:01 AM
  #56  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,957
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I’m retired in the UK, and also have my pensions sent to a US bank. Most utility and council tax payments can be done online with my American credit cards, although I also have a card with a British bank. My American credit card has no international transaction fees, and 1.5% cash back on most transactions. That is the card I use most.

I have begun using Apple Pay for shopping, and rarely need to draw cash out of ATMs these days. I transfer money from the account where my pensions go to pay the credit card bills in full each month, so never pay interest. when I do need to use a plastic card I prefer the British one, which has chip & pin and contactless payments. During the Covid-19 pandemic both Apple Pay and contactless are very useful, because I don’t have to touch the POS terminal at all.
Heimdall is offline  
Old Jun 4th, 2020, 10:13 AM
  #57  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 3,404
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Some ATMs have fees for all withdraws. In some places you can't find an ATM without fees.

That's good that some utilities will that US credit cards. That's how I pay a lot of bills too, for the rewards and never having to deal with credit cards or checks.

scrb11 is online now  
Old Jun 4th, 2020, 11:41 AM
  #58  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 22,427
Likes: 0
Received 6 Likes on 1 Post
My mother had her American social security pension transferred directly to her French bank account; The American embassy in Paris amazingly handled all of the formalities without me having to do anything.
kerouac is offline  
Old Jun 5th, 2020, 03:32 AM
  #59  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 7,249
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by kerouac View Post
My mother had her American social security pension transferred directly to her French bank account; The American embassy in Paris amazingly handled all of the formalities without me having to do anything.
One reason I keep my pension deposit in the US is that my daughter has access to it. I have it deposited into to an account at her university credit union. Unlike StCirq's credit union, this one has a fee for foreign withdrawals. I use Xoom or Transferwise to transfer what I need in Italy, mostly to pay off my Italian credit card balance.

Until recently no Italian bank charged for using their ATM to withdraw money, even if you didn't have an account with them. All charges were imposed by your own bank. Now I'm beginning to see that. At some ATMs I would get two fees: one from my US bank and one from the Italian bank.

Last edited by bvlenci; Jun 5th, 2020 at 03:38 AM.
bvlenci is offline  
Old Jun 5th, 2020, 09:00 AM
  #60  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 34,024
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My understanding was that there was some kind of international banking agreement that forbid ATMs from charging a fee to foreign cards, even if they can charge one to their own country. Some Visa or other network that does the transactions. Maybe that's changed, I don't know. Because even at my ATM in the US, it will charge a fee to ATM cards that are NOT from the same bank, but it has a notice that it will not charge a fee to international cards. Now this is just a banking agreement, which is why those "private" ATMs that aren't really banks can charge fees. Now this has nothing to do with the foreign transaction addon which comes from your bank, but the flat fee an ATM may charge to a card not from the same bank. Anyway, I don't know details but I remember reading that and that was why most bank ATMs in Europe never charged you a fee. I know in the past few years I've encountered fees at some ATMs in Spain and in Mexico, even when they are bank ATMs.
Christina is online now  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information