Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's child could face lifetime of US tax liabilities: report

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s child could be exposed to United States tax liabilities even if the child never lives in the U.S., according to a report from Fox Business.

The reason has to do with the complexities of ending U.S. citizenship and the long arm of U.S. tax law.

The child of a U.S. citizen and a noncitizen is considered a U.S. citizen if the citizen parent was physically present in the country for five years before the birth, including at least two years under the age of 14, according to the article, which would apply to the couple’s child. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Once the child reaches adulthood, their assets and income will be exposed to the U.S. tax system, but if the child has more than $2,200 a year in “unearned income,” the child will be subjected to tax obligations even sooner, according to The Wall Street Journal, and any accounts with more than $10,000 in assets must be reported to the U.S. Treasury.

Markle could potentially change these circumstances by renouncing her U.S. citizenship, but the process takes years and must follow her becoming a British citizen, which is also likely to take years, according to Fox Business.

Markle must also be careful to make sure she complies with reporting requirements under U.S. tax law. It is possible that taxes paid to Great Britain could offset taxes owed to the U.S. government, but The Wall Street Journal noted that penalties can be steep if you do not comply.

While the British royal family has historically been intensely private about its finances, if Markle makes more than $300,000, she will likely be required to give the IRS details of her foreign assets, according to the outlet.

Most other countries do not require their citizens living abroad to pay their taxes.