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Could Meghan and Harry's royal baby be one of the newest American taxpayers?

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Could Meghan and Harry's royal baby be one of the newest American taxpayers?
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Chris Allerton/Copyright SussexRoyal/Pool via REUTERS
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Now that royal baby Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor has been born, he has a number of interesting things to look forward to — and one of them is paying US taxes.

Since Archie's mother Meghan Markle is American, he will automatically have American nationality.

And because the US is one of the few countries to charge tax based on citizenship and not residency that makes the royal baby liable to pay US taxes, explained UK-based US tax expert David Treitel.

"The requirement in US law is that the mother (Meghan) lived in the US for five years and at least two after the age of 14, which Meghan certainly did."

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What could be the most surprising for some is that tax collection in the US has no age limit. Even though he's only a few days old, Archie will have to file as soon as he has $10,000 or more (€8,907) in a bank account under his name.

Treitel believes that because the royal baby comes from a wealthy family, he'll end up with some financial accounts under his name soon enough.

"They (the Internal Revenue Service, IRS) will be looking at Archie's income, — if he owns any investments — and because he comes from a wealthy family, they'll put investments under his name soon," said the tax expert.

"If he starts having income, interest, dividends, or capital gain, I expect he's going to have to report in the US."

However, the amount of US tax the royal baby will have to pay will depend on his UK taxes.

"He's going to have to report in the UK because he lives in the UK and generally speaking tax rates are higher in the UK so he may pay no tax in the US," he said.

An income for a royal baby

But it doesn't end there, the IRS will try to work what kind of income Archie will have under his name.

The royal family tend to be quite private when it comes to their personal finances but there could be an inheritance that could be taxable — money left by Diana Spencer, Archie's late grandmother and mother of Prince Harry, for example, said Treitel.

The newest member of the royal family will also have to report gifts received from non-American citizens with a value higher than 100,00 (€89,138).

But maybe the most concerning part will be the amount of information the IRS will be able to gather on the royal family thanks to Meghan and baby Archie's tax returns.

"Tax returns provide a lot of information about the person, like property owned outside the US or value of assets. So if Archie and his parents live in a property outside the US and they are not paying taxes for it, he might get taxed," said the tax expert

To counter this, Treitel believes the royal family was busy trying to find a way to not reveal too much of their financial assets to the IRS long before Meghan and Harry married.

"Lawyers were probably drafting trusts with the expectation that an American baby might arrive."

Of course, Archie could always renounce his American citizenship to escape paying taxes — an option he will only be allowed to consider when he reaches 18 years of age.