Fact Check: U.S. Citizens Do NOT Pay A Percentage Of Their Taxes To The Queen Of England

Fact Check

  • by: Lead Stories Staff
Fact Check: U.S. Citizens Do NOT Pay A Percentage Of Their Taxes To The Queen Of England Tax Treaty

Do U.S. citizens pay a percentage of their taxes to the queen of England via the IRS, and is the IRS not part of the federal government? No, that's not true: The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is a bureau of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, which is an executive department of the U.S. federal government. To avoid double taxation for U.S. expatriates and other potential tax complications, the U.S. has tax treaties with various countries like the United Kingdom.

The claim originated as a statement made in an inquiry on the website What Do They Know, which assists users in submitting a Freedom of Information request in the U.K. It reappeared in an Instagram post (archived here) published on June 23, 2021. The post was a screenshot of the portion of the What Do They Know inquiry that reads:

Americans pay a percentage of their taxes to the Queen of England via the IRS. The IRS is not an agency of the Federal Government. It is an agency of the International Monetary Fund which is an agency of the United Nations. No law has ever been passed legalizing the charging of income tax.

The caption of the post read:

FYI https://www.irs.gov/businesses/international-businesses/united-kingdom-uk-tax-treaty-documents

This is how the post appeared on Instagram on June 24, 2021:

(Source: Instagram screenshot taken on Thu Jun 24 21:06:14 2021 UTC)

The claim conflates general tax law with U.S. expatriate tax treaties. The original tax treaty between the U.S. and the U.K. was signed in 1975 and modified in 1976. It was replaced in 2001 and is called "The Convention between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income and Capital Gains." According to an article from tax preparation services company H&R Block, this treaty is not an unusual agreement:

To ease the tax burden on Americans living abroad, the U.S. is party to dozens of tax treaties with countries around the globe. The U.S./U.K. tax treaty is one of them, and it protects U.S. expats in the U.K. from paying more than their fair share of U.S. taxes.

The link placed in the caption of the Instagram post (repeated twice) leads to the U.S.-U.K. tax treaty documents. Other tax treaties between the U.S. and other countries can be found here.

The portion of the claim that addresses the IRS' organizational background is also false. The IRS states on its website that it is in fact a bureau in the U.S. federal government:

The IRS is a bureau of the Department of the Treasury and one of the world's most efficient tax administrators.

While it is true that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is a multinational organization that is overseen by the United Nations, it is not the organization in charge of the IRS, according to the Department of the Treasury:

The IMF is an organization of 189 member countries that works to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world. The Secretary of the Treasury serves as the U.S. Governor to the IMF, and the U.S. Executive Director of the IMF is one of 24 directors who exercise voting rights over the strategic direction of the institution. The U.S. is the largest shareholder in the Fund.

The 16th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution legalizes the implementation and execution of income taxes. This practice continues today, as explained in this excerpt from the Legal Information Institute:

The Internal Revenue Code is today embodied as Title 26 of the United States Code (26 U.S.C.) and is a lineal descendant of the income tax act passed in 1913, following ratification of the Sixteenth Amendment. Most states also maintain an income tax, while some do not. However, all residents and all citizens of the United States are subject to the federal income tax.

As for the original inquiry submitted on What Do They Know as a Freedom of Information request, Her Majesty's Treasury, the U.K.'s economic and finance ministry, said that it did not hold any information within the scope of the inquiry.

Want to inform others about the accuracy of this story?

See who is sharing it (it might even be your friends...) and leave the link in the comments.:

  Lead Stories Staff

Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, deceptive or inaccurate stories (or media) making the rounds on the internet.

Read more about or contact Lead Stories Staff

About Us

International Fact-Checking Organization Meta Third-Party Fact Checker

Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, misleading, deceptive or inaccurate stories, videos or images going viral on the internet.
Spotted something? Let us know!.

Lead Stories is a:


Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required

Please select all the ways you would like to hear from Lead Stories LLC:

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

Most Read

Most Recent

Share your opinion