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  •  You have a foreign income exclusion (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Oh Mary Oh

    on the first $80,000 you earn abroad when you're a tax-paying resident of a foreign country, but you pay taxes on that income in the country where you are resident.  Most American citizens living abroad are far from rich (and the vast majority of us are Democrats, which is why the Rethugs are always trying to lose our absentee ballots).  U.S. foreign taxation laws are the most onerous in the world:  only the U.S. and Eritrea submit foreign-resident citizens to double taxation, and the U.S. just hypocritically condemned Eritrean policy. We ex-pats pay our full share of taxes to the countries in which we live. The issue over citizenship renunciation is absurdly punitive for the vast majority of ex-pats and it's causing a situation where, for the first time in U.S. history, U.S. citizens are not registering their children born abroad with the U.S. passport office. Citizenship renunciations have increased 10-fold over the last 2 years, and they're going to increase much further.  These are mostly Democratic voters you're losing, not rich Republican corporatists.

    "If you fake the funk, your nose will grow." -- Bootsy Collins

    by hepshiba on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 03:26:19 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Good points, but (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Oh Mary Oh

      all irrelevant to this thread.  And yet, for the sake of informing any passers-by:

      Most American citizens living abroad are far from rich
      Most Americans living anywhere are far from rich.  But we're only talking about the rich who'll supposedly move abroad.  People who'd far surpass the exclusion. The rest of us aren't germane to the point under discussion.

      Also: The exclusion is 91.5K/year, per person!  A married couple gets an exclusion of 183K.  You can also exclude most of your housing costs (adjusted for many cities).  

      We ex-pats pay our full share of taxes to the countries in which we live.
      Note that if you pay taxes in your residence, you can claim that as a credit, rather than an exclusion.  I know I did, when I lived in France.  I ended up not paying any US taxes. But I still filed.  
      only the U.S. and Eritrea submit foreign-resident citizens to double taxation

      France will soon join them, as both major candidates have proposed the American model of taxing "fiscal exiles", and with good cause--- many wealthy French, notably sportsmen and artists, live in nearby countries (usually Switzerland), even if they still work exclusively in France.  These "fiscal exiles" leave mainly to avoid wealth taxes, as well as income taxes, and their departure deprives their country of tens of billions a year.  

      Once France does it, expect to see the rest of Europe joining them.  

      U.S. citizens are not registering their children born abroad with the U.S. passport office.
       

      These children will be in for a rude surprise if they ever want to get a visa to enter the US... They'll submit their parents' birth certificates, where they will find out that they are actually US citizens by birth, thus that they're a) ineligible for the visa, and b) responsible for all the taxes they haven't been paying, and c) on the hook for not registering with Selective Service. Among who knows how many other infractions.  I say: well done, parents, you're right up there with the anti-vaccine crowd.

      Granted, the system can be tweaked for permanent expatriates, making exempt those who've moved away for a certain number of years (10? 15?), who've really moved away, and don't really visit or work in the US much.  You know, the ones who just like it where they live.  

       

      You're not stuck in traffic, you are traffic

      by nominalize on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 07:44:16 AM PDT

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      •  So... you're saying that American citizenship (0+ / 0-)

        isn't a right, it's a life sentence?  I just went to a talk at the U.S. embassy and they sure aren't saying the same things you're saying.  And they were the ones who made the Eritrea comparison.

        "If you fake the funk, your nose will grow." -- Bootsy Collins

        by hepshiba on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 11:35:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  hyperbole aside, (0+ / 0-)

          the point is pretty clear: Your duties as a citizen of this country do not end at the border, and you are not permitted to renounce US citizenship just to evade these duties.

          I copied your comment to some friends of mine in the Foreign Service. They tell me that the talk you attended was either delivered poorly by the speakers or understood poorly by the audience.  In their experience, these things tend to get understood poorly by the audience.  From what I've encountered among other people at embassies, I agree with them.  

          A simple check of the internet will show you that whoever made a comparison with Eritrea made a poor one, since that country actually levies a special expat tax, instead of applying the same income tax to every citizen, resident or otherwise.  

          You're not stuck in traffic, you are traffic

          by nominalize on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 12:19:29 PM PDT

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    •  About Eritrea... (0+ / 0-)

      I went and looked, and their system is nothing like ours:  Eritreans abroad must pay a special 2% income tax that goes straight into the single-party's coffers.  

      The US taxes all its citizens under the same laws, no matter where they live.

      This is quite a difference, so it is not hypocritical at all for one to criticize the other.

      You're not stuck in traffic, you are traffic

      by nominalize on Fri Mar 30, 2012 at 07:53:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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