Survey Shows US Expat Discontent Over Citizen Based Taxation

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Published:  9 Jul at 6 PM
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The hugely unpopular US tax regime imposed on American expats living and working overseas needs to change, but survey respondents are unsure as regards how changes would affect them.

Some nine million USA citizens by birth are living and working overseas, but retain their citizenship as an automatic right, thus leaving themselves open to citizenship-based taxation. Results of a recent survey indicate the vast majority are more than unhappy about the effect on their lives and finances of what they see as unfair taxation policies. The only way out is to renounce their American citizenship, an expensive option and one which would effectively cut them off from extended family and long-term friends back in the home country.

Over 3,000 US expats living abroad responded to the survey, demonstrating the overall feeling that the FATCA taxation protocols should be either lifted or simplified as they are unfair, to put it mildly. The vast majority also felt their interests are totally ignored by a government being part-supported by their cash. Citizenship renunciation is their only option, and is now being considered by an increasing number of Americans living overseas. Interestingly, of those giving serious thought to renunciation, some 17 per cent stated their discontent with the direction of the present government as the reason.

Some six per cent of respondents out of the 41 per cent affected by the hated legislation said they weren’t familiar with the Foreign Bank Account Reporting (FBAR) requirements, thus leaving themselves open to prosecution by the US tax authority and huge fines if convicted. Almost all the respondents felt they’d been abandoned by their government representatives, and see the issue as an unsolvable problem in their lives. Some suggested the appointment of a political leader to represent all USA expats living and working overseas, in a similar manner as that set up by various other world countries.

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