The Agenda

Stop Taxing Expats on Income Earned Abroad

One of my pet causes is reforming America’s tax treatment of our citizens living abroad. I wrote a radio commentary about this last year. (As you can tell from the comments, high earners aren’t universally loved by public radio listeners.) As tax lawyer Andrew Mitchel explained to Catherine Rampell of the New York Times, we are very much an outlier in how we approach taxing our expatriates:

The U.S. is almost the only country in the world that requires its citizens that live permanently in another country to continue to file tax returns in the country of citizenship. Combine the U.S. tax return filing complexities with the potentially bankrupting penalties for failing to report certain items, and many individuals conclude that their lives would improve by shedding their U.S. citizenship.

I find this extremely depressing, as I believe that American expatriates are a tremendous asset for our country. 


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