U.S. Losing Citizens Because of Taxes

Posted on August 12, 2022

U.S. Losing Citizens Because of Taxes

Americans living outside of the country are finding U.S. tax laws so difficult to comply with that many wealthy citizens have renounced their U.S. citizenship. The number has risen to the thousands and counting.

The Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) regulations state that “if you have a financial interest in or signature authority over a foreign financial account, including a bank account, brokerage account, mutual fund, trust, or other type of foreign financial account, exceeding certain thresholds, the Bank Secrecy Act may require you to report the account yearly to the Internal Revenue Service by filing a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR).

Forbes shares some of the recent well-known Americans that chose to renounce their U.S. citizenship because of taxes:

“Among the more notable–even notorious–expatriations in 2012 was Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin.

Saverin’s post-Facebook fly-away prompted such outrage that Senators Chuck Schumer and Bob Casey introduced a bill to double that tax to 30% for anyone leaving the U.S. for tax reasons … People also took note of wealthy socialite Denise Rich, whose husband Marc was pardoned by President Clinton. Then there was music icon Tina Turner” who gave up her U.S. passport.

In 2011 and 2012 it looked like the departed were falling . . . But 2013 is going the other direction in a big way. Where they go varies, but many countries are an easier sell in both tax rates and tax systems. America’s controversial worldwide income tax–inflexible and unforgiving–seems to invite greener pastures.”

Those who are considering giving up their U.S. citizenship because of taxes may consider these points shared by Forbes:

1. There are a distinct set of immigration rules and tax rules. Seek advice from an immigration lawyer and a tax adviser. You need both sets of rules.

2. Tax Motivation is irrelevant. One big relief is that you no longer have to come up with other reasons you’re leaving. It’s OK to leave for tax reasons.

3. Consider tax filings carefully. Some people expatriate under the immigration rule and never file with the IRS. This is risky but can be appropriate in some cases. Consider the exit tax rules too.

4. Plan before you go. You should make gifts or transfers before you expatriate. There is often legitimate spousal or family tax planning to consider before you act.

5. Expatriating means really leaving. This doesn’t mean you cannot return to visit, perhaps even more. It is best to consult with an immigration lawyer.