That’s because the U.S. is one of the only countries in the world that requires its citizens working abroad to file taxes at home, reports the Daily Mail.
American expatriates are exempt from paying tax on the first $95,100 of income earned abroad as long as they fill in the Foreign Income Exclusion form and prove taxes are paid to the country they reside in. But the process is complicated.
Americans expatriates also have to comply with another regulation that calls for them to disclose information on foreign bank accounts with at least $10,000, explains ABC News. Banks are required to provide information on those very clients and their funds to the U.S. government.
Considering that an estimated 3 to 6 million Americans reside abroad, notes TIME magazine, less than 2,000 people relinquishing citizenship isn’t too high of a number. Still, the figure is an indication of a growing trend given that only 502 citizens handed in their passports back in 2009.
But relinquishing one’s U.S. citizenship isn’t as simple as one might imagine.
My British friends used to make fun of me for this very fact. And on principle, it’s ridiculous. Why pay taxes that you don’t gain the benefit from because you don’t live there? We pay both local taxes and US taxes. It increases the barrier to be an American expat.
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