Expatriation Continues To Increase
February 19, 2014 by Bob Livingston
Last year, 3,000 Americans bid their country goodbye and renounced their U.S. citizenship. The number was more than three times as many as in 2012, and almost twice as many as in the previous record year of 2011, when 1,788 turned in their U.S. passports. The 3,000 expats in 2013 was three times as many as the average of the past five years.
Expatriation is the only way to have economic freedom. Life in the U.S. is good if you are the 50 percent living off the government (this includes big corporations), but not so much if you are the 50 percent seeing two-thirds of your wealth confiscated to cover all the taxes you are required to pay.
If you are thinking of leaving the U.S., remember that all Americans are liable for income tax on their worldwide income. It doesn’t matter where you make the money.
From my studies, I like the countries of Costa Rica, Singapore and the Bahamas; and Uruguay would be a choice country. Uruguay is about as big as Missouri and has a mostly Italian, German and English population.
It’s hard to tell how long the U.S. non-system will last. You can be sure that desperate governments do desperate things to hold on to power.
All hardship and government oppression are based on a collapsing fiat paper currency. The more they print, the more they will need to confiscate from citizens.
According to tax lawyer Brad Westerfield, renunciations have increased since the implementation of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Law, which was passed to target overseas tax evasion. Westerfield said that the first wave of renunciations in 2010 coincided with a part of the law that requires individuals to report foreign assets worth as little as $50,000. That’s in addition to a separate provision that forces Americans to disclose foreign bank holdings larger than $10,000.
There are only a very few people who will even think about expatriation, and fewer still who will actually go through with it.
Expatriated Americans have more freedoms than Americans within the United States. You can keep Medicare (if used within the U.S.), Social Security benefits no matter where you live, no income taxes and no capital gains on non-U.S. sourced income.
You still have to pay to the U.S. 30 percent taxes on Social Security and dividend gains on U.S. stocks, depending on how you file. Can you go back to the U.S. after expatriation? Absolutely, on a green card. There are many people living in the U.S. on “green cards.” But this puts you back totally under the tax system.
A word for the future: Regardless of what you think about what’s going on in the U.S. right now, things will get progressively worse. Then people will think more about leaving. It boggles the mind to think that if an American gives up his citizenship, he has far more freedom right here in the United States. Oh, well, expats can’t vote. Shame, shame! Voting is a sham anyway, and you know it. Our votes have been meaningless for 50 years.