Around one in four Americans currently living abroad are serious about considerations and plans to renounce their U.S. citizenship, and they name the U.S. tax burden as the top reason for their desire, a recent survey found.
Many U.S. citizens who have currently taken up residence in another country are hit with taxes from both their host country and their home country, Greenback Expat Tax Services explained in a piece accompanying their survey findings.
“The burden of filing U.S. taxes is the top reason expats want to ditch U.S. citizenship, according to the survey, which polled 3,200 American expats living in 121 countries,” CNBC reported.
Greenback noted that the U.S. has attempted to ease the tax burden of Americans abroad by putting in measures to avoid double taxation. However, U.S. expats still must file tax returns with the IRS every year, and many end up paying U.S. taxes.
“Because the majority of the world’s nations use a system of residence-based taxation, most US expats are required to pay taxes in their host country,” Greenback explained. “Despite this, most also have to pay taxes to the US government on the same income due to the US’s practice of citizenship-based taxation.”
“The US also has rules in place that require Americans to report on foreign financial accounts,” Greenback added. “The rules were designed to safeguard against tax cheats hiding money in offshore accounts. However, these regulations disproportionately impact expats since they are more likely to have overseas accounts.”
The survey found that millions of Americans living abroad were unfamiliar with America’s financial reporting requirements, which could put them at risk of falling into trouble with the IRS. Another concerning aspect of the survey showed that 86% of American expats “feel like their concerns are less likely to be addressed by the US government than US citizens living in the USA,” a finding that Greenback co-founder David McKeegan said “struck” him most.
As of 2020, there were up to nine million Americans living abroad, according to U.S. State Department estimates. CNBC noted that just under 2,500 people revoked their U.S. citizenship in 2021, much fewer than the record-breaking year in 2020 that saw nearly 7,000 Americans decide to renounce their citizenship.