US tax burdens drive expats to consider renouncing citizenship, survey shows

U.S. is only country that requires citizens to pay taxes no matter where in the world they live

The main reason expats are considering renouncing their U.S. citizenship is the burdensome U.S. tax code.

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According to a report conducted by Greenback Expat Tax Services, 37 percent of citizens living abroad who were considering renouncing their citizenship blamed the U.S. tax code.

In fact, a record number of people made good on that threat in the first quarter, when about 2,909 people did in fact renounce their U.S. citizenship.

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In the second quarter, 4 percent planned to renounce their citizenship, 17 percent were seriously considering it, while another 41 percent said they would not rule it out.

Seventy percent of expats said they do not feel as though they should be required to file taxes in the U.S.

A U.S. expat is an individual who is either inside a foreign country for at least 330 days out of the year or resides outside the U.S. for at least a year with no intention of permanently returning.

As previously reported by FOX Business, the U.S. is the only country with laws that require citizens to pay taxes no matter where in the world they reside, including if they have lived abroad their entire lives.

Twenty-eight percent of expats surveyed owed U.S. taxes in 2019, while only 12 percent received a refund.

There are penalties for citizens living abroad who do not pay their U.S. tax obligations. These individuals may face the failure-to-file and failure-to-pay penalties, and in some cases passports can be revoked.

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The survey was conducted among 4,000 expats living throughout 125 countries.

The other reasons expats were considering renouncing their U.S. citizenship, according to the survey, included disappointment with the direction of the U.S. government and concerns about the political climate.

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