Magazine article The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education

To Be or Not to Be - A U.S. Expatriate

Magazine article The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education

To Be or Not to Be - A U.S. Expatriate

Article excerpt

It seems million a undocumented bit ironic that in people today's living world in there the shadows are over 12 in the U.S., some desperately trying to remain here and legalize their residency while concurrently there are many U.S. citizens choosing to live abroad, some saying good riddance to American life.

The number is growing and one of die principal reasons is onerous tax liabilities by the mother country which, with a bit of a stretch, is reminiscent of another long ago, home spawned taxation without representation revolution.

Comparatively speaking, the issue is minisculc but still telling as to why some Americans prefer life abroad to the extent of giving up their coveted U.S. citizenship.

The U.S. government and other private entities have never bothered to authenticate the exact number of Americans living abroad and usually have dealt with this exodus in broad strokes except when it comes to upholding the tax liabilities of all Americans wherever they may be: at home or anywhere in die world.

That means you can go to the ends of the earth but if you are an American, Uncle Sam wants you to pony up U.S. taxes. Anywhere, every7 April, Americans have to declare and pay U.S. taxes until they die or renounce their citizenship.

That's on lop of whatever tax liabilities you have in your adopted country of residence.

The term for this type of U.S. citizcn stature is expatriate. Some expats go abroad for business or professional reasons - military personnel don't count as expats - and others for a variety of reasons like marriage and cost-of-living and retirement factors. I spent a large portion of my career abroad in studies and as an expat 111 Latin America.

My children grew up in a foreign environment and to this day benefit from the experience. They, however, remain fervent Americans although one continues to live abroad. Some expats are plain crooks or scalawags going as far as they can and as deep as they can to escape the reach of the U.S. law. Some of the latter, however, can't go far enough or vanish forever because of extradition treaties among countries that search out the culprits and send them back to their home country like the U.S. to face justice.

The last estimate by the State Department in 2011 was 5.2 million Americans living abroad and of that number, 1,800 Americans gave up U.S. citizenship and turned in their passports. The process includes completing a special application and paying a $450 exit fee.

Comparatively speaking, it seems a small number considering how many Americans live abroad. …

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