Wednesday, June 15, 2011

WSJ gets in a tax tizzy about expatriation

The number of U.S. citizens "expatriating" - that is, renouncing their U.S. citizenship - has been rising, it seems (hat tip: TaxProf.) Presumably, they are expatriating for a number of varied reasons, though the IRS which provides the data doesn't give their reasons.

No prizes for guess what spin the Wall Street Journal puts on it?
"One argument is that they are leaving because of President Obama and the nation’s leaders."
TaxProf gives them one plate of red meat they are looking for: it's all about Obama demonising the wealthy, and so on. And then there is - of course! - this one:
Other attorneys who specialize in helping the Americans expatriate say the reason is that the IRS is cracking down on overseas bank accounts and offshore income.
So let us get this straight. Some U.S. citizens are committing offshore tax crimes. The U.S. government has a go at stopping them, in an effort to ease the tax burden on ordinary taxpayers and to encourage a spirit of compliance with the law. A small handful of these criminals get huffy, and leave.

What's not to like?

And if you look at the comments below the WSJ article, some of the "expatriated" seem to have added their opinions - and it's clear that tax is far from the only issue. One is headed to . . . high-tax Germany.


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