Why More U.S. Expatriates Are Turning In Their Passports

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posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 02:04 PM
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Why More U.S. Expatriates Are Turning In Their Passports


www.time.com


Chicago native Ben loves his country and is proud to be an American. Yet the longtime resident of Melbourne has just relinquished his U.S. citizenship. "This is not something I did lightly or happily, but I saw no other choice," says Ben, a businessman who became an Australian citizen two years ago.


His words resonate with another American expatriate, John, a business owner based near Lausanne, Switzerland, who like Ben asked that his last name be withheld for fear of alienating his famil
(visit the link for the full news article)



+19 more 
posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 02:04 PM
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It seems that more and more U.S. Citizens living and working abroad are opting for surrendering their Passports and Citizenship for such reasons as excessive taxation, and more and more U.S. Government rules that they find restrictive and unfair.

The U.S. is the only nation that charges Citizens living abroad income tax on the money that they earn abroad, even while they are still having to pay Income Tax to the nations that they are working and living in.

Many question the necessity and wisdom in that, since they are receiving virtually no U.S. Services and aren’t even making the money in the United States.

Worse still the U.S. has the most restrictive bank reporting procedures for citizens living abroad, so none of their income can go untaxed. So many restrictions in fact, that many foreign banks and financial service companies won’t take the business of Americans living abroad to avoid having to deal with all the cumbersome and time consuming procedures.

Other expatriated Americans cite ever changing tax codes and laws, too numerous for them to keep up with, and the steep penalties associated for violating them.

While many still are disheartened at the pace and scope of increasingly intrusive and restrictive laws coming out of Washington, and what they feel is a government that serves no one’s needs.

So far in the first quarter of 2010 more Americans living abroad have turned in their Passports and given up their Citizenship than in all of 2008.

Embassies have thousands more applications for the process on backlog waiting to be processed.

Here in America, living in America, we are constantly told about how we enjoy the greatest freedoms in the world, but clearly for Americans, that once spending some time outside of America, they are coming to realize us, what many of us here suspect and contend that this just isn’t true.

As things worsen here with a more and more intrusive and tax and spend government, out of touch with the voices of the people, are we going to start to see reverse immigration of Americans leaving here, for greater freedoms and opportunities elsewhere?


www.time.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 02:11 PM
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Excellent thread, as usual.

This is a very interesting topic with many people probably not even knowing that our government collects taxes even after you move abroad. My family has always dubbed this the "luxury of calling yourself an American citizen tax".

As anyone can see from reading this, that's really what it boils down to -- paying for the privilege of simply being a citizen of the US. Which is frankly rather ironic, given the millions of people that live here illegally and enjoy the benefits of the United States but don't pay a dime in taxes.


Originally posted by ProtoplasmicTraveler
So far in the first quarter of 2010 more Americans living abroad have turned in their Passports and given up their Citizenship than in all of 2008.


I would like to see someone try to chalk that up to merely "an inherited problem".

Great thread! S & F!



posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 02:16 PM
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S & F


Highly relevant thread

Look forward to reading Americans' opinions

Always difficult, surrendering citizenship of one's country of birth

But, as you've said, living outside US borders provides ex-pats with a different perspective as regards what defines themselves and America



posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 02:16 PM
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reply to post by lpowell0627
 





I would like to see someone try to chalk that up to merely "an inherited problem".


Thanks for the great post, and the additional insights from first hand knowledge.

The article actually states that this is a new developing trend.

That in years past it's always just been a handful of political protesters and people looking to save some money, but never anything like the numbers they are seeing now, or the reasons being stated.

More and more Americans are reaching a saturation point when it comes to discontent with the government, and those living abroad, unlike us here, have more options when it comes to dealing with it.

That option seems to be more and more to kiss America goodbye!

Pretty much what some would say our own Government has been doing!

Thanks for posting my friend.



posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 02:22 PM
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reply to post by Dock9
 





Look forward to reading Americans' opinions

Always difficult, surrendering citizenship of one's country of birth


Clearly its an agonizing decision for the people who are doing it. Many of them went abroad for income opportunities that no longer are as easy to find or possible to find here.

That in and of itself must have been difficult, to leave your home, family and friends, and pick up and go to another country just to earn a living.

These aren't decisions people are making or taking lightly, but a decision many feel they have little choice left to do.

Pay a premium to America, to be an American in name, when what being American is coming to mean, is something fewer and fewer Americans are thrilled about.

Thanks for posting my friend.



posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 02:52 PM
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Considering the present state of affairs here in the US it is no suprise that people are beginning to move to other more hospitable locations and renouncing citizenship.


I think a lot of folks are sick of being bullied by our money starved, corrupt and polluted government always sticking its nose into their affairs. It has gotten to the point where you have to pay some sort of duty or kickback every time you move a muscle.


A lot of it also has to do with the souring economy and the potential for future backlash. We haven't lived in such volatile times in America since Vietnam and the Bay of Pigs. People in general are fearful of the unknown and what may come. And obviously frustrated due to a political system and more specifically a two party electoral system that is rigged and impossible to change.

I would be a liar if I said I hadn't kicked around the idea of moving on as well. The idea of picking up and moving to some small island abroad in favor of a simpler, less chaotic life appeals to me more and more each passing year. I get the feeling that in ten years from now we wont even be able to recognize this country where we all grew up and it wont even be the same place culturally.

I have never been one to abandon a place that I have loved deeply and called home for many years, but the future in this melting pot is looking more and more like dark grey cloud every day. Corrupt police states typically arent the best places to make a life or raise a family.

We shall see.


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posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 02:58 PM
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I have been living outside the U.S. for almost 6 years now. I would never give up my citizenship if for no other reason than the ease of travel when one possesses the magic blue passport. I am reminded of that every time my Moldovan wife and I attempt to travel anywhere. My particular situation is not affected by the financial considerations of some expats so the tax implications are not an issue for me.

The U.S. may have its problems and I cannot ever envision myself being back there permanently until I get shipped back to Florida in a cardboard box but I am still loyal and extremely disturbed about the direction the country is heading.

I never thought I would see Eastern European countries and even Russia as bastions of freedom and a haven for Christians however it seems to be heading in that direction.

Anyone who is seriously considering the expat life U2U me.

[edit on 21-4-2010 by expat2368]



posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 03:20 PM
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reply to post by expat2368
 





The U.S. may have its problems and I cannot ever envision myself being back there permanently until I get shipped back to Florida in a cardboard box but I am still loyal and extremely disturbed about the direction the country is heading.

I never thought I would see Eastern European countries and even Russia as bastions of freedom and a haven for Christians however it seems to be heading in that direction.


It would seem that the real outcome of the Cold War, borne of the threat of Mutually Assured Nuclear Destruction led to at first a compromise and then metamorphosis of ideologies, with each side, at the end heavily embracing the other’s philosophies and governmental styles.

China today has the second larges population of Billionaires in the World; the Old Communist East has become progressively more and more democratic, and more capitalistic, while the United States has become more and more socialist and fascist.

It is almost as if the roles will end up being completely reversed at this pace.

Thanks for posting and sharing your insights what life is like abroad.

Hope to see you one day here in Sunny South Florida minus the cardboard box!



posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 03:23 PM
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reply to post by ProtoplasmicTraveler
 




many foreign banks and financial service companies won’t take the business of Americans living abroad to avoid having to deal with all the cumbersome and time consuming procedures.


I've never heard of a bank refusing service because of it, but as of several years ago, at least, it was often possible to get around the usual tracking by traveling overseas and depositing a cashiers check in person rather than transfering electronically from a US bank. Or so I hear.



posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 03:29 PM
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reply to post by LordBucket
 





I've never heard of a bank refusing service because of it, but as of several years ago, at least, it was often possible to get around the usual tracking by traveling overseas and depositing a cashiers check in person rather than transfering electronically from a US bank. Or so I hear.


According to the article, these aren't Americans who have travelled abroad just to deposit money made here.

But Americans living abroad, who are making their money, and living there, and needing things like regular banking and credit cards, that have encountered average banks turning them down because of the stringent reporting procedures that the U.S. Government and the IRS requires.

These aren't Swiss Banks or Lichtenstein or money havens, or big dollar depositors, but some of them are in business for themselves, so they deposit money frequently, and move it in and out of their accounts frequently as a result.

These are just average people, who dealing with just average European banks that cater to locals, don't want their business because of the reporting requirements. Since they are of course there already, living full time, its not possible for them to slip back home grab a cashiers check and then ask their accountant whats a sweet place to deposit it that wants the business.



posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 03:30 PM
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My husband and I plan on moving to St Lucia in about a year with our two babies in tow. Largely, we don't like where this country is heading and don't feel it will be a good environment for our kids in the near future. Safety and liberties in question, this job offer could not have come at a more opportune time for us.

I find it typical that the gov't will still tax our earnings even though we aren't on US soil. I find it troubling that our finances will be monitored. I find it disturbing and unacceptable that when my son comes of age he will still be required to show up at the nearest embassy (not even in St Lucia) and sign up for selective service.

I'm over it. Ready for change. I'm willing to give up luxuries and unnecessary comforts. When it comes down to it, most Americans don't own all their luxuries anyway as they are so deep in credit debt ... we are living on fumes of grandeur here. It will get ugly when the fumes die out.



posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 03:36 PM
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reply to post by MotherofBlessings
 


There is no shortage of Statist examples of us as citizens being the property of the State and Free Range Economic Slaves, but this may be the most powerful example, of where it does appear that we exist more or less to enrich the government economically.

When you consider that less than 11% of the Federal Budget is actually spent on running the government, and only 28% is spent on Social Services like Social Security, and Education and Pell Grants, none of which citizen’s abroad are using or benefiting from, why are they being taxed, other than the Government using them as money making servants?



posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 03:42 PM
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reply to post by ProtoplasmicTraveler
 


Ugh, when you put it that way it makes me shiver. Voluntary slavery. We are like indentured servants, born to indentured servants, and we will never be able to pay ourselves free. The cost of our redemption will continue increasing and our ability to pay will continue decreasing.

Things change once you have children. I view things differently. I don't want to pass on the curse to them.



posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 04:06 PM
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I started reading this thread before i realized who posted it. Proto - big surprise! You are truly an asset to this community.

Some many threads ago I asked people who had come to America from other countries to escape oppressions to share their stories as I truly value their insights.

It is very dis-heartening to see the very country that persons around the world for many generations have run to become the very same country that so many are now running from.

I would have never in a million years imagined that this would ever happen here and it was my blinded view of this country that kept me in that place - ignorance "appeared" to be bliss. But alas it was all a facade and the walls came crashing down to the harsh reality that our combined apathy had allowed to form around us.

The question is now how do we become once again that shining beacon welcoming all to her warm embrace, how do we become the America we all know and love that others want to be a part of.

I love this country and I love what it can be and in some ways I am blessed that I do not have the means to leave her because quite frankly I don't know what i might do given the opportunity, but I don't want to give up on her because she is better than this, we are better than this. She has many times over given me and others like me so much and I feel I owe her a chance to get back on her feet and become again a proud Nation.

How deeply it hurts to watch something you love dying from some disease that you cant seem to stop from spreading but I will keep trying and God willing we will see her fit and upright again - For if we repent of our sins then He will heal our lands.



posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 04:08 PM
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reply to post by MotherofBlessings
 





Things change once you have children. I view things differently. I don't want to pass on the curse to them.


Currently each man, woman and child's portion of the national debt is 182,000.00

Thats what each one of us would have to pony up to get the country debt free.

At some point we do owe it to our children, and their children, to reavaluate just what Big Government is doing for us, and too us.

Thanks for posting.



posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 04:22 PM
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reply to post by WWJFKD
 





The question is now how do we become once again that shining beacon welcoming all to her warm embrace, how do we become the America we all know and love that others want to be a part of.


An excellent and thought provoking post as always my friend, and a good question, I think we all should be asking of ourselves, and one another.

I know when I was younger there was a certain resentment on the part of many Americans in regards to illegal and legal immigrants alike. A resentment that no doubt continues right on through today.

But what I did notice, back then, is so many of them, came here looking to just work, work and save. They didn’t drive fancy cars, or eat expensive meals, or long for fine clothes, or a great big home, just a good honest job, that paid honest wages, that they would skimp and sacrifice to save almost every penny they could of.

Invariably most of them wanted to do the same thing, to save and move back to their country of origin to use that money to open a business of their own, to establish them for the rest of their lives.

They weren’t looking for government hand outs, social security, or free health care, or a police officer on every corner.

They were looking to take care of themselves, to have that opportunity to take care of them selves.

Many people, who are born here, really don’t want to fully do for themselves, they want big government and big guarantees, they want to be codependent on government, they want to be dependent on government, and they want us all to pay our ‘fair’ share of that!

Yet no matter how much we pay, the government spends more, and often to placate one special interest group or another, the people who want government guarantees, social guarantees, social contracts etc., etc.

But that wasn’t what this country was about, it wasn’t what our forefathers were about, it was about having that simple chance to do for yourself, to work for yourself, to care for yourself, to care for the people you loved and meant something to you, with out government standing in the way, regulating it to the point it was nigh on impossible, and without taxing you to death.

The American dream was about making something of yourself, not having the government make something of you, and that something being exactly like everyone else was.

The new America really is becoming about that, as all being equal, equally poor, equally afraid, equally dependent, equally compliant, equally submissive, and equally silent and grateful.

We need to get back to basics, to get back to our entrepreneurial spirit and backbone, to realize that our corporations have become tyrannical fiefdoms within the government, and to stop supporting them, to stop buying their cheap foreign made products, to stop working for their substandard wages, and to stop giving up 50% of that in taxes, fees and insurances, to multiple overlapping layers of overly intrusive government.

We need to understand that the American Dream isn’t a gift the Government gives you, it’s a gift you give yourself because Government doesn’t stand in the way of it.

Government is standing in the way of it, and the backbone of that support comes from those who want to be dependent upon government for everything in everyway, and to make us dependent on it too.

That’s my humble opinion.

Thanks for asking.


[edit on 21/4/10 by ProtoplasmicTraveler]



posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 04:26 PM
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Wow, there sure is a lot of Truth being spoken in this thread! Thank you, everyone, for sharing your views and in such a well-spoken fashion.



posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 04:34 PM
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Originally posted by MotherofBlessings
Wow, there sure is a lot of Truth being spoken in this thread! Thank you, everyone, for sharing your views and in such a well-spoken fashion.


Thank you for sharing too! The greatest thing about ATS is all the perspectives from some of the most intelligent and thoughtful people you could ever hope to find.

I hope things go well for you in St. Lucia, remember to set your watch to tomorrow time, no one is ever in a hurry to do anything in the Bahamas and Caribbean!

Kind of nice actually.



posted on Apr, 21 2010 @ 04:44 PM
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reply to post by ProtoplasmicTraveler
 


Hey Proto didn't you post once that you lived in Florida?

If so why haven't you made the great migration abroad yet?

Oh! please do.





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