A year ago, in Action Comics, Superman declared plans to renounce his U.S. citizenship.
Now, I did not know that. But a year ago, I advised few of my clients that renouncing their American citizenship might be the only way to keep IRS and USA government off their back.
According to a news report, in 2011, almost 1,800 people followed Superman’s lead, renouncing their U.S. citizenship or handing in their Green Cards. That’s a record number since the Internal Revenue Service began publishing a list of those who renounced in 1998. It’s also almost eight times more than the number of citizens who renounced in 2008, and more than the total for 2007, 2008 and 2009 combined.
The United States is one of the only countries to tax its citizens on income earned while they’re living abroad. This year, an estimated 6.3 million U.S. citizens living abroad brace for what they describe as an even tougher process of reporting their income and foreign accounts to the IRS. For them, the deadline is June 15th.
The National Taxpayer Advocate’s Office, part of the IRS, released a report in December 2011 that details the difficulties of filing taxes from overseas. It cites heavy paperwork, a lack of online filing options and a dearth of local and foreign-language resources.
For those wishing to legally escape the filing requirements, the only way is to formally renounce their U.S. citizenship. Last year, IRS records show that at least 1,788 people did, and that’s likely an underestimate. The IRS publishes in the Federal Register the names of those who give up their citizenship, and some who renounced say they haven’t seen their name on the list yet.
Read more about this in the National Post article, http://natpo.st/J5FRDa