Comments on: Hugo Dixon: When is it OK to avoid tax? Mon, 18 Apr 2016 14:55:08 +0000 hourly 1 By: americanguy Tue, 22 Jan 2013 00:32:29 +0000 It is ok to not pay taxes if you are wealthy.
Paying taxes is for working people who need the money.
That answers the question.

By: LoveJoyOne Mon, 21 Jan 2013 15:09:54 +0000 QuiteThinker,

“U.S. citizens have taxation WITH representation no matter where they live.”

Sorry, but that’s not really true. Longtime residents in foreign countries do not belong to any constituency. They can vote in Presidential elections but in reality, they are not represented by a congressman or a senator, unless they list a town in the US as their residence, which is ridiculous and plain wrong, for someone who has lived overseas for years or decades.

As for taxes, the US is the only country in the world which taxes income earned by citizens who reside and pay taxes in another country. No other country does so, not even Russia (on which you seem to have some sort of fixation), the Chinese or Zimbabwe.

The US tax code requires citizens living abroad to recognize theoretical changes in the value of their overseas assets, such as their homes, due to exchange rate fluctuations as capital gains – even if the home has not been sold. This is one of the most ridiculous features of the tax code. Can you imagine paying taxes on increases in your home price every year, even if you haven’t sold the home?

As the US Dollar has hovered at a near record low levels, this has made foreign income and assets appear artificially high in US Dollar terms. In some countries the exchange rate effect is great enough to have literally doubled the theoretical income and asset values in US Dollar terms in the last 10 years for someone who has not had a penny of salary increase.

The result is, someone could literally be living below the poverty line in a European country, but the income in US Dollar terms could place them in a high tax bracket in the US. Also ridiculous. We have to pay because the US shot the Dollar to smithereens?

As for your suggestion to give up US citizenship, unfortunately thousands are being forced to do so, not because they don’t love the US, but because the administrative and fiscal burdens make it impossible for them to maintain their passports.

This is a great loss to America, which misses out on the cultural diversity and representation oversees, which have brought many benefits to countries like Great Britain and France, which have expats in many countries who often are industry leaders which bring home lucrative business.

Meanwhile, the US outsources millions of jobs to India, Pakistan or whatever, and yet discourages through fiscal policies its own citizens from living and working overseas. Doesn’t that seem perverse?

By: QuietThinker Mon, 21 Jan 2013 13:40:17 +0000 U.S. citizens have taxation WITH representation no matter where they live. They receive the benefits of being a citizen of the greatest country of the world. U.S. citizens and corporations receive credit for foreign taxes paid against their U.S. taxes. If you feel that you don’t want to be a U.S. citizen, become a Russian citizen (like some tax dodgers) and enjoy their brand of democracy. Just be sure to get rid of all your investments in U.S. companies and property, your U.S. passport, and never visit our shores again. Maybe participating in a Russian election will make you feel represented.

By: LoveJoyOne Mon, 21 Jan 2013 11:12:20 +0000 Aside from blatant cases like the Goldman bonuses, it’s ridiculous to imply or state that taxpayers should attempt to comply with the “spirit of the law” or the “spirit of the times”.

It’s already extremely difficult to comply with the law, especially in countries like the USA, with its horribly convoluted tax code.

Perhaps US taxpayers should start filling out their tax returns in the “spirit of the US Constitution” and in the spirit of the revolutionary war rallying cry “No taxes without representation”.

As I see it, US citizens overseas have no representation, yet are expected to pay US federal taxes. Is that in the spirit of the times?