US expat tax hell survey

Sorry, totally off topic…but as it seems like some of you are also US expats, so I thought maybe you might be interested in this survey.

The University of Nevada & American Citizens Abroad Global Foundation are doing a study on the unintended hellish effect the latest US tax laws have on US expats. They need as much input as possible to help convince Congress to fix the broken policy. The survey is anonymous and many questions do have a “prefer not to answer” option. Find out more at the American Citizens Abroad website.

> Take the FATCA Survey of American Taxpayers Living Abroad

If you’re long-term expat with no clear plan to move back to the States, you might want to look into your tax returns in more details. I thought I was OK doing it the way I would have done it in the States. But it turned out that just because my “local” is IRS’s “foreign” everything I do is treated as potential tax-evading action and punished accordingly. Pub 54, the tax guide for expats which I relied on for guidance, is woefully incomplete. Now I’m looking at fees in the thousands not to mention potential tax, interest, and penalties in the same region, plus the threats of losing rainy day/retirement saving options. (One UK-based adviser even quoted me an eye-watering £11,000+ fee for the pleasure of sorting out my trouble.)

Oh how I wish I had spent all my spare pences feeding my fabric stash instead of saving prudently. As they say, no good deed goes unpunished.

Please share the link if you have US expat friends. Thanks.

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2 comments on “US expat tax hell survey

  1. I’m so sorry to hear about your situation. it is absurd and nightmare-ish. My father is embroiled in a terrible situation, with money that he earned (and payed tax on) over 30 yeas of living in various European countries. It’s punitive and shocking frankly.

    • I’m sorry to hear your dad’s caught by this unfair policy too. Even with the current Streamlined Program tax return filing amnesty the rules are still very unfair. It’s just wrong to lump expats together with US residents who have foreign assets.

      I’m now working with an US-based expat tax preparer to sort out my situation. They seem cheaper than the EU-based ones. But I don’t know how I’ll manage going forward trying to comply with both UK & US rules without having to pay punitive extra taxes.

      I hope your dad’s situation will turn out better than expected. In any case he should use what channels that are still available to him to complain about this unfair treatment. No one living in the US would stand for this, so why should expats suffer in silence. It would be un-American to stand for such abuse. Our Founding Fathers must be turning in their graves!

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