A Closer Look: The 2018 US Expat Opinion Survey Results

A Closer Look: The 2018 US Expat Opinion Survey Results
June 11, 2018

This year, the 2018 US expat opinion survey forged a new frontier: social issues. Yes, we also researched their opinions on taxes, but we felt compelled to learn more. At Greenback, we feel a deep sense of community with the expats that we work with, and for good reason: many of us are expats ourselves! Expats can often feel excluded from the American political framework; sometimes the one lingering connection they feel to America comes when they are filing taxes abroad. But as we found in this year’s results, that does not mean they are disengaged. We’re so excited to share with you more of the findings from this year’s survey! Let’s begin.

How Do Expats Feel About Filing Taxes Abroad?

The majority of expats consistently feel that they should not be required to do so. In fact, 66.8% believe that the requirement is unfair. For a more detailed examination of the tax component of the survey results, read our recent blog post.

How Well Do Expats Feel Represented By the US Government?

For those who keep up on our annual surveys, it should come as no surprise that expats feel essentially forsaken. 86.3% feel that the US government does not represent them. In fact, for expats who are seriously considering renunciation, 17.9% are doing so because their opinions differ so vastly with the current direction of the government.

Beyond Filing Taxes Abroad: Social Issues

Expats made their thoughts known on the state of American social issues. We asked what issue they thought was most important, and the breakdown is as follows:

Issue Percentage of Respondents
Gun control 37.7%
Healthcare 34.5%
Immigration reform 14.4%
All three of the above 2.8%
Other 10.6%

What’s interesting is that on gun control and healthcare – the top two most important issues – expats agree. Of the expats that indicated gun control was the most important, 96.0% believe America needs to enact more regulations. Of the expats who felt most strongly about healthcare, 87.8% either agreed or strongly agreed that the US government should guarantee healthcare for its citizens. But the expats who agreed that immigration reform was the most important disagreed on why. 50.7% either agreed or strongly agreed that the government should do more about illegal immigration, which is a majority, but just barely.

Why Do These Issues Matter?

These issues matter to Greenback because expats often experience barriers to voting, and so sometimes completing a survey is the only way to take a stance. It matters because expats deserve to have a say in the course of the country they call home. We are so grateful to be able to engage in discourse with our fellow expats, and the people who took the time to share with us are invaluable to our mission to protect and promote expat interests.

Need Help Filing Taxes Abroad?

Maybe you’re one of the expats we surveyed that has never filed taxes. If your taxes are late, we can help make the process anxiety-free. Contact us today, and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you have!

Who doesn’t love a tax break? Use our handy calculator to learn what you can save using the FEIE.

Use our simple excel calculator to get an estimate of how the foreign earned income exclusion will save you money. It will make your day!

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