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This year’s survey was different than previous years’ surveys because we departed from asking primarily tax questions. We covered the tax reform, IRS amnesty programs, thoughts on citizenship renunciation, and how expats feel about filing US taxes, but then we ventured into new topics. We asked what political issues expats believe are the most important, and which way they think issues such as healthcare, gun control, and immigration reform should be handled. The answers may surprise you.
66.8% of US expats do not believe there should be a requirement for filing US taxes, up 1% from our findings last year. This number has remained relatively consistent over the past four years, and it’s not hard to understand why: the US remains only one of two countries with a citizen-based taxation system. The system is unusual, to say the least.
Given this, it stands to reason that the tax issue that expats most want addressed is the repeal of citizenship-based taxation – 57.5% of them, in fact. Coming in second is a simplification of the tax process – 19.6% of expats said this would be the most helpful step the American government could take to aid them in filing US taxes. The rest of the ideas spanned from repealing the recent tax reform to repealing the GILTI tax to repealing the costs associated with citizenship renunciation.
Do you ever feel like the only expat who is behind on your taxes? Don’t. If our survey data is representative, 6.8% of expats are behind on their taxes. That means there could be more than half a million of you out there! (And if this happens to be you, ask us about Streamlined Filing Procedures!)
A new question this year pertained to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. We wanted to find out how expats expect to be affected by the tax reform. Nearly half (49.5%) are unclear on what is in store for them, while 29.5% expect no change. 10.3% expect to pay more in taxes, and 8.8% expect to pay less. So if you don’t know what the future holds for your expat taxes, you are in very good company.
Stay tuned, as we’ll detail more results from our survey soon!
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