2014: Too Late to Leave The United States?
Wendy McElroy, Contributor
Friday, February 1, 2013
The Ex-PATRIOT Act lies like a coiled snake on a table in the U.S. Senate. The longer title of this unenacted bill from 2012 is the Expatriation Prevention by Abolishing Tax-Related Incentives for Offshore Tenancy Act. Its self-description is,
A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide that persons renouncing citizenship for a substantial tax avoidance purpose shall be subject to tax and withholding on capital gains, to provide that such persons shall not be admissible to the United States, and for other purposes.
The Ex-PATRIOT Act seeks to impose a perpetual exit tax and a re-entry ban on “specified expatriates.” A specified expat is anyone with a net worth of at least $2 million or a tax liability averaging at least $148,000 over the last 5 years. A renunciation of citizenship would be automatically viewed as a tax dodge. The person would need to prove his innocence to the IRS to become exempt from a permanent and annual 30% tax on all earnings from U.S. investments. The net worth level at which the tax triggered would undoubtedly sink over time and, perhaps, quickly so.