An accounting firm that specialises in work with US expats surveyed 3,100 US citizens living abroad and found that 18 percent were seriously considering renouncing their citizenship while four percent were already planning on it. The report also found that 69 percent felt that they should not have to pay US taxes while living abroad. Concerns with complicated filing procedures and banking issues abroad prove to be reasons for dissatisfaction with the US taxing system.
The US State Department estimates that 10 million Americans live outside the country, including heads of multinational corporations. The number is expected to continue to grow due to growing working from home policies, and the lack of representation Americans feel with their government.
Most nations use a system of residence-based taxation in which expats must pay taxes in their host country. However, US expats also have to pay taxes to the US government on the same income due to the US's citizenship-based taxation.
"Americans are now relying on their dual nationality to renounce their US citizenship, but those who don't have that luxury are opting for solutions that are much faster than naturalisation in another country." - Micha Emmett, CEO
The US government has measures to help avoid double taxation, but all expats must still file an annual return—and many still have to pay a US tax bill.
"In recent years, we've seen more and more US citizens renounce their citizenship," says Micha Emmett, CEO of CS Global Partners, a firm that specialises in helping clients obtain second citizenship. "Due to the pandemic, the number is growing more rapidly. Americans are now relying on their dual nationality to renounce their US citizenship, but those who don't have that luxury are opting for solutions that are much faster than naturalisation in another country and don't require travel to attain, like Citizenship by Investment."
Citizenship by investment programmes allows individuals to obtain citizenship of a country in return for making qualifying investments. The notion originated in the Caribbean islands of St Kitts and Nevis, and the country now has the longest-running programme in the world. Its decades of success has led the programme to be dubbed the 'Platinum Standard' of the industry.
"The process most likely takes less than three months and is a solution for many Americans wanting better healthcare and a closer to nature lifestyle that garners cleaner air. Its proximity to the States and the nation's currency being pegged on the USD are also major benefits," Emmett added.
After applicants invest in the popular Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF) option, they unlock a wealth of benefits like visa-free and visa-on-arrival travel to nearly 160 destinations and a lifelong ability to live and work in the nation. Most importantly, investors and their families gain citizenship that can be passed down for generations to come. Those interested in becoming citizens of St Kitts and Nevis can take advantage of the limited-time offer under the SGF, which enables families of four to obtain citizenship for US$150,000 rather than $195,000.