US expat survey notes increasing dissatisfaction with US government

Published:  25 May at 6 PM
Want to get involved? Become a Featured Expat and take our interview.
Become a Local Expert and contribute articles.
Get in touch today!
The latest version of an annual US expat survey has revealed a growing number of respondents are unhappy with their government.

The US Expat Opinion Survey was based on expats' feelings about taxes, the 2016 presidential election, government representation, citizenship renunciation and more, including the new guy in the White House and his administration. Overall, the data emphasised the growing trend amongst US expats to report their dissatisfaction with government and the impact they might have had on the results of the 2016 presidential election.

A strong 73 per cent of those surveyed in 2016 intended to vote in the presidential election, although only 64 per cent actually voted. Out of the total non-voters, 36 per cent considered they couldn’t cast a vote for either of the candidates as neither represented their interests. Over a quarter said they had no idea how to vote as an expat, with many saying the process was simply too complicated. Just 13 per cent felt casting their expat votes was important and 20 per cent were convinced their votes wouldn’t make any difference.

An even stronger 88 per cent of respondents felt their interests were in no way fairly represented by the US government, with the numbers seeing an increase of five per cent over last year’s total. A further 66 per cent feel they should be exempt as expats from filing US tax returns whilst living and working overseas, with 62 per cent stating they either didn’t owe any tax last year or had received refunds for previous overpayments.

Obviously, the hated FATCA requirements are high on the average US expat’s list of reasons to be dissatisfied with government. On the hot topic of citizenship renunciation, 43 percent of those surveyed said they weren’t considering the option at the present moment, but were unable to rule it out. Just 19 per cent are seriously considering giving up their citizenship, but aren’t quite at the decision-making point, whereas five percent are already in the planning stages. Half of those either planning or considering citizenship renunciation cited the annual tax filing chore as the reason, up by 13 per cent since last year’s survey.

Over half those surveyed would support any effort to repeal FATCA, with 10 per cent of respondents saying they’d been forced to close their foreign bank accounts as the bank was unwilling to comply with the stringent FATCA rules imposed on foreign financial institutions. Overall results of the survey indicate the vast majority of US expatriates are unhappy with the lack of services offered by their government, and suggestions from the majority indicated the top three improvements needed were a repeal of citizenship-based taxation, an increase in the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion and other means of lowering their tax burdens along with simplification of the tax-filing process.
Like this news?

Comments » No published comments just yet for this article...

Feel free to have your say on this item. Go on... be the first!

Tell us Your Thoughts On This Piece:

Your Name *
Email * (not published, needs verification one time only)
  • Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • RSS feed
  • Facebook

Latest Headlines

News Links

News Archive