Annual US expat tax survey might make interesting reading for lawmakers

Published:  30 Mar at 6 PM
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An annual survey aimed at collecting the opinions of US expats on tax-related subjects including FATCA and expat tax reform is expanding its brief for this year’s study.

The survey is being authored by a leading US expat tax specialist firm, perhaps arousing suspicions that the real intent is to garner yet more potential clients and topping up its already long list of 8,000 US expats. However, this year’s survey has been broadened to cover the effects of the Trump presidency on expats’ lives and tax liabilities. Taking place between now and the middle of May, the study will include questions on tax reform, FATCA, expats’ representation in government, political priorities, citizenship renunciation and more.

David McKeegan of survey authors Greenback Expat Tax Services told the press the survey’s results will be used to share expats’ concerns with lawmakers able to advocate on respondents’ behalf. It’s being conducted, he said, as a collective voice for the nine million US expats living and working overseas. Last year’s survey only inspired some 2,100 of the company’s 8.000 clients to state their views, but it’s quite possible this past year’s political shenanigans and their results as regards expat taxes might well persuade a greater number to speak out.

According to McKeenan, this year’s study will delve into political concerns as well as actual issues involving the taxation of US expats overseas. He added the majority of respondents to the 2017 survey were dissatisfied with the lack of expat representation in the government as well as disagreeing with the current tax laws affecting expats. Of especial interest this year may well be replies on the subject of renunciation of American citizenship, as more expats are deciding it’s easier to take this irrevocable step rather than continuing a battle royal with the IRS.
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