The government set out to catch rich tax cheats and ended up persecuting all the little people living abroad.
That’s why Peter Dunn renounced his U.S. citizenship last year, and why an increasing number of Americans living abroad are doing the same.
Click here to read my column about Dunn on Marketwatch. Taxing people based on citizenship instead of based on where they actually make their living, is wrong, says Dunn. He frequently blogs on the topic at isaacbrocksociety.com.
A Geneva -based group, American Citizens Abroad, is also fighting for expatriates dealing with a harsh tax code. Marylouise Serrato says she’s hearing from an increasing number of frustrated Americans who are considering renouncing their U.S. citizenship.
This, of course, is an extreme thing to do, as I pointed out in a previous column, Tax Dodgers Are Proudly Un-American. The column took aim at wealthy people renouncing their citizenship to avoid paying taxes – like that Facebook co-founder Eduardo Severan.
It did not address middle-class people renouncing their citizenship because the Internal Revenue Service was making their lives unbearable.
Clearly, there is a case to be made that the crusade to round up rich tax cheats is hurting everyone else living abroad. The problem, I think, is that no one in Washington cares to hear it. It’s difficult from someone living abroad, after all, to even catch their attention.