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Q: taxes are too high, time to change citizenship ( Answered,   1 Comment )
Subject: taxes are too high, time to change citizenship
Category: Relationships and Society > Law
Asked by: ergo30-ga
List Price: $200.00
Posted: 27 Aug 2006 01:25 PDT
Expires: 26 Sep 2006 01:25 PDT
Question ID: 759866
I spend most months out of each year outside of the US on business.  I
own an outsourcing company.  I have US citizenship.  It looks like
being US citizens, bounds us to the IRS, regardless of where in the
world we do business and live.

Each year I have lots of taxes and I don't even live or do business in
the US.  So, I'd like to drop my US citizenship and register as a
citizen of another country.

Doing some research online, with dual citizenship, it looks like the
tax implications are even worse than having only a US citizenship.  I
am prepared to do whatever it takes to apply for citizenship in
another country and drop my US citizenship all together (get married,
whatever it takes).

If it's possible to drop my US citizenship, I am hoping google answers
will help me find a place to register as a new citizen that:
has a stable economy
minimal or NO direct tax, capital gains tax, wealth tax, inheritance
tax, income tax, etc.

Please keep in mind, I will not be living in this country of
citizenship or doing business in this country.

Once likely candidate countries are found, what's necessary to become
a citizen of that country?

Besides the IRS, what would I be losing when when I drop my US citizenship?
Subject: Re: taxes are too high, time to change citizenship
Answered By: easterangel-ga on 29 Aug 2006 02:34 PDT
Hi! Thanks for the question.

Please be reminded of the important disclaimer below that answers here
provide general information only and is not a substitute for informed
professional legal advice.

I will post here the general concepts of each of the topics that will
be touched by this answer but I highly recommend that you read the
link in their entirety so you will have a more in-depth understanding
of the issues.

Let us first take into consideration the process and the implication
of losing your US Citizenship.

Process to Renounce US Citizenship:
You must voluntarily do the following acts to start the process of
renouncing your citizenship.

1. ?appear in person before a U.S. consular or diplomatic officer,?
2. ?in a foreign country (normally at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate); and?
3. ?sign an oath of renunciation?


Now in cases of taxation here are some things that concern you and it
seems that the prospects aren?t that good either. If you are
renouncing citizenship to avoid being taxed, you still have to pay tax
for 10 years.

?In general, any person who lost U.S. citizenship within 10 years
immediately preceding the close of the taxable year, whose principle
purpose in losing citizenship was to avoid taxation, will be subject
to continued taxation. For the purposes of this statute, persons are
presumed to have a principle purpose of avoiding taxation if 1) their
average annual net income tax for a five year period before the date
of loss of citizenship is greater than $100,000, or 2) their net worth
on the date of the loss of U.S. nationality is $500,000 or more
(subject to cost of living adjustments).?


Things you will lose once you renounce your US Citizenship:
- ?Live and work permanently anywhere in the U.S.?
- ?Get Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, and Medicare
benefits, if you are eligible.?
- ?Own property in the U.S.?
- ?Apply for a driver?s license in your state or territory.?
- ?Attend public school and college.?
- ?Leave and return to the U.S. under certain conditions.?
- ?Join certain branches of the U.S. Armed Forces.?
- ?Purchase or own a firearm, as long as there are no state or local
restrictions saying you can?t.?
- Vote
- Serve on a Jury
- Travel with a US Passport
- Federal Jobs: ?Certain jobs with government agencies require U.S. citizenship.?
- ?Many elected offices in this country require U.S. citizenship.?
- Ineligibility for some federal grants and scholarships


In this next section, we will take a look at the possible countries
you can target and what opportunities and challenges they present to
you according to the needs you mentioned in your question. Since you
already intend to become a citizen, this answer will concern with
personal and income taxes and also on how to go about being a citizen
(if possible). It also takes into consideration possible double
taxation treaties that could affect you. If the country has
significant double taxation treaties they are not included here so as
to avoid complications.

A.) Andorra
Personal Taxes: ?In Andorra there are no taxes on profits, dividends
or income; there is no capital gains tax, no withholding tax and no
sales tax.? 

Double Taxation: ?Since Andorra does not levy direct taxes, there are
no double tax treaties between Andorra and other nations.? 

Citizenship: ?As regards naturalisation, there are two main ways to
gain citizenship. The first is through marriage to an Andorran
citizen. The second requires permanent residence in Andorra for
twenty-five years and involves a test by the Citizenship Committee on
the sufficient integration of the candidate as regards knowledge of
the Catalan language and the institutions of Andorra.?

B.) Anguilla
Taxation: ?There are no income, capital gains, estate, profit or other
forms of direct taxation on either individuals or corporations,
whether resident in Anguilla or not.? 

Citizenship: ?There is no citizenship of Anguilla. Anguillians are
subject to the British Nationality Act, under which British Overseas
Territory Citizenship (BOTC) is extended to Anguillians. An alien
resident in Anguilla for an appropriate number of years may apply to
the Governor to be naturalized as a BOTC. British naturalization of
aliens in Anguilla is sparingly granted, as naturalization in Anguilla
confers on the alien all local rights as an Anguilla belonger.? 

C). Bahamas
Personal Taxes: ?In the Bahamas there is no income tax, capital gains
tax, purchase or sales tax, VAT or capital transfer tax. Employees pay
national insurance contributions, and there is stamp duty on property
and mortgage transactions, and a tax on real property; customs duties
are quite high on most imported goods.? 
Double Taxation: ?Since the Bahamas do not levy direct taxes, there
are no double tax treaties between the Bahamas and other countries.?

Citizenship: ?Others who are not entitled to be registered or
naturalized by virtue of an existing status may apply for citizenship
under the Nationality Act. Residence for a period, English proficiency
and the intention to make The Bahamas a permanent home are among the

D.)  Bermuda
Personal Taxes: ?In Bermuda there is no income tax, capital gains tax,
purchase or sales tax, VAT or capital transfer tax. Employees pay some
fairly minor taxes, and there are taxes on property; customs duties
can be significant for immigrants. There is 'stamp duty' on Bermudan
assets at death.?

Double Taxation: ?Since Bermuda does not levy direct taxes, there are
no double tax treaties between Bermuda and other nations.?

Citizenship Details: Bermuda citizenship is quite complicated so
please read the following link since it discusses these things in

E.)  Cayman Islands
Personal Taxes: ?In the Cayman Islands there are no taxes other than
import duties (at varying rates), stamp duty at 7.5% on transfers of
real estate (currently reduced temporarily to 5%), and stamp duty at
rates up to 1% ad valorem on legal documents dealing with valuable
assets or transactions; however issues of securities, mutual fund
shares or units are normally exempt from stamp duty.? 

Double Taxation: ?Not having any taxes other than customs duties and
stamp duty, the Cayman Islands has not entered into any Double Tax
treaties with other countries.?

Cayman Islands Citizenship: ?In the case of non-Caymanians who marry
Caymanians on or after 1st January this year, they will now have to
wait seven years instead of five before they can apply. For people
with no family ties to the Islands, the law now requires them to have
been resident for at least 15 years and to be naturalized before being

F.) Costa Rica
Personal Taxes: ?In Costa Rica the taxation of individuals is based on
the principle of territoriality meaning that all personal income which
has a foreign source is tax exempt. Only that proportion of revenue
earned by an individual within Costa Rica is subject to an assessment
by the tax authorities. However, this may change if the Costa Rican
legislature manages to pass the long awaited fiscal reform package.?

Double Taxation: ?Costa Rica is not a party to any double taxation treaties.?

Citizenship: ?We have been told that after living in Costa Rica for
more than 7 years under the category of ?Permanent Resident Status,?
you may apply for citizenship. Applicants will need to prove they have
the financial means to live in Costa Rica.?

?Foreign men and women married to Costa Ricans for a minimum of 2
years and who have lived in the country for at least 2 years, may also
become citizens.?

More Details:

G.) Dubai
Personal Taxes: ?In Dubai there are no personal taxes other than
import duties (mostly at rates up to 10%), a 5% residential tax
assessed on rental value, and a 5% tax on hotel services and

Double Taxation: ?There are double taxation agreements with Algeria,
Jordan, Sudan, Syria, Kuwait, Yemen, Egypt, Finland, France, India,
Malta, Pakistan, Poland, China, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy,
Malaysia, Poland, Romania, Singapore, South Korea, Sudan, Algeria and

?Under these treaties profits derived from shares, dividends,
interest, royalties and fees are taxable only in the contracting state
where the income is earned.?

Citizenship: It is very hard to be a citizen of Dubai, according to
this page (Google cache can?t access the original) there are no
guarantees it all depends on the preference of the government.

H.) Monaco
Personal Tax: ?Only French nationals pay income tax in Monaco.? 

Double Taxation: ?Monaco has a taxation treaty only with France, and
even this treaty, which forms part of the 1963 portmanteau agreement
between France and Monaco, is not a double taxation treaty in the
traditional sense. It provides for income tax to be levied against
French nationals who have or will transfer their residence to Monaco
(see Personal Taxation), the imposition of business profits taxes on
certain categories of companies and the exchange of information.?

Citizenship: ?A 10 year residence permit entitles the applicant to
apply for citizenship. Alternatively any person whose father is a
national of Monaco can acquire Monegasque nationality as of right.? 

I.) Panama
Personal Taxes: ?The territorial basis of taxation applies to
individuals as it does to business entities, so that individuals pay
income tax on Panama-source income. 'Panamanian-source' means, that
the services rendered are deemed to be provided within Panama - if a
Panamanian entity pays an employee for services rendered abroad, tax
will not be due.?

Double Taxation: ?Since Panama does not levy taxes on foreign source
income, it has no double tax treaties.?

Citizenship Details: 

J.) Vanuatu
Personal Taxes: ?In Vanuatu there are no taxes affecting individuals
other than import duties (at varying rates), a tax on rental income
over VT 200,000 in a 6-month period of 15%, and stamp duty on some
property transactions, share transfers and some other transactions at
rates of up to 1% (minimum VT 2,500). Transfers of land leases attract
stamping at 5% plus 2% registration fee.? 

Double Taxation: ?Not having any taxes other than customs duties and
stamp duty, Vanuatu has not entered into any Double Tax treaties with
other countries.? 

Citizenship: ?A national of a foreign state or a stateless person may
apply to be naturalised as a citizen of Vanuatu if he has lived
continuously in Vanuatu for at least 10 years immediately before the
date of the application.? 

Note: Marshall Islands is another candidate as well but the absence of
how to acquire citizenship made me hesitant to include it here.

Search terms used:
Countries lowest taxes citizenship
I hope this would help you in your research. Before rating this
answer, please ask for a clarification if you have a question or if
you would need further information.
Google Answers Researcher

Request for Answer Clarification by ergo30-ga on 31 Aug 2006 23:27 PDT
Once out of the US and then renouncing citizenship, how difficult
would it be to get either a short/long term visa back into the US? 
How long would this process take?  This would be under the assumption
that my yearly income was less than 100k, and net worth less than

Clarification of Answer by easterangel-ga on 01 Sep 2006 03:20 PDT
Hi again!

Please take into account that based on your original question, I was
able to supply the answers for the things you require. In this case
the clarification is already an additional question and brings in a
new dimension to the query. Google Answers Researchers can only work
based on the premise of the original question since that what was
before us when we took on the project.

However; in this case I will try to supply some information. If you
try to come back and ask for a visa for example, I think it will
complicate matters for you. Getting a Green Card for example so that
you can stay for longer periods of time can be quite complicated.

"Can a person voluntarily renounce their US citizenship and still live
in the US?  Can you get your green card back or a new green card?  
The answer to these questions is technically yes, but it is going to
be a legally complicated process.  You will most definitely need the
advice and help of an immigration attorney to attempt such a legal
maneuver.  You will still have to renounce your US citizenship outside
the US, and then need some type of visa or immigration papers to
return to the US as a resident.  Keep in mind, the US government will
probably resist you every legal step of the way, and there is no
guarantee of success."


I agree here that the complication is taken up a notch in this case
since US Immigration, will now be very suspicion of you on why return
to the US when you have voluntarily renounce citizenship. Alarm bells
will go through their heads with this even if you are just applying
for a mere "tourist visa".

The complication of this matter I think should be left to immigration
lawyers and I doubt that even they can give assurances. I hope that
this clarifies my answer.

Subject: Re: taxes are too high, time to change citizenship
From: myoarin-ga on 29 Aug 2006 05:35 PDT
Easterangel has posted a fine and extensive answer to this question.
In response to your comment to
there were a couple of comment intended for you that may add a little
about the tax situation.

Regards, Myoarin

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