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Old 07.08.2011, 19:28
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Re: US Taxes: Come Clean or Jump Ship?

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I am dropping my US passport. For me, the tax rules are too complex and potential penalties too scary for me to want to hang on to a passport I don't use. I can figure out how to file the forms but it is a HUGE hassle. I love the US but I don't want to pass on the "burden" of US expat citizenship to my kids. I don't want to my son to have to register for selective service, fill out FBARS and FATCAs and whatever silly papers they decide to impose on us in the future.

Like I said, I still love the US. I will always be an American, whether or not I have the little blue book.
In certain, ahem, Nordic countries, the tax thing really isn't an issue and not much of a hassle overall in terms of value of being able to work wherever they want to or go to university there if they want to. I think of it as a gift that she can appreciate or reject at her leisure if she wishes since it's a lot harder to get into the US than many other places. I'm an American, born of two Europeans, who understands the value of keeping the doors open and, at least until recently, the US has always been the land of opportunity and dreams, especially for the well educated and well connected which does describe 99% of most expats.

Being an expat helps you define both what made you leave the US and why you might want to return. I love the US even though I may not return for many years...and I'm glad to have given my child at least a few years of experience there. Where else can you go where the neighbors show up within days of your moving in around xmas time with a plate of cookies and a 'welcome to our neighborhood' artwork made by their 3 year-old who is stoked to have a new kid on the block? I miss the US, I miss the US I grew up in and, though it will never be the same again, it is the country, the landscape, by which all others are judged in my heart. I may live in other countries and love living in them, but my home will always be the US and to give that gift to my daughter is, in my mind, the greatest gift I will give to her as it is her birthright. I may cringe at the state the US is in now, but I still hope for the future and hope that things will get better....
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