Human Rights Law and the Taxation Consequences for Renouncing Citizenship

18 Pages Posted: 21 Nov 2017 Last revised: 14 Aug 2019

See all articles by William Thomas Worster

William Thomas Worster

The Hague University of Applied Sciences - International Law; University of Amsterdam, Faculty of Law, Amsterdam Center for International Law

Date Written: March 20, 2017

Abstract

A very few states in the world, including the US, impose a strange obligation on persons who renounce their nationality by expatriating themselves to pay a special tax. While one might think that a person who gives us his nationality would no longer have any tax obligations to his former state of nationality, this expatriation tax, or “exit tax”, imposes a special tax event and potentially continuing tax obligations for years to follow. It might even chill the practice of renunciation as a tax avoidance scheme. However, international human rights law provides that every person has a right to leave any country, including his own, and to renounce and change his nationality. This paper will examine whether the US exit tax regime violates the international human right of expatriation.

Keywords: tax, taxation, human rights, expatriation, renunciation, renounce, exit tax, nationality, citizenship

JEL Classification: K00, K10, K19, K30, K33, K34, K37, K39

Suggested Citation

Worster, William Thomas, Human Rights Law and the Taxation Consequences for Renouncing Citizenship (March 20, 2017). St. Louis University Law Journal, Vol. 62, 2017, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3073563 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3073563

William Thomas Worster (Contact Author)

The Hague University of Applied Sciences - International Law ( email )

Stamkartplein 40
Hague
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.hhs.nl

University of Amsterdam, Faculty of Law, Amsterdam Center for International Law ( email )

P.O. Box 1030
Amsterdam, 1000BA
Netherlands

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