Human Rights Law and the Taxation Consequences for Renouncing Citizenship
18 Pages Posted: 21 Nov 2017 Last revised: 14 Aug 2019
Date Written: March 20, 2017
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: Suggested Citation