ExPat Tax Tips – The Death of Foreign Earned Income Exclusions?
President Obama is tagging your Foreign Earned Income Exemption to help pay for huge federal budget deficits. He thinks to hide this motive behind recent White House announcements about U.S. companies, providing smokescreens such as: “I want to see our companies remain the most competitive in the world,” and “…the way to make sure Best tax agent that happens is not to reward our companies for moving jobs off our shores or transferring profits to overseas tax havens.”
The reality is that with tax gaps estimated in the $400 billion range, this administration is hard-pressed to come up with new sources of revenues to fill the deficit. It is estimated that offshore tax abuses cause the United States to lose approximately $100 billion each year in tax revenues. Recovering these funds represent a substantial portion of the annual U.S. tax gap, which is why President Obama has authorized an additional $128 million for the 2010 IRS budget, which includes the addition of 800 new IRS agents. Do not be fooled, they have declared war on YOU and are coming after YOUR money.
First, they are going after the companies you work for because they see companies operating abroad as a viable source of additional revenues. Currently, companies with overseas operations pay U.S. taxes only if they bring the profits back to the United States. They can defer paying U.S. taxes indefinitely if they keep the profits offshore. Obama’s plan, which would take effect in 2011, cracks down on these loopholes so that companies would no longer be able to write off domestic expenses for generating profits abroad. It is estimated that this change alone would generate $210 billion in new taxes over the next 10 years, making a modest dent in the forecasted $1.8 trillion federal deficit. Rest assured, this administration will encourage any possible avenue to be able to bring these monies back into the U.S.
And, they are coming after YOU. The recently released IRS report on the 2006 tax year indicates that the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion might be another modest source for helping to fill the tax gap. In tax year 2006, about U.S. taxpayers living abroad reported approximately $36.7 billion in foreign-earned income and claimed nearly $18.4 billion in income exclusions. And that was three years ago. There are more Americans living and working abroad now than ever. Can’t you just see the wheels turning in the minds of our government leaders? Removing the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion could add billions to U.S. tax coffers.