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Wealthy US Citizens Dumping Passports to Avoid Tax in Costa Rica

By
for www.news.co.cr

As taxes continue to rise in the United States, the upcoming expiration of the Bush Administration tax cuts and a proposed 55 percent tax increase on the horizon for the wealthy, an increasing amount of the United States’ wealthier population is disillusioned. They are deciding to jump ship at record numbers. One of the co-founders of Facebook, Eduardo Saverin, also made the same choice recently.

“High-net-worth individuals are making the decision that having a US passport just isn’t worth the cost anymore. They’re able to do what they do from any place in the world, and they’re choosing to do it from places with much lower tax rates,” Said Duggan Bertsch lawyer Jim Duggan.

 



“Some are philosophically disgusted at the course our country is taking, in all kinds of ways. They’re making a strong protest of enough is enough. But largely, it’s an economic decision,” added Mr. Duggan.

3805 United States citizens renounced their citizenship last year in 2011. Immigration officials are projecting that as many as 8000 United States nationals in 2012 will choose that the United States Government is dipping too deeply into their pockets to retain their status as US citizens.

Many of the world’s tax friendly nations will offer expedited citizenship to Americans who would potentially channel large amounts of money into and through their economy. Some of the most popular tax haven destinations are: Costa Rica, Cayman Islands, Australia, Norway, Antigua, Guernsey and Singapore. For a cool $1 million USD, you can have an Austrian passport.

Renouncing your “American Nationality” is not free for these wealthy individuals. In fact, it is quite costly. United States citizens who wish to renounce their citizenship for economic reasons are subject to a 15% net worth exit tax. In other words, a fair market evaluation is made of all of the individual’s securities, real estate, and belongings, both personal and business related.

For some, it might be better to opt for the 90% tax credit received while living for half the year in the US territories of St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John. If a person lives for 6 months out of the year in the US possessed Caribbean, they can effectively retain their citizenship, while paying only around 3.5% in taxes.

 

More Regional News

Pictures and News of the Month

The Voice of Nosara brings you a brief recap of June stories you might have missed.

Montaña River Flooding May Wash Away Bridge Fill

The concern is twofold for the residents of Nosara when it comes to transit routes in their community. The roads are in poor condition and the Moñtana river bridge is unfinished.

Ministry of Health and Municipality Look to Eliminate Street Venders

Friday morning, June 22, a group of officials from the Ministry of Health and the Municipality of Nicoya decomissioned merchandise from a group of women street venders that display their products in front of the Court of Justice in the city of Nicoya. 

Health Department Shuts Down Artisan Tables in Samara

On Friday, June 22, representatives of the Ministry of Health shut down the tables where local artisans have been selling their wares. This is the second time the artisans have been shut down and left wondering where to go or what to do to continue working and supporting their families. 

Representative Mendoza Supports Nosara’s Demonstration

Juan Carlos Mendoza, legislative representative of the Citizen Action Party (PAC-Partido Acción Ciudadana), recently visited Nicoya. VON took advantage of the opportunity to talk to Mendoza and get his opinion about the possible demonstration by Nosarans and the project of the Costal Territories law. 

About 2000 From Nosara Will Protest on July 25th
• Demonstrators Will Demand Pavement for Route 160

Members of different social and community organizations from Nosara will march to Nicoya July 25th to request that the government incorporate pavement over route 160 in the budget. 

Commission Reports that 90% of Proposed Regulatory Plan is a Cut and Paste Job

On Wednesday, June 6, the Administrative Commission of nine community representatives presented an extensive report to the Municpal Council of the Canton of Nicoya, recommending that the council completely reject the proposed regulatory plan elaborated by the Spanish company Inypsa.

Nicoya Mayor Will Protest Against the Government on July 25 Celebrations

Marco Antonio Jimenez Muñoz, mayor of Nicoya, Guanacaste, announced that he will protest against Laura Chinchilla Miranda’s government, on the Day of Annexation because of the "deplorable state of national roads in this area.”

Pictures and News of the Month

The Voice of Nosara brings you a brief recap of the May stories you might have missed.

The Order to Close Pedregal is for Land that Was Not Being Exploited

Several Nicoyans are asking themselves how is it that the company of Pedregal can continue to work on the site of La Calera, at the entrance to the city of Nicoya. The reason is that the Environmental Administrative Tribunal, which ordered a temporary cessation of Pedregal in Nicoya, made this resolution due to a second site where the company was working in 2009.

Servicentro Nicoya Under Scrutiny for Closing Passageway and Possible Illegal Construction

Servicentro Nicoya, located 100 meters from La Anexion Hospital, is under the watchful eye of the Municipality of Nicoya, the Controller General of the Republic, the Environmental Court and residents of the El Carmen neighborhood. 

Nosara’s Economic Forecast Looks Sunny

As the dust from dry season settles metaphorically and literally, merchants and business owners in Nosara are counting their spoils.

Rising Prices Hurt the Pocketbook

First the price of gas went up, next the price of bus tickets and finally the government added a 13% tax on products in the basic food basket. It’s time to take out the calculator and grab the pocketbook because everything is going up in price and your bill could reach an unforeseen amount. 

Mystery of E.Coli in Carrillo’s Estuaries Goes Unsolved

This year Carrillo only earned one star instead of two in the Ecological Blue Flag program because of a study that revealed high presence of E.Coli in the beach’s estuaries. Although so far the ocean water is still safe for swimming, that could change if action is not taken to find and remedy the problem. 

Nicoyan Auditor Owes Municipality 15 Years of Taxes
• Municipal Council Approved Sending Case to the Controller
• Official Was Suspended for Three Months

At the same time that ministers of the Republic have been under investigation for evading taxes, the internal auditor of the Municipality of Nicoya, Gilberto Lizano Elizondo, has also been under investigation for evading real estate taxes since 1997, as detailed in a report by the directive organ that investigated the case.


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