Taxes and American Citizenship

Gerard Depardieu made considerable news in the United States recently and the French media has been dominated with news about the famous actor turning in his passport and moving to Belgium. (Since this article was written, Russia has announced it has granted Depardieu citizenship but it is not known if he will accept.)

For those who may have missed it, France recently elected a socialist government and, as promised, after the election raised tax rates on the wealthy with a top tax rate of about 75%. The result has been that those who may have had a yearning (and the cash) for a luxurious property in France can get a great deal as wealthy French have decided they always thought countries like Belgium, England or Switzerland were nice places to live, to eat, and to keep more of the money they have earned rather than turning it over to the French government. The cost of luxury property is dropping as many wealthy French are selling their property and moving on. (A ruling has temporarily derailed the new tax rate but it is expected that the French system will make the necessary changes to reinstate the high tax rate in the near future and Depardieu has said that the ruling “Changes nothing.”)

Depardieu is a special case. He is famous. He is a French icon. The actions of the popular Frenchman do not reflect favorably on the policies of the French government so it has become a newsworthy political and cultural issue within that country. A French government official initially labeled him “unpatriotic” and “pathetic” for leaving and taking much of his money with him and outside the domain of the French government.

Depardieu is known for being outspoken. His response to the French government: “I am leaving because you believe success, creation, talent, anything different must be sanctioned.” And, if that wasn’t clear enough, he added: “I’m sorry to witness how the Socialist government is bringing our country down. This fiscal battering is destroying our talents, our artists, creators, researchers, and entrepreneurs – it’s insane.” He has apparently become something of an anti-tax hero in France while preparing to become a Belgian citizen.

Not surprisingly, Belgium is welcoming a number of wealthy French business executives who have decided to give up living in France in order to enjoy a lower tax rate.

The problem of wealthy citizens leaving their native or adopted country is not limited to France and the reasons for leaving are often similar. And, if you have enough money and are paying a large tax bill in the United States, you may have considered relocating to a country that would enable you to keep more of the money you have earned—perhaps for similar reasons to those expressed by Gerard Depardieu or for reasons similar to the Facebook co-founder who recently renounced his American citizenship.

Taxes in America

There are significant differences between the French and American tax systems. A French citizen can live outside the country, retain French citizenship, and not be subject to French taxes. The United States is one of the few countries that taxes expatriates living outside their country. While the first $95,100 or so is often not subject to American taxes (but not all of it as explained below), the exclusion is not sufficient for those who are wealthy and still paying U.S. taxes while living abroad. And, unlike most countries, there can be a stiff tax penalty for Americans who want to leave the country, particularly for wealthy Americans who wish to renounce their citizenship.

To give up American citizenship, and to escape future American taxes, you may have to buy your way to freedom from the U.S. government. There is an exit tax on the fair-market value of all of your assets — including real estate, securities, businesses and personal belongings — less what you have put into that asset such as the purchase price and improvements.

The exit tax is like an estate tax, in the sense that everything that would be part of your estate will be subject to income tax on unrealized gains as of the day before you expatriate, as if you sold all your assets the day before leaving. In effect, in ensures your assets don’t escape an estate tax. This provision is sometimes referred to as “America’s Berlin wall” as it is obviously intended to keep wealthy Americans from exiting the country.

The term is unfortunate and our moral high ground is more virtuous than other countries that have used this technique but the comparison to the former East Germany under Soviet control is apt in some ways as countries that have used this technique to force citizens to stay within its boundaries are not a list with which a free country wants to be associated in the public’s mind. It includes the former Soviet Union, Rhodesia, and South Africa near the end of its apartheid policy. A similar system was apparently used by Germany in the 1930’s when it implemented a “departure tax” to discourage Jews who wanted to leave to escape the clutches of the Nazi government that was rapidly exerting its control over the country at that time. Perhaps it is ironic that the exit tax was part of the Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax Act of 2008.

We think of many people from around the world yearning to come to America to participate in the American dream. That is certainly the case. In particular, the number of people coming to the U.S. from Latin American countries has resulted in millions leaving their homelands to pursue a better life here. While we read a great deal about immigration, we do not hear much about emigration. The reality is that more Americans are leaving the country than ever before—even before any deal is reached on the “fiscal cliff” or the United States imposes increasingly higher taxes to try to fund at least some of the spending spree Uncle Sam has been enjoying recent years while incurring huge deficits each year.

The number of Americans leaving is predicted to grow larger when the final figures are calculated for 2012.

How Many Americans are Leaving?

The reasons some Americans want to leave are similar to those facing Depardieu in France—higher taxes resulting from proposals for much higher taxes on the rich (leaving out an argument as to how much income makes a person “rich” in the U.S.) and the likely expiration on December 31 of the current tax rates which are projected to go higher. For U.S. citizens to eventually and legally escape the filing requirements of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the only way  to do this is to formally renounce U.S. citizenship. And, for retired federal employees, most of whom are not wealthy, they may still be subject to U.S. taxes even if they are living abroad and have renounced their citizenship.

The number of Americans leaving is still relatively small and the actual numbers vary depending on the reporting entity. The figures as compiled by the IRS for 2012 will probably be about 2000 people. An attorney with a speciality in this area says the number will actually be about 8,000 US citizens but it isn’t clear why there is such a large discrepancy between the IRS figure and his estimate.

In 2011, about 1,800 people renounced their U.S. citizenship or handed in their Green Cards. That number is probably lower than the actual number who left because the list compiled by the IRS is not complete. The 2011 defections were still about eight times more than the number of citizens who renounced in 2008, and more than the total for 2007, 2008 and 2009 combined. There is also a long waiting list in some U.S. embassies of Americans who are waiting for an appointment to renounce their citizenship.

Year Count Year Count
1997 1812 2005 762
1998 398 2006 278
1999 434 2007 470
2000 431 2008 231
2001 491 2009 742
2002 503 2010 1534
2003 571 2011 1781
2004 631 2012  ?

Among the popular countries attracting these former American citizens: Australia, Norway, Singapore, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Guernsey and Antigua. In 2012, Canada held, for the first time, a ceremony welcoming new Canadians who were renouncing their American citizenship.

The provisions of U.S. tax laws, and not just the amount of taxes required, are also leading more Americans to renounce their citizenship. Many Americans living abroad were not aware of filing requirements for U.S. tax purposes. And, with the new IRS reporting requirements, living abroad as an American is now more difficult as many institutions do not want to take American accounts as complying with the American reporting requirements are too expensive and too difficult.

Last year, for the first time, Canada held a ceremony for Americans giving up their citizenship and becoming Canadiens. It wasn’t because of the tax rates which are often higher in Canada than they are in the U.S. It was largely because many Americans living there or who want to leave the U.S. for other reasons not wanting to be subjected to the intrusion of the Internal Revenue Service even if they are not required to pay U.S. taxes.

The head of American Citizens Abroad, a non-profit organization in Geneva, Switzerland, says that many of their members are scared about reporting requirements they did not know existed and that this is pushing some Americans to abandon their citizenship. She says that “Americans abroad are terrified. We’ve had people pay tens of thousands of dollars in fines. We’ve had people … pay huge amounts of back taxes.” And, “Up to this point, we never heard of anyone renouncing, or if they did, they didn’t talk about it. Now we’re seeing a lot of people speak openly about it and come to us for information.”

Federal Employees Who May Choose to Live Abroad

A large number of federal employees are retiring as the baby boomers near or reach retirement age. But, while living abroad may be attractive to some for a variety of reasons, learn how your income may be impacted by taxes before you make a decision to move.

For example, your Social Security income is taxed when you are living abroad just as if you were continuing to live in the United States. “Retirees who file individual tax returns and earn between $25,000 and $34,000 may have to pay taxes on up to 50 percent of benefits. Retirees with income over $34,000 may have to pay taxes on 85 percent of benefits. Retirees who file a joint tax return and have a combined income of between $32,000 and $44,000 may have to pay taxes on 50 percent of their benefits” according to one firm with an expertise in this arena. Retirees may also find that they owe taxes in their new country of residence. You may also find that you taxes on your federal annuity even when living overseas are treated just the same as your Social Security income.

Thorough research is a wise course of action before you pack up and move. You should check with a tax attorney familiar with U.S. tax requirements and also find out what taxes you may be facing in a new country of residence before you make a move that could be more expensive that you have anticipated. The monstrous tax system we live with in the United States is open to differing interpretations by tax experts because it is so unwieldy, complex, breathtaking in its size and scope, and full of contradictions and loopholes and traps. While moving abroad may make your tax headaches less painful, and renouncing your U.S. citizenship may enable you to avoid dealing with the invasive tax monster we have created, getting to that less painful point will take time and effort–especially if you have accumulated substantial assets that governments hungry for more revenue would like to take extract for their own purposes before you leave or after you arrive in your new location.

Welcome to the Global Economy

In a global economy, numerous factors impact where a person chooses to live. Patriotism certainly plays a role but, as we have seen here and in other countries, freedom and the ability to become financially successful and to keep most of the money earned as a result of that success is also important. Our tax laws are based, in part, on assuming that many people want to move to the United States and very few want to leave. As our economic freedom drops down in the world rankings, taxes go up and government spending takes a larger bite out of our economy each year, it becomes more attractive for some Americans to move to countries that offer a more attractive tax climate and less government regulation.

The U.S. has dropped from third in the world in terms of our economic freedom a few years ago to 18th in the world in 2012.

While the number of Americans renouncing their citizenship is still small,  the trend is growing in the direction of some of our most prosperous citizens leaving—and taking their assets and at least some of the jobs and prosperity they have created along with them.

© 2016 Ralph R. Smith. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without express written consent from Ralph R. Smith.

About the Author

Ralph Smith has several decades of experience working with federal human resources issues. He has written extensively on a full range of human resources topics in books and newsletters and is a co-founder of two companies and several newsletters on federal human resources.

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  1. paul says:

    What you forget to mention is the fact that most of the emigrants who are leaving belong to the 1% filty-wealthy who tax dodgers to start with !
    Good riddance to these parasites who make money at the expense of the exploited middle & lower classes.
    And oh btw, the tax rates were much higher in the ’50s and ’60s [>70% on the wealthy] under two republican presidents! The taxses the wealthy are paying now is peanuts comparatively !!

  2. HRGuy71 says:

    The trend for expatriation is predictable despite the significant economic penalties we are imposing on those who dare to leave the United States of America. As our economic and personal freedom declines, as is happening rapidly now, the most successful and ambitious among us will leave for various locations where they can be free to succeed without a government that discourages innovation and success and does not restrict personal freedom to travel, retain personal privacy and enjoy a life outside the tentacles of a growing police state. Countries like Australia, Norway, Singapore, the Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Guernsey and Antigua will be the beneficiaries.

  3. trevor1953 says:

    I hope all the teapartyers emmigrate to Guatamala!

    • burgerchecker says:

      Who would clean up all the messes left by the fine, upstanding “occupiers”? I can’t imagine fecal cleans up easy off of police vehicles…

    • grannybunny says:

      Hey, Guatemala’s a nice place; pick Somalia or some other hell-hole!  🙂

  4. Geogavino says:

    Taxation and fear of the IRS is not the only reason people are leaving. It is increasingly difficult to start a business without running afoul of some licensing restriction, permit, prohibition, or other obstacle. Travel is increasingly onerous and offensive and promises to expand well beyond airports and borders. Since the proliferation of digital cameras has matured, one could spend all their waking hours researching the abuse of peaceful people at the hands of the state and never suffer from a lack of material.

  5. steve5656546346 says:

    The US position on Americans living elsewhere and on renouncing citizenship are indeed unusual among nations.

    “Totalitarian” is the word that comes to mind.”

  6. grannybunny says:

    To those willing to renounce their American citizenship in order to avoid U. S. income taxes – which are among the lowest in the Westernized World and much lower than they were most of the time all of us were growing up – please don’t let the door hit you in the rear end on your way out the door.

    • steve5656546346 says:

      All very good, but here’s the problem:  the administration likes to pretend that all of our problems are due to the 1% that he demonizes–and Bush, of course.  He pretends that our fiscal problems are due to them not paying their “fair share” (when almost half of Americans pay no tax at all at the end of the day, and nearly three quarters get more from the Federal government than they give).  

      But what if they leave?  Who will Obama demonize?  Who will he blame?

      The key, of course, it to divert attention away from this fact:  there is absolutely no possibility that we will avoid bankruptcy due to entitlements standing alone–even if we abolished ALL other spending such as the DoD.  And even if we seized ALL the wealth of those evil, unfair, 1%!

      • grannybunny says:

        The President hasn’t demonized the 1%; he claims to be one of them.  However, he is correct that they need to be paying their fair share, although no one has ever claimed that’s all that needs to be done to solve our Nation’s fiscal problems.

        • GM says:

          I’m curious, grannybunny, what do you mean (or what do you think Obama means) by “fair share”?  Can you express in percentage of total income taxes paid?  If you or he is so hung up on “fair share,” why then are the bottom 50% of all income earners in this country paying collectively 1.8% of all federal income taxes (and the lower 47% paying nothing)?  Since they both reap benefits like everyone else (roads, defense, meat inspectors, school programs, etc.), in fact get considerably more in direct payments/programs, shouldn’t they have some skin in the game?  Do you also buy the pablum that many of the tax changes implemented in the last 20 or so years have favored the rich?  If so, can you explain why since Carter’s administration the so-called wealthy’s share of the tax burden (say, the top 1% earners) has grown from 17% to 37%, while the lower income earners has decreased disproportionately?

          As an aside, I’m rather dubious that taxes are the main reason folks are leaving (there’s too many financial disincentives).  I think that’s one of several reasons, however.  Another, and maybe more important reason, is the direction (policy, economically and socially) of this government/country.  People see the demise in the standard of living, the economic train wreck that’s ahead, the socialization of what was personal responsibility in the past, and the end of individual freedom happening all around them.  We are indeed witnessing the end of empire and the things that made this country great, if not a beacon to all others.    

          • D Byte says:

            Income inequality is the result of a structural defect that allows those with more to continue to accumulate more, while at the same time limiting the gains or even forcing losses on those with less. It is the consequence of what might be called a ‘scale-free economy’, similar to a scale-free network, which disproportionately rewards prior advantage.

          • GM says:

            While it’s nice to spout lofty theories about income/wealth inequity–and I don’t totally disagree with the built-in advantage wealth provides, most people who have gone from poverty to wealth (Carnegie, Jobs, Gates, Clinton, Jay-z, Jordan, Rowling, Winfrey, etc.) did it with skill, knowledge and entrepreneurship.  It’s called initiative and working hard to get what you want.  That’s the built-in advantage…they have the drive and in many cases make sacrifices for a better future.  The world is equally replete with those who came from (or built) means and lost it all!  That’s called stupidity, in most cases.  Maybe that’s why Darwin wasn’t so off with his theories of evolution.  We are not all created equal (in our abilities), despite what many believe.  But we shouldn’t force those who are successful through individual entrepreneurship to totally subsidize those who can’t or won’t.  Personal responsibility is equally important to survival in this world (within rules set by society).  As a country, we are moving away from that.

          • HRguru says:

            Yeah, unless someone can tell me about the Gini coefficient and talk about income inequality, they can be dismissed.  

          • grannybunny says:

            I’m sure that everyone will agree that — at a minimum — it would be more fair for Warren Buffett to pay income taxes at a higher effective tax rate than that of his secretary.  Everyone has “skin in the game.”  Even those whose incomes are too low to directly pay income taxes, pay sales and property taxes and make purchases that provide taxable income to the sellers; they may also contribute in less monetary ways.  I was born during World War II and have lived through a lot, and can truthfully say that the resources of the Government — and the Country as a whole — are now more skewed to favor the wealthy, at everyone else’s expense, than at any other time during my lifetime, with a huge upward curve in that direction beginning in the early 1980’s.  The wealthy may be paying a higher percentage — than previously – of overall taxes paid, but the concentration of wealth in their hands has increased far more rapidly and dramatically.  Meanwhile, tax rates have fallen to less than half of what they were when I was growing up.  Perhaps tax rates were too high then; perhaps not.  But, at any rate, people used to understand that government services cost money.  Now, all too many people want — and expect — the benefits of government, but don’t want to pay their fair share of the costs. 

    • HRGuy71 says:

      Your statement may be true but misses the main point.

      Americans pay taxes to this country regardless of where we choose to live…unlike most other countries. Other countries also do not require a large payment to the government in order to leave the country–people are usually free to live wherever they want without paying off the government (with the exception of totalitarian countries where most of us would never want to live).  The tax rates, on their face, may not be that bad for those that are living in this country. For those Americans living overseas,  and having to pay U.S. taxes just as if there were still living here, the taxes are exorbitant. 

      I would much prefer our more traditional method of encouraging people to come here, start a business and be successful. Unfortunately, we are deviating dramatically from that approach and using a big financial stick instead of a positive approach to want to make our most creative and successful people continue to reside in the U.S. while also piling on more government intrusion into our everyday lives and becoming more like the countries our ancestors left because they did not like living under that system of government.

      • grannybunny says:

        Actually, most of the Americans living abroad don’t have to pay any American taxes whatsoever, much less “exorbitant” ones.  As to so-called “government intrusion into our everyday lives,” you’re absolutely right; our system is terrible, except as compared to all the other ones out there.  But, again, anyone who wants to leave, should go, ASAP.

        • JustinL says:

           Clearly you haven’t lived outside the US. The US tax system is far worse than the Canadian system. Have a look at the FBAR requirements and then look at the penalties for failing to fill out this form. Then, think about your investments. Do you invest in mutual funds? Now look at the PFIC forms and see if you can fill them out. Did you use and RESP to save for your children’s education? US citizens in Canada are taxed on this too as it’s not recognized by the tax treaty, same thing for the TFSA, etc… Investment income cannot be excluded by the FEIE, so that makes retirement more difficult. The US system is by far the worst tax system in the world because of the fact that they are the only country that comes after you even if you are not a resident.

        • HRGuy71 says:

          Most Americans living overseas who are retired will not have to pay taxes on the first $92,000 or so. Everything above that will be taxed here and probably overseas as well depending on several different factors (probably hire an attorney here and they to make sure you aren’t tagged as a criminal for not having complied with the multitude of laws that apply).

          If you are an executive for a large company working overseas and making a large salary, you will have to pay exorbitant taxes. As a result, fewer Americans are able to work overseas in these positions. The jobs go to French, British, German, etc. where different tax laws make it possible for them to work in a multi-national company.

          If you are a federal employee who gets a federal pension, you will pay taxes just as if you still lived in this country. Also, your Social Security checks will be taxed just as if you lived in this country.’

          It doesn’t make much difference because, if you are an American living overseas now, you probably can’t get a checking account or an investment account. The companies there will generally not deal with Americans anymore. It is too expensive to try to comply with the regulations imposed by the IRS so it isn’t worth their time and trouble.

          It amounts to a loss of freedom for most Americans who want to live overseas. We can stay here and put up with the increasing intrusive government or renounce citizenship with the understanding you cannot come back for 10 years without paying taxes just as if you never left the country. And, by the way, if you are at least moderately successful, you must get the IRS to agree that you are paying a large enough sum of money to the federal government to let our government agree to let you have paid enough to let out of the country.

          We used to be one of the most freedom loving countries in the world. We are no longer.

  7. A broken man on a Halifax pier says:

    The source you linked to misstates what happened in Toronto (it’s a careless rewriting of this story:

    What happened was that the US consulate in Toronto, faced with an unmanagable number of USCs wanting to renounce, tried a pilot project in which the *first* meeting with a potential renunciant, in which the consular officer is supposed to make sure the person understands how serious a step it can be  and that it’s irrevocable, then sends them away to think about it, was done in a group format with about two dozen people.

    The issue with USCs abroad and their tax problems, Edward Saverin notwithstanding, is usually not about taxes as such (USCs in other First World countries will rarely owe anything in US taxes) but about tax reporting requirements that are impossibly complex and expensive and come attached to punitive fines. 

  8. Mad Hatter says:

    Wow, 1781 out of 315,000,000 that’s quite the rush out the door!  Surprisingly, the article fails to mention any of these countries tha this hoard is rushing off to – what are these tax havens?

    • HRGuy71 says:

      I guess you have to read the article to find out the information. This is what I read: “Among the popular countries attracting these former American citizens: Australia, Norway, Singapore, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Guernsey and Antigua.”

  9. Repeal FATCA says:

    Great article. Thanks. It would have been worth mentioning FATCA: the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act that was passed as part of the 2010 HIRE act. This law forces all foreign financial institutions to identify and send to the IRS the names of their American clients whose account is above $50,000, or else face a 30% withholding on any financial flux from th US to this financial institution. Some banks, instead of spending $100 million to comply decide to close American bank accounts. You made a good analogy: Americans abroad are the new Jews. Because of FATCA, they are discriminated against.
    On the US side, the IRS forces expats with undeclared bank accouts to enter a “voluntary” disclosure program, where they have to pay 8 years of back taxes, interest and penalties AND a 27.5% penalty on the high balance of their bank account over 8 years. No, you don’t have to be a rich American hiding money abroad. This program is the only way for anyone with even a minimum amount of taxes due to become compliant – a one size fits all approach that has been denounced by the national tax payer advocate, yet nothing has changed. It’s coercion. The IRS threatens of even higher fines outside of the program and even criminal prosecution for not having filed the FBAR form (Foreign Bank Account Report). The non willful penalty for failure to file this form are $10,000 per account per year on 6 years of statute of limitation. If the IRS decides you’re willful, the penalty is the maximum of $100,000 or 50% of the accounts per year, still on 6 years.
    The US also entraps this way the millions of immigrants coming to this country, as neither immigration lawyers, nor immigration services mentions the reporting requirement of the bank account they might have left in their country of origin. Many accountants are still not aware of this requirement that has been enforced since only a couple years ago.
    Spread the word about FATCA and the unjust treatment of the expats and immigrants withing OVDI.
    FATCA must be repealed. There are other better ways to deal with tax evasion.
    Thank you.

  10. Greg Driscoll says:

    It was interesting to find out a little more about this subject, and it led me to look further into one of the sources used, namely FreeTheWorld, which is connected with The Fraser Institute.  Here is one take on the Fraser Institute and its sources of funding:

    • HRGuy71 says:

      Not sure what your point is. Are you disputing that France has implemented a 75% tax rate on the wealthy in their country (with a temporary bump until they can get it cleared by the courts)? Are you saying that Depardieu is not leaving France because of the taxes? Other reports have also documented that our economic freedom is waning fast (we are still ahead of Mozambique and Burundi but falling fast. Or, perhaps, you are thinking we should still be at or near the top of the list in our economic freedom despite our “departure tax” that tries to force the wealthiest people who live here to remain in the country or have to pay a huge fee to the government as the price of freedom to leave or a tax code that requires citizens to pay taxes regardless of where they live (similar to dictatorships such as North Korea).

      • Gubmit Man says:

        I think Greg means that the rich still have problems, perhaps not the same problems as you and me, but problems none the less.  If I were heir to a great fortune, I would be really upset by the US pulling the old North Korea trick and taxing me on my way out when I was trying to find an overseas tax haven.  But alas, I am just a middle class wage slave and the taxman has me locked down cold, so I don’t really even think of escaping that much.

      • trevor1953 says:

        they didn’t and frances total tax (41% of GDP) is less than our s at 44%

  11. Guest says:

    How can they take jobs with them when they are all overseas now?

  12. Tired Fed says:

    Welcome to a capitalist country where millionaires drive past homeless people on the street and do nothing.

    • Tim says:

      Well Tired Fed, we live in a country where you can be whatever you wish with some determination and hard work. People are supposed to take responsibility for their own actions. What would you want people of wealth to do? As a matter of fact, what do YOU do when you drive past the homeless? Me? I keep driving. Give some of them money and they will drink it or snort it. Yes, some fell on hard times. With all the federal, state and local programs supported by taxpayers, I’ve already given.

    • Hopeisnot A. Plan says:

      Since the millionaires pay more than 80% of the taxes that support welfare, homeless shelters, disability payments, free medical, Obama phones, etc. it seems that they do more than their share to support the homeless.  It is far more than the $300 that Joe Biden donated to charities.  Do you expect them to go around handing out sandwiches and hot cocoa in the alleys???  There are homeless in socialist countries also but far fewer millionaires to help them out.  They fled to capitalist countries long ago.

      • trevor1953 says:

        wrong. the bottom 20% ($12,500) pay 16% of thier income in ALL TAXES whlile the to[p 1% (1250000) pay 31%. Income tax is the only tax that millionaires p[ay more as a % of income

        • GM says:

          Trevor, where are you getting your stats?  Check this out, the latest info from IRS:….  The top 1% pay nearly 40% while the bottom 50% pay a little over 2%.  If you don’t like that cite (and you should, it’s a government source providing the stats), then try this one:….  I’ve cited my stats, now cite yours!  Even though you’re talking about all taxes, that’s not the discussion.  Running the Fed gov’t is, and it takes principally federal income taxes to run it.  

          • trevor1953 says:

            again you are ONLY talking income tax. The top 1% again pays ONL:Y 31% of thier income in all taxes. After all federal , state and local  taxes the top 1% have a median take home income of  almost $72,000 a month. Could you live on that?My source: Institute on Taxation & Economic Policy. Ronald reagan loved this group because they are the only one who makes compiles the facts

        • Hopeisnot A. Plan says:

          That certainly does not disprove that the wealthy pay more than 80% of total taxes.  Nobody was discussing what percentage of their income was paid.  Stay on subject.

          • RETVET03 says:

            “Nobody was discussing what percentage of their income was paid.”

            That would be called “disposable income” and is far more important to any individual than some group statistic such as what percentage of taxes the “wealthy” pay. 

          • trevor1953 says:

            SDONT Talk about Disposable income? LOLOLOLOL

      • Sagitt says:

        that’s not true.   Many  if most of the Millionaires pay any taxes if none at all.  Remember Leona Helmsley’s famous quotes?  why  do you think the GOP (Good Old Pops) are fighting so hard not to raise any taxes on the Millionaires.  Because they would have to ‘start’ paying their fair share.

        Here’s an eazy solution….Flat Tax everyone body 10% then Millionaires would pay 10% like you would, but only at lower rate like your salary is now!

    • Guest says:

      Nor are they obligated to, but wealthy people do give to causes such as fighting hunger as the majority of donations in this country come from wealthy individuals. I’m sure you overlooked that in your selfish rant though.

    • HRguru says:

      You don’t have to be a millionaire to help the homeless. I’m sure that probably makes you feel more justified in your inaction though.

      • trevor1953 says:

        if they are as mean and callus as you mr super GOPper

        • HRguru says:

          Mean=pointing out your hypocrisy?  Got it.  I give more to charity in a year than you  likely do in 10.  I suppose that makes me arrogant.  And if you think taxes=charity, you have zero understanding of your government.  

    • ObservingTheProcess says:

      I am sure the “millionaire” gives to the homeless every April 14, just like me and probably more.  Anyways, what has the “homeless” done to help himself?  Isn’t the “poor me pitypot” victimization getting old?  By the way, I am far from rich and I drive by them every time and don’t give a dime. Also look at all the money that Mitt Romney gave to charity. Was he given kudos for his contributions. NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They still tried to make him look like Uncle Scrooge and further demonized him, when in fact he gave more to charity than Obama and Biden combined. I believe if I had his checkbook I might just let the charitible contributions dry up after being treated like that.

      • trevor1953 says:

        prove it

      • Lectrician says:

        Seriously???  Romney didn’t give to charity, he gave to his Mormon church in order to remain in good standing.  Mormon’s require their flock to pay 10% of their income to the church as a tithe.  He pays this so that he remains in good standing with his church and then he gets to deduct it on his taxes.  What a win win.  Kudo’s, NO!!!!!!! way!

    • Aheiii says:

      I’m not a millionaire and I don’t do anything either…