Is That US Citizenship Worth It?

By: Pete
Date posted: 11.08.2012 (1:52 am) | Write a Comment  (0 Comments)

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As expats, there are some obvious downsides to holding a US citizenship. I think it’s clear that the main ones are the need file at the IRS and to file the FBAR. Those end up costing me time and money. It could be a lot worse though. As a Canadian resident/citizen, the taxes I pay here are more than what I’d pay to the US government so I don’t expect to owe any money in the near or even long term. If I ended up working In a low tax environment such as much of the middle east or Asia though, it would end up making a huge difference. I would likely owe money every year to the IRS. It’s never fun to pay taxes but it’s even less so when you’re not even enjoying the benefits (infrastructure, etc).

The Benefits

Of course, the reason why most of us still prefer to keep our US citizenship is that there are still more benefits. Some would say that being able to enter the US easily is one although Canadians are about to get in just as easily. Another might be that in some countries, it’s easier to get in as an American, to get a visa, etc. Again though, that seems fairly limited.

The One Big Advantage

The one benefit that few would argue is the possibility and the right to move to the United States at some point in my life. Not only has it always been incredibly difficult to get a green card but it has gotten worse since the tragic 9/11 attacks. Personally, I appreciate my life in Canada a great deal, having my family around, etc. That being said, there’s no denying that the weather, economic opportunities, high quality of life and significantly lower taxes could eventually give me enough incentive to make the move. There’s no doubt that the average Canadian would probably struggle a great deal to make such a move and be stuck in a lot of paperwork.

In The End

I find it frustrating and time consuming at times to file all of the yearly things to simply remain “compliant” but in my opinion it’s still a no-brainer because I know there’s a decent chance that I would move to the US at some point.

What about you? Is having the US citizenship worth it? If so, is it because you intend or are considering moving at some point?


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