The Democrats Abroad, which represents members of the U.S. Democratic Party who are resident overseas, has launched a major research project it says is aimed at gathering information it plans to use in its efforts to reform the way American expats are currently taxed.
The 2019 Non-Resident Taxation Research Project was unveiled earlier this week, and the anonymous, online survey portal will remain open until midnight, Washington, DC time, on Feb. 3, according to the organisation.
Explaining the thinking behind the survey, Carmelan Polce, chair of the Democrats Abroad’s Taxation Task Force, notes that the U.S. Congress “has a very poor understanding of the Americans abroad community, and that probably goes double for [its] freshman members.”
She admits the survey is lengthy and comprehensive (“Yes, we are asking about QUITE A LOT!!”) and says it will probably take most people around 10 minutes to complete, but she stresses the potential value of the research, particularly in educating Congress of the scale of the issues expats are currently facing.
“In order to persuade them to relieve us of the onerous and unfair burden imposed by citizenship-based taxation, we need to educate them about who we are, and how we are suffering because of discriminatory tax policy,” Polce explains.
The findings of the survey, she continues, will be used to build a profile of the Americans abroad community, and show how it is being impacted by “the many ways U.S. tax, securities, banking and other laws cause us serious personal and financial hardship.”
Among the areas the survey seeks to cover include the demographics of the survey participants (“who we are and where and how we live”); the offshore banking, saving and investing services they use abroad, and their experiences in obtaining these services; how being abroad is affecting the survey participants' ability to manage their U.S.-based financial affairs; their experiences complying with their U.S. tax obligations abroad; any issues they may have experienced with “Social Security benefit impairment” as a result of having spent a portion of their working life abroad; and how, if at all President Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, of 2017, may have impacted them, and a non-U.S. business they may own.
More about the survey, including a link to access it, may be found on the Democrats Abroad’s website by clicking here.