Insight: America’s Rich Losing Tussle with Taxman

September 30, 2011

The tax landscape may be changing for America's rich. Reuters takes a look at rising wealth taxes, closing loopholes, and increasing crackdowns on offshore and Swiss accounts.

According to Kaye Scholer LLP partner Sydney Unger (NY), Americans cannot even escape these obligations by renouncing their citizenship. "If you want to renounce ... you have to file tax returns for (the) last five years, and there is now an imposed exit tax. If you have a lot of assets, you have to pay tax on them as if you had sold them," he said.

Unger also offered a possible explanation for some non-declarations of income.

"There's this feeling that it's only people who are trying to hide their money," he said. "On one of these accounts, I told the IRS agent, ‘The reason they didn't tell you about the account is that they didn't know about it.'"

Despite the millionaire's significant tax burdens, Unger concludes by stressing the many benefits of being a US citizen.

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