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放弃美国国籍的人

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在伦敦美国驻英国大使馆,有一份工作人员不愿提及的等待名单。名单上的人希望放弃自己的美国国籍,以逃避美国国家税务局的监管。
At the US Embassy in London, there is a waiting list that none of the officials likes to discuss. On the list are Americans hoping to give up their citizenship, as they seek shelter from the Internal Revenue Service.
苏珊娜·瑞斯曼就是一位帮助客户争取这项权益的律师,她曾经是一名民权法律师,现在在伦敦中部的梅菲尔做私人客户律师。
One lawyer fighting for her clients’ right to do so is Suzanne Reisman, a former civil rights lawyer, who is now a private-client lawyer in Mayfair, central London.
苏珊娜表示:“当你不得不缴美国的税而且长时间住在美国以外的话,你就要牺牲很多。但是放弃美国国籍,你也要做出很大牺牲。”
“You make a lot of sacrifices when you have to pay US taxes and live outside the country for a long time. But you also make a lot of sacrifices when you give up your passport,” she says.
自1998年以来苏珊娜就住在伦敦,她自己也想过放弃美国国籍,但她很可能不会。苏珊娜说:“我不想在英国终老。”
Having lived in London since 1998, Ms Reisman herself has considered giving up her US passport. But she probably won’t. “I don’t think I want to die in the UK,” she says.
很多住在原籍国以外的高管们改变国籍的理由有:澄清税务地位;出入境更加方便,尤其是来自新兴市场的护照持有者,发现他们需要在工作的国家,例如美国逗留更长时间;或者他们发现随着时间推移不想效忠之前的国家了。
With many executives living away from their countries of origin, the reasons to change citizenship range from clarifying tax status, making it easier to cross borders, particularly in the case of passport holders from emerging markets who find themselves working in countries such as the US for a prolonged period of time, or discovering that over time their allegiances have changed.
任何人都必须权衡更改国籍所带来的利弊,两方面都会牵扯麻烦并引发长期后果,同时也给雇主带来挑战。
While any individual will need to weigh the pros and cons of any change in status, both in terms of the hassle it can entail but also the long-term consequences, it also poses challenges for employers.
这份积压在美国大使馆的等待名单,自2月份起就不再接受预约。而之所以会有这份名单是因为自2008年美国简化其税法后,越来越多居住在英国的美国侨民希望他们的全球收入和资本收益不用再缴纳美国的税款。
The backlog at the US Embassy, where no appointments are available until February, stems from a rise in the number of American expatriates living in the UK who have been seeking to escape paying US tax on their worldwide income and capital gains since the simplification of US tax laws in 2008.
现行的美国税法要简单的多。只是针对所有收入和资本收益征收一次性出境税,这种税适用于资产持有量超过200万美元的人,征收范围包括养老金、递延补偿、不动产和投资中未实现的收益、还有外国信托股份。
The rules are far less complicated than they were. A one-off exit tax is levied on all income and capital gains – this applies to those holding assets of more than $2m and includes pensions, deferred compensation, unrealised gains from properties and investments and interests in foreign trusts.
如果资产持有量少于200万美元(折合150万欧元,130万英镑),就可以逃过大部分惩罚。卫达士律师事务所的合伙人理查德·卡塞尔称:“如果资产净值能低于200万美元,那就相当容易。你可以逃过出境税,但如果资产超过200万,一般人就不愿意写支票了,那就会变得很痛苦。”
If you have less than $2m (�1.5m, £1.3m), you escape most penalties. “If you can get below that $2m net-asset-value snapshot, it’s fairly easy. You escape the exit tax,” says Richard Cassell, a partner at Withers, the law firm. “But few people want to write the cheque if they have more than that. It becomes painful.”
会计师表示放弃美国国籍能获得一些好处。其中最主要的是可以扩大自己的投资选择。专业服务公司德勤的董事亚历克斯·琼斯表示:“这样做可以使你免除在两种超级复杂的税务制度之间来回跳跃的窘境。”
A few advantages are gained by forfeiting US citizenship, accountants say. Chief among them is that doing so widens one’s investment choices. “It removes the possibility of a super-complicated life of having to juggle two different tax systems,” says Alex Jones, a director at Deloitte, the professional services firm.
他又补充说:“从税收角度看,作为美国人会有很多具体和特殊的麻烦。在未来几年中,富人的情况会更加糟糕。”
“Being American presents you with a very particular and peculiar set of problems from a tax perspective and over the next few years, it could get worse for the wealthy,” he adds.
相比之下,搬到美国去住的英国人的税收状况就要简单很多。住在美国的英国公民不用面临双重征税,住在国外使他们逃过了大多数类型的英国税。但是英国公民如果在美出售单位信托基金投资的股份,美国国家税务局会调高其美国税率。所以投资顾问经常劝告英国侨民,避免在国外兑现。
By comparison, the tax positions of Britons who move to the US are somewhat less complicated. British citizens do not face double-taxation in the US as they escape UK taxation on most types of income while abroad. But shares in investments such as unit trusts and ISAs could draw US tax at a higher rate if sold, so advisers often encourage expatriate Brits to avoid cashing them in while abroad.
对于过去7年一直住在英国的美国人的税收状况,英国现行的税收法律也非常模糊,英国税务和海关总署现在向他们的全球收入和收益征税。不想征这笔税的话,除非每年支付3万英镑(折合4.8万美元,3.6万欧元)的费用,以保持不会将资产带离英国以脱离税务和海关总署的监管。
Current UK tax laws also muddy the tax positions of Americans who have lived in the UK for the past seven years as HM Revenue & Customs is now entitled to tax their worldwide income and gains. The only alternative is to pay a £30,000 ($48,000, �36,000) annual fee to keep assets not brought into the UK out of Revenue & Customs’ reach.
对于住在英国没有“永久居所”的个人要求还会更加严格。联合王国政府对税制的复查还未完成,但均富会计师行的税务主管迈克·沃伯顿担心法规可能再次改变。
The reporting requirements for “non-domiciled” individuals who live in the UK could become stricter still. The coalition government’s review of taxation has yet to be completed, but Mike Warburton, tax director with Grant Thornton, the accountancy firm, suspects the rules may change again.
他说:“这很明显存在风险,政府肯定要进行监管。”
“That’s a distinct risk. It’s definitely something that’s on the government’s radar,” he says.
放弃美国国籍有利于常住在英国的居民避开这些新的非本地法规。如果拥有英国居留身份和第二国籍,而这个第二国籍不会对你在全球的收入和收益进行征税,比如说澳大利亚和爱尔兰等国。那么个人就可以将永久居留地设在两个国籍中的任何一个国家,而只需要面对英国的征税。
Giving up a US passport helps some longtime residents of the UK get round these new non-dom rules. If you have, say, residency status in the UK and a second passport from a country which does not tax citizens on worldwide income and gains such as Australia and Ireland, you might attempt to change your domicile to either country, as you would then only face UK tax.
如果一个美国人选择成为英国公民,作为伦敦城的投资银行家或与英籍结婚多年,他或她就能获得很多好处。最明显的是英国人能在罗马、日内瓦、都柏林或其他地方自由自在的工作,但绝大部分而言设法居住在英国以外是为了逃避英国征收的部分税款。
If an American chooses to become British, after years as an investment banker in the City or a marriage to a British subject, he or she gains a number of advantages. The most obvious benefit is that Brits can work in Rome, Geneva, Dublin or elsewhere with ease but manage to stay outside the UK tax net for the most part.
特许税务师公会税收政策主管约翰·惠亭就表示““一旦我试图去国外待一小段时间,英国当局仍然对我严加看管,但如果我在英国没有收入,在我回英国前他们根本不会注意我。
“The UK authorities would still look at me very carefully if I try to go abroad for a short spell, but if I wasn’t generating income in the UK, they would not care about me until I came back,” says John Whiting, tax policy director with the Chartered Institute of Taxation.
如果有英国护照并希望获得英国永久居留住所的话,侨居也能帮上忙,在继承税方面可以获得点好处,特别是和英国人结婚的话。
Expatriating also helps if you have a British passport and are looking to acquire a UK domicile, which may have some inheritance tax benefits, particularly if you are married to a Brit.
美国高管们面临的税务问题也给他们的雇主带来了挑战。而住英国的美国侨民数量的稳步上升,也给人力资源部门创造了很多额外工作。卡塞尔先生表示:“这对两方面都起了作用。“对于一些公司来说,如果他们的员工是侨民,那对公司可能有帮助。把一个美国公民送到对全球收入都要征税的欧洲国家工作,对雇主来说就是一笔花销。但话又说回来,如果这些雇员放弃自己的美国国籍,进出美国又变得很困难。”
The tax difficulties faced by US executives pose challenges for their employers. And the steady rise in expatriations by Americans in the UK also creates additional work for human resources departments. “It cuts both ways,” says Mr Cassell. “For some companies, it might be good if their employees expatriate. It’s an expense for an employer to post US citizens to a European country which has a worldwide tax system. But then again, if they give up their US passport, it’s more difficult to move them in and out of the US.”
并不是所有人都是因为税收的原因而放弃美国国籍。美国大使馆等待名单上的很多人认为他们是“无意中”获得美国国籍的,有些人是出生在美国或父母有一方是美国人,而他们很少有时间住在美国。
Not every American who seeks to renounce US citizenship does so for tax reasons. A number of those signed up on the US embassy’s waiting list consider themselves “accidental” citizens who were either born in the US or have an American parent, but have spent little time across the Atlantic.
另外一些人这么做基于政治原因。卡塞尔先生笑着说:“我有个客户放弃美国国籍,因为她仍对麦卡锡听证会感到恼火。”
Others do so for political reasons. “I have one client who gave up her US passport because she was still mad about the McCarthy hearings,” laughs Mr Cassell.
人们与出生国的联系是深刻复杂的,切断这些联系会产生一系列后果。顾问警告说一旦对放弃美国国籍的行为感到后悔,再想恢复美国国籍就很困难,之后所受的待遇也和在美没有居留权的外国人一样。
People are tied to their country of birth in deep and complex ways, and severing these links has consequences. If you grow to regret your decision to resign as an American, advisers warn that is difficult to become one again as you will be treated like any other non-resident alien of the US.
最后德勤的琼斯先生总结道:“缺点显而易见,如果你放弃美国国籍,就是在冒风险,你可能再也无法回到美国生活和工作了。”
“The cons are clear,” concludes Deloitte’s Mr Jones. “If you give up a US passport, you take the chance that you will never be able to go back to live and work in the US again.”
标签:国籍 美国
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2010-08-08 22:57 编辑:kuaileyingyu
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