One of the provisions inserted by the Conference Committee into the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005, signed by President Bush on May 17, 2006, was a tax increase on citizens working abroad. The provision was not in either the House or Senate versions of the legislation, although Congress has considered a number of proposals related to the taxation of citizens working abroad over the years, including some Senate bills in the current Congress.It is estimated that over 4 million citizens work abroad. The U.S. Census does not count them, so we have no accurate numbers. The Treasury does try to tax them, but with questionable effectiveness. For the 1999 tax year, out of 127,667,890 returns filed, 1,350,890 had foreign addresses, but this included the APO and FPO addresses of members of the armed forces, as well as some Puerto Rico residents with offshore income. A 2004 Internal Revenue Service study reported that in 2001, fewer than 300,000 tax returns reported foreign-source-earned income.
U.S. citizens working abroad are generally taxed on their income in the country where they live and earn their money, and also by the U.S. The U.S. is the only major industrial country that does not fully exempt from taxation the foreign-earned income of its citizens who are working abroad.
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