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futsanglung Post time: 2015-7-18 16:01
Simple question for you, do you pay income tax?
The US tax system is ridiculous. First you are taxed on the money you earn. Then you are taxed again when you go to spend what remains. Not only that but, depending on what you spend your money on you are also charged additional taxes because of what you are buying. Think utilities taxes and petroleum products even if that product is to heat your home, power your lawn mower or farm equipment. When you die your estate is taxed again at 50% value. I know you can't take it with you, but why should your heirs take a 50% haircut on that which has already been taxed.
With regard to sales taxes it is not the purchaser that is legally required to pay them in all States. We are not. It is actually the merchant that is required to pay the sales tax percentage to the State. They are just allowed to recover those costs by passing them on to you and me. In CA for instance a merchant or service provider must clearly display that items for sale are subject to sales tax. They can do this on individual ticket prices, sales displays or big arse signage in the store. With regard to contract services it must clearly state in the contract that all services and supplies rendered, are subject to CA sales tax, except where exempt by state law or statute. If this is not done, you do not have to pay. However if you refuse, then the merchant or service provider can refuse to do business with you. Catch 22.
Almost 3 decades ago I worked with someone in NJ that lived in Staten Island, NY. He had to pay Federal income tax, NJ State income tax, NY State income tax and NY City income tax. Here in the U.S. your tax obligation is citizenship based, not residence based so even as an expat you have to file a tax return and pay federal tax on income earned outside the US. Even if you are retired outside the country you are required to file every year and report all foreign asset holdings. Failure to do so or to do so correctly equates to absurd penalties.
The only way to avoid that is to renounce your US citizenship which by the way, you have to pay a renouncement penalty to do. If you choose to do that you are required to value all your US based assets at full market value. I forget the exact number, but anything over a certain amount and you have to pay an exit tax on the amount above it.
When you buy a home you have to pay property tax. Not once but, every single year and not just on the appreciated value, but rather the total value.
I wonder how Australia compares in regard to all of that?