So the boss around here
(well, we all own a piece of the company, but he's the one who tells us what to do, gets more of the headaches, and has the President title on his business card) became a US citizen yesterday, passing all the rigourous testing, pledging allegance (and helping a random pregnant woman to the front of the line so she could obtain the required paperwork before the baby dropped!).
So, it got me thinking about things - like whether or not I would ever become one. I'm probably a prime candidate - married an American woman, got a greencard, been here nearly 10 years now (what!!!!!), and still smile when I look out the office window at the snow capped mountains Colorado is luckily enough to share the state with. I even occasionally get pissed off at politicians, and love the fact that Vegas is less than 2 hours away if I need a break (or to lose some money very quickly).
Then I looked at the pros of the situation - realistically there's only a couple - you get to vote, you don't have to reapply for your greencard every 10 years, and if anything really really scary happened, and they kicked out all the non-citizens some day, I guess I'd be on the boat. You also get to apply for family members to come over and live in the US (something you can't do on a greencard), so if the rest of the clan ever decided to come over on a permanent basis, I guess I'd be applying.
So, not a bad collection of stuff I guess, but what about the cons - here's the kicker (and why I have so far resisted the (minor) temptation to consider an application) - if you're a US citizen, no matter which country you reside in, you owe Uncle Sam some tax. Now, for countries who have a special "you can tax ours if we can tax yours" policy like the UK, it doesn't really count - you pay local tax and you're pretty much good to go (although I did hear a rumour that you had to pay a little extra back to the mainland as well as the local, but that's never been confirmed). In countries where they don't have that in place, you get to play Double Jeapardy - pay local, pay US - that completely sucks. However, the one that gets me (given I'm still harbouring distant dreams of becoming incredibly wealthy and retiring somewhere nice), is that even if you sod off to some distant land that doesn't charge any tax, making your money last a little longer (Jersey, for example), the US isn't as generous as the UK with their "well, you're not using our country, so you don't have to pay for it approach". Oh no, they come after you each and every year for you to pay your little bit (or big I guess, if you've got enough money to retire to a tax free island).
So that's that. I considered it again, still have dreams of hitting the big time, so putting it off again. I want to fully enjoy my retirement loaded on a nice little island somewhere that doesn't charge tax...
Oh yeah, and this post (before I got side-tracked) was supposed to be about how there are still some pretty stupid laws in existence in this country
Labels: citizen, money, US