Expatriation & Non-Extradition Countries
US Persons may expatriate from the United States for many different reasons. In fact, oftentimes a person expatriates from the United States because the individual simply wants to avoid the tax consequences of being a US person — especially as they reach retirement age and do not want the headache of filing US Taxes. For some taxpayers — who may be concerned that they might not have exactly walked the straight and narrow ‘tax line’ during their time as a US person — they want to avoid any possible or potential extradition just in case there are any tax issues down the line.
Therefore, a common question we get is whether or not some countries will refuse extradition to the United States.
Extradition Countries to the U.S.
The United States has entered into extradition agreements with many different countries. If there is an extradition agreement in place and a person commits a crime and then hightails it overseas — and the US government finds you — they can work with the foreign government in order to get the person back to the United States by way of extradition.
Depending on the specific country the person resides, there may be some limitations as to when a person is ripe for extradition — but at the end of the day and depending on how relations are going between the United States and that country — that foreign country may ship the person back to the US.
Non-Treaty Does Not Mean No Extradition
One very important takeaway from this article should be that just because a country does not have a formal extradition agreement with the United states, does not mean that the country will not extradite you.
For example, while some countries such as Vietnam and the Marshall Islands do not have formal agreements with the United states involving extradition, both of these countries have considered and agreed to extradition in certain limited situations.
While some people may take the position that these situations were limited — nobody wants to be in the position where their situation becomes one of the limited positions, right?
Seven (7) Non-Extradition Countries to Consider
The following is a list of seven different non-extradition countries to consider. When considering a non-extradition country, it is important to understand that the US may still seek to extradite you depending on the facts and circumstances of your situation — but you can use certain strategies to bolster your position.
For example, Morocco is on the list of non-extradition countries to consider — since you can expatriate and then seek a Residence-by-Investment (Golden Visa) which can lead to citizenship and a reduced chance of extradition.
Likewise, Hong Kong offers different opportunities for citizenship and Residence-by-Investment programs — in which a Taxpayer can pay to become a resident or citizen — and then this may work to limit the chance of the government agreeing to “relinquish” one of their citizens to the United States government.
Here are 7 Countries to Consider
Assessing Non-Extradition is Complicated
In conclusion, if part of a person’s expatriation plan is to avoid any potential extradition to the United States, it is important to make sure that the Taxpayer lands in a non-extradition country. But, even if the Taxpayer is in a non-extradition country — there is the potential for the US government to still seek extradition and for the foreign country to still agree to extradite you to the United States — which is why it is important to pick a country in which the Taxpayer is comfortable and can develop ties, thereby limiting the chance of extradition.
About Our International Tax and Offshore Disclosure Law Firm
Golding & Golding specializes exclusively in international tax, and specifically expatriation & IRS offshore disclosure
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