Tax residence and human rights

Do you think that taxation has nothing to do with human rights?

A paper and webinar by Karen Alpert, Laura Snyder, and John Richardson – three of SEAT’s founding members – may change your mind.

The three co-authored a paper entitled The Implications of Tax Residence for Human Rights.

The paper first explores what it means to be a tax resident of more than one country and explains why this is a particular problem for U.S. citizens living overseas. The paper then describes the multiple human rights violations that a person faces when they are claimed as a tax resident by two different countries. Notably, multiple tax residence violates:

  • the right to move from one country to another;
  • the right to work, to free choice of work and to freedom from discrimination in work;
  • the right to equality;
  • freedom from the arbitrary deprivation of nationality;  and
  • the right to return to one’s country. 

Further, the manner by which the United States imposes worldwide taxation upon persons who do not live in the United States violates the Taxpayer Bill of Rights. And countries, too, have rights: when the United States imposes its tax rules on persons who live outside the United States it violates the right of other countries to self-determination.

In early August 2020, Karen, Laura, and John participated in a webinar discussing the contents of the paper. The webinar was organized by TaxLinked and can be viewed at this link.

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