Expat homeowners will see some benefit; expats with other local assets won’t
A couple of weeks ago, Timothy Walberg (R-MI) introduced H.R. 6225, a short series of tax code amendments to “provide for economic growth and personal financial liberty”. Its full text is finally available. Right before the summer recess, Congresscritters introduce all sorts of tax legislation for the purpose of grandstanding and campaigning rather than actual lawmaking. Walberg’s bill is more of the same, but at least it contains the kernel of a nice idea: indexing individual taxpayers’ basis in certain assets to the cost-of-living adjustment.
The significance of Walberg’s plan is that when people sell their assets and pay capital gains tax, they’d only be paying tax on the amount that actually reflects an increase in the value of the asset, as opposed to the decrease in the value of the U.S. dollar — unless that asset is an ETF, a mutual fund, or a business you formed in the country where you actually live, in which case you’re clearly an Evil Tax-Evading Traitor who doesn’t deserve the benefits of “personal financial liberty”. Continue reading