Including this interesting little anecdote:
I came across a form of exit tax when I left my country. In order to receive a visa for permanent non-citizen residence in the U.S., I had to pay a tax for all the government benefits I had received in my first twenty years of life, schooling, medical care, subsidized concrete block housing, pot-holed road use, constant police surveillance, and other “services” I was not even aware existed or received. I was worried since I had no penny to my name and I knew I would not be able to leave without paying.
The final figure was provided to me after months of deliberation and computation by the communist party apparatchiks – my freedom was worth exactly $160 U.S. dollars. I owned a Japanese boom box, it was the rage back then, which I sold quickly for $160, and paid my “exit tax.” This cleared my name – I did not owe anything to the government of Romania, for the communist care and education I had received. I was finally free.
Of course, nowadays the price of a boombox won’t even get you an hour of an international accountant’s time to help you fill out the Form 3520 for your “foreign” retirement plan or the Form 8621 for your “foreign” mutual funds.