Why Eritrea & Canada are so Important to American Expats?

The US system of citizen based taxation was designed more than 150 years ago during the civil war as a means to deter draft dodgers. This system requires an American expat to file and pay taxes no matter where they reside around the world. The United States and Eritrea (a small African nation) are the only two countries that currently tax citizens who live abroad.

In 1995, the US Congress looked into it's practices of citizen based (instead of resident based taxation like the rest of the world) and found that only three nations still conducted this practice. The Philippines, Eritrea and the United States, the Philippines ceased this practice the very next year.

In 2007, the Canadian courts ruled that it was illegal for the government of Eritrea to charge dual Canadian-Eritrean citizens a tax when non-resident. They forced all taxes (a 2% per annum flat tax) be returned to these citizens. This also had lots to do with the harassment of those that didn't pay the tax through their family back home or imprisonment if they caught you. The Eritrean's also had no ability to surrender your passport.

This leaves one remaining country where it is deemed legal to charge citizens when they are non-resident. The United States of America currently has law suits in Canada and many organisations lobbying for this age practice to be abolished.

Get a complimentary copy of the American expat guide at for more information about the financial planning process as an American expat. You can also visit and