US citizen working on foreign-flagged vessels - Page 3 - SailNet Community
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post #21 of 27 Old 03-11-2019
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Re: US citizen working on foreign-flagged vessels

The main point being, citizens of every other country do not pay taxes on income earned while they are resident elsewhere.
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post #22 of 27 Old 03-11-2019
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Re: US citizen working on foreign-flagged vessels

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Complexity requiring expensive lawyers.
Nah, just a good accountant who knows expat tax laws. PM me if you need someone good, I'll send you to my guy.

There may be subtle differences in where exactly your employer is located, probably mostly relevant to whether you have to double-pay your SS (i.e. US and local), which ideally you want to avoid!

If you pay yourself through a local company (i.e. one which subcontracts to your US employer) you only pay local taxes as long as your in a country with a tax treaty and the local taxes are higher (usually they are). You can also just exempt up to $90 or so of foreign-earned income, but then it doesn't appear in your AGI so it won't help you for child tax credit (refundable). Better to take a foreign tax credit on 1116 where possible.

Can you tell I deal with this every year?

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Re: US citizen working on foreign-flagged vessels

"Then, I understand income tax is an entirely different beast from medicare and social security."
Our systems are often not logical but they are all tied together, if you consider "benefits and costs" as a package. Canadians who are out of Canada for over 6 months in a year, can lose all medical benefits for the year. Come home after 185 days...and you've got no health coverage until next year, or so they tell me.
The US has Medicare and Medicaid, and AFAIK it doesn't matter how long you are gone, if you are in the system you still can get those benefits when you come back.
The "tax everything" bit is only one part of an overly complex and irrational tax system, but I suspect that was to ensure the Bezos' and Gates' and Buffets of the world just don't pay themselves from a "foreign" hq.
There's plenty of fixing to do, all around. And meanwhile...we still pay a lot less than some other countries.
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Re: US citizen working on foreign-flagged vessels

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And meanwhile...we still pay a lot less than some other countries.
^ This

OM flippin G, this.

Granted by the time you pay for health insurance in the states it's not so clear you're ahead - maybe if you're making $100k or more.

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Re: US citizen working on foreign-flagged vessels

"health insurance"
That's a whole other can of worms. Starting with secret contract rates and paybacks, and the inability of customers to get prices before they agree to service. A number of the major insurers have also outright admitted to policies that should have resulted in executives going to jail for a long time--but state regulators will all tell you, if they prosecute, they'll wind up with no insurers doing business in their states.
There are also big differences in hospital services that most Americans are totally unaware of. I've forgotten the program name, but basically, if a non-profit hospital wants to receive any federal funding, they have to agree to provide for income-based billing. So you go to an ER in a private hospital, maybe you get a $10,000 bill. In one of the non-profits, you speak to the billing office,show proof of income, and you might pay $250. Literally. But since all of this is kept secret and not publicized...people get taken over a barrel.
Of course the US could do as the Cubans do, pay a doctor a flat $20/month. That's probably why most of the Carib and northern South America all send their critical cases to Miami for serious issues. Yes, Miami, the only Cat1 ER within a thousand miles of many nations.
The rubes, ergh, voters, can change some of this. Except, they cant change what they cant understand.
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post #26 of 27 Old 03-12-2019
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Re: US citizen working on foreign-flagged vessels

Health care, old age security, quality schooling / college tuition, decent unemployment / accident insurance

Lots of expenses the poor can't even afford out of pocket need to be added to what we call tax expense in comparing apples to apples with more civilized nations.
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Re: US citizen working on foreign-flagged vessels

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Originally Posted by SailRN View Post
Thread HIJACKED!
This is what the OP has now been edited to say.

While accurate, it sure seems to represent the OP's temperament. I hope it doesn't come across this way on interviews.

This subject is posted in the General Discussion forum. No one owns the discussion, let alone any thread. This whole place is just one big discussion, not a warranty desk where you ask your question, expect a fix and leave.


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