February 22, 2024

Taxation Task Force Submission for House Ways & Means Committee on the Hearing with Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, Daniel Werfel on February 15

Below is a copy of the submission the Democrats Abroad Global Taxation Task Force submitted to the House Ways & Means Committee for the hearing with Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, Daniel Werfel that took place on February 15, 2024.

Click here to download a pdf of DA's submission to the Ways & Means Committee in full.


Dear Chairman Smith and Ranking Member Neal:

As the largest organization representing Americans abroad, Democrats Abroad would like to bring attention to the millions of citizens living abroad whose taxpayer rights face substantial infringement. The National Taxpayer Advocate’s recent annual report to Congress dedicated not one but two Most Serious Problem sections to issues involving Americans abroad, providing a troubling view of how the U.S. taxes its expat population. Key issues with the extraterritorial nature of the U.S. tax system include:

  • Ensnaring individuals who have little to no connection to the United States
  • Extreme complexity, with virtually no support for taxpayers abroad
  • Heavy reliance on potentially life-altering penalties rather than educational approaches for compliance
  • Failure to consider individuals’ life circumstances
  • Lack of equity, due process, and access to judicial review
  • Insurmountable compliance challenges driving citizenship renunciations

Taken together, these issues call into question what rational government interest the current citizenship-based tax system serves. If pursuing education, employment, running a small business, marrying a non-US citizen, or starting a family outside the United States exposes citizens to these issues, one must wonder whether such policies are aligned with the principles of a free and democratic society., The increase in citizenship renunciations over the past decade suggests an answer.

Democrats Abroad believes taxpayer rights would best be upheld by a revenue system that taxes based on income source and physical residency. We urge Congress and government officials to work with us in order to bring comprehensive relief to the overlooked and underserved non-resident citizens, aiming to ensure fair and equitable treatment for all.


Martha McDevitt-Pugh

International Chair

Democrats Abroad

[email protected]

Rebecca Lammers

Chair, Taxation Task Force

Democrats Abroad

[email protected]