New US Tax Law Looks Heartless to Foreign Workers

Would-be tax evaders will pay, but so will wealthy green-card holders
By Green Point,  Newser User
Posted Jul 9, 2008 4:40 PM CDT
According to the Heart Act, a green-card holder who bought a $10k home in France in 1980, came to the US in 1990 when it was valued at $100k, and returned to a $1 million home in 2008 would owe $135k.   (AP Photo/Eckehard Schulz)
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(Newser) – A new tax law set up to help troops and veterans, offset by taxing wealthy Americans who give up citizenship to beat the IRS, hits some others in the wallet, Portfolio reports. Long-term, legal foreign workers who return home will see unrealized capital gains taxed—potentially damaging the perception of the US as welcoming to overseas talent, say critics.

The act is "a very draconian tax with stunning liabilities," says one consultant. Other critics add it should apply only to American tax dodgers, not foreign workers who leave the country and must relinquish green cards by US law. The measure could deprive the country of wealthy immigrants, who will most likely settle for long-term visas instead of green cards.