Dear A.M. Costa Rica:
Another small detail that is very important to add to your factual article is one regarding U.S. taxes: Most expats will look at the tax threshold of $95,100 and say “no problem” as they never made that amount even when working. However, self-employment tax is another matter. U.S. citizens still have a tax liability if they earn as little as $400 a year. Even a small side business can generate a hefty tax along with an even stronger penalty for failure to pay and late payment (two different penalties.) Indeed, “Uncle Sam has a long memory.” An expat can face years worth of back taxes and penalties that can add to the misery of not knowing all the facts beforehand.