expatriation–>double taxation

working for our embassy in korea is not the best of both worlds, it’s unfortunately the worst, with a korean vacation policy of 10 days (admittedly with 10 US + 10 ROK public holidays) and being subject to taxation in both the ROK and the US. i don’t want to blame the embassy. apparently being an american working overseas means you’re subject to taxation in both countries.

so, the $34K per annum position nets ~%60-65 = 1.9M KRW/month.
that’s a lot less than teaching positions, which also offer housing allowances.

i can’t think of a logical reason for US federal income taxes if a citizen is overseas not using services back home. medicare and ssn are separate withholdings:

USG
Federal tax: each salary range has a different rate. for this job, let’s estimate 25%
Social security: 6.2%
Medicare: 1.45%

ROK
Income tax: 2-3%
National health insurance: 2.945% of base pay
Long term elderly care: 6.55% of NHI

the IRS is serious about collecting these taxes from Americans overseas.
some Americans are serious about giving up their citizenship.

TIME says, “the U.S. is the only industrialized nation that taxes its overseas citizens, subjecting them to taxation in both their country of citizenship and country of residence.”

i’d read that only overseas income above $50,000 is subject to US taxation, but if the us embassy is saying they’ll withhold US taxes, i believe them. the income tax may be reclaimed next april, but that’s a year without that usable income.

the position is junior too, which i knew. i don’t care about titles, but i’d like to learn new skills in my next job, and the uncertain opportunity for growth coupled with the paltry salary make this job a deal-breaker.

ah well.

the role was always going to be a long shot in displacing school, but it was another lesson on patience and culture.

the job was interesting enough to apply for, and i enjoyed the interview with the cultural affairs staff. no lightning bolts struck me after the interview, but now i trust i’ll know what to do, when the information comes. Tanja taught me that.

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