The grass is always greener in Puerto Rico |

The grass is always greener in Puerto Rico

Marc Cuniberti
Special to The Union

The tropical paradise of Puerto Rico is a popular destination for vacationers worldwide, but a new breed of people are going to Puerto Rico for an entirely different reason. I'm talking about Americans renouncing their citizenship and moving there to escape the onerous tax requirements of our own IRS.

Current Puerto Rican laws allow citizenship for anyone buying a condominium there in the mid-$400,000 range or above.

Reading from a handful of people who have actually done this, it appears to be quite doable, and the tax savings can be significant.

Compared to the hefty tax rates of our federal and state taxes, which can take up to half of one's income, Puerto Rico's single digit income tax rate of around 4 percent is indeed enticing.

The climate is ideal and it's a great vacation spot, so living there full time can only be that much more enjoyable.

As in any U.S. expatriation, you have to pay the IRS its hefty one-time but last payment of about a third of everything you own. But once that is done, one could easily envision making that back in a few short years with your newfound tax savings.

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You can still come back and visit with a common green card, and it's not that far away from the continental United States to make doing so fairly easy.

I myself am not ready to pull up my U.S. roots at this time, but it's nice to know I can if I become inclined to do so.

In my many emails and letters, I hear from people who have both moved and expatriated to places such as Puerto Rico, Panama and other such destinations, and not one of those persons making this move have indicated the move was anything but one of the best decisions they have ever made.

It's not un-American to expatriate or move overseas; in fact, the Constitution was penned by men and women who had done just that — moved to greener pastures and a freer way of life because the current situation in their own country had become too restrictive, as their freedoms were being slowly eroded by onerous and intrusive government. This is something we are seeing here in the U.S. more and more each day.

When economies start to head south and governments tighten the noose to garner more funds, more people look for ways to live the good life, free from central governments meddling in their private affairs, by seeking greener pastures elsewhere.

This article expresses the opinions of Marc Cuniberti. He hosts "Money Matters" on KVMR FM 89.5 and 105.1 FM at noon Thursdays and syndicated on more than 30 radio stations throughout the U.S. His website is

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