Almost every discussion I've seen about diaspora taxes tends to get bogged down by the details: citizenship- based taxation versus territorial, exit taxes, efforts to combat tax evasion and the like. These are all appropriate subjects for debate but sometimes it helps to simplify things as much as possible in order to get some clarity.
A diaspora is not a monolithic bloc. When it comes to taxation opinions vary. Some firmly believe that any attempt to tax the diaspora by the home country is not only unreasonable but downright immoral. Others have a more nuanced view and might be willing to pay something provided that compliance is simple and that the sums demanded are not so onerous as to destroy them financially.
Homelander's opinions are just as diverse. Their overall perception seems to be that the diaspora is removing something from the home country that homelanders feel a) should remain in the home country or b) the home country should be compensated in some way for the loss of that capital (be it financial or human). But they do not necessarily agree on how to go about it and opinions change depending on the situation.
Let's take three, very basic, very simple situations where taxes are or could be levied according to different tax schemes:
1. Taxes on assets and income earned in the country of residence
2. Taxes on assets and income earned in the country of residence and invested in another country
3. Taxes on assets and income earned by a national of one country in another country
Case 1 is a good starting point because it is one that generally all people agree on. If you live, work, invest and save money in a country it is generally accepted that you should pay taxes to that country. How much you pay varies depending on the local tax system but just about everyone agrees that your local government can and will levy taxes on you according to the local legislation. If you are a citizen of that country and you don't care for the tax rates you can vote to change them. If you are a legal resident but not a citizen you have less leverage to effect change. (Yes, taxation without representation is alive and well even in modern democratic nation-states.) But the basic principle, Territorial-based taxation, is there - most people agree that wherever you live you should pay something to that country in taxes.
It's with Case 2 that things begin to get complicated. Let's say someone lives, works and pays taxes in Country A and then wants to invest in a Bed and Breakfast in Country B. The source of the money for the investment was Country A but the investment itself is located somewhere else. If that investment turns out to be a good one and the B & B is a success (makes money) then who has the right to tax it? I think most people would agree that Country B certainly does - after all the investment is located there and one would assume that the investors knew the tax implications and were prepared to pay them before they decided to set up shop. It may even be true that the tax rates in Country B are substantially lower than Country A which may have been one of the reasons for choosing to invest in that country in the first place. But what about Country A where the money originally came from? Assuming that the investor paid all applicable local taxes before taking the money out of that country, does Country A still have a right to levy a tax on the gains or profit made with that money even though it has a new home?
Case 3 is the most interesting because it involves human capital more than financial capital. As an example, let's take a young national of Country A who, thanks to his country's superb public school system, is accepted at a prestigious university or is offered a really good job in Country B. After getting his degree (or after a few years developing his professional career) he decides to settle down permanently in Country B. When he left Country A he was poor in financial capital but rich in human capital since his country of origin invested a substantial amount of money in his training. Clearly since he is living and working in Country B he will pay taxes there, but Country A could make the argument that it is owed something as well. Does Country A have a right to tax the money and assets that are the realization of that individual's potential? If so, for how long? Is Country A's argument even stronger if the young national in question continues to hold citizenship in that country?
What do you think?