Buying your own U.S. citizenship
Filed your taxes yet? You have until tonight! Here are some need-to-know numbers for your day.
The United Kingdom sends out the most amount of foreign aid after the U.S., drawing both praise and ire from its citizens. Critics argue that because the U.K. spends 0.7 of its GDP on aid, it’s financing “frivolous and undeserving projects,” reported Marketplace’s Stephen Beard. These include a Kenyan soap opera and an Ethiopian girl band called Yegna. However, others point out that the country’s altruism has done good for education and health around the world. A representative from Oxfam, the U.K.’s leading aid agency, said that over the course of five years, British aid has helped 11 million children go through school.
Lavish spending has become a method of gaining U.S. citizenship. The controversial EB-5 visa program provides a pathway for foreign men and women to become citizens if they invest at least half a million dollars here, reported Marketplace’s Mark Garrison. Real estate, specifically, has played a large role in the controversy. Hudson Yards, a Manhattan complex, reeled in about $600 million from EB-5 visa investors. Proponents of these investments said the money helps create jobs, while detractors said it’s just going to fund luxury real estate projects for the wealthy.
American taxpayers have the “luxury” of filing their taxes several days after the usual April 15 deadline. Today is the deadline (with some residents getting to file their taxes Tuesday). The IRS expects there to be 5 million returns on Monday, with more than 150 million tax returns expected to be filed throughout the year, the Associated Press reports. The average refund amount is about $2,798. For those who need even more time, the IRS can grant extensions. (It expects to receive 13.5 million extension requests.)
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