It’s sort of an obscure story, but it’s also incredibly instructive.
That’s the story of how Eritrea—a tiny, mostly unheard-of country in East Africa—taxes its citizens who live abroad.
Eritrea is one of only two countries in the entire world that taxes its nonresident citizens on their global income. Specifically, Eritrea levies a flat 2% tax on the income of its citizens who reside abroad.
Nearly every other country in the world bases its tax system on residency rather than citizenship. For example, if you’re an Italian citizen and leave Italy to become a resident of and earn income in Dubai, you would not have to pay taxes on that income to the Italian government. If you were an Eritrean citizen, on the other hand, you would have to pay taxes to the Eritrean government no matter where you live and work.