Americans Renouncing Citizenship Up 221%Posted: February 9, 2014
Robert W. Wood reports: America is a great land and lures immigrants worldwide, yet record numbers of U.S. citizens and permanent residents are giving up their citizenship or residency. For all the immigrant arrivals the trickle the other direction is increasing. The number is still small, with the “published” expatriates for the quarter was 630 for the last quarter or 2013.
That brings the total number to 2,999 for all of 2013. The previous record high for a year was 1,781 set in 2011. It’s a 221% increase over the 932 who left in 2012. You can call it a shaming or a public record, but the Treasury Department is required to publish a quarterly list of Americans who renounced their U.S. Citizenship or terminated their long-term U.S. residency. The public outing puts Americans on notice who relinquished their rights.
Those seem like tiny numbers, yet the total thus far for 2013 is 2,369. See Number of Taxpayers Who Renounced U.S. Citizenship Skyrockets to All-Time Record High, quoting Andrew Mitchel. Under U.S. tax law, it is not relevant why someone expatriates. Whether the expatriation was motivated by tax avoidance or something else used to matter, but the law was changed in 2004.
Since then, the tax and other consequences do not depend on why one leaves. Yet after Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin departed permanently for Singapore with his Facebook IPO riches, there was an angry backlash. Mr. Saverin’s post-Facebook fly-away prompted such outrage that Senators Chuck Schumer and Bob Casey introduced a bill to double the exit tax to 30% for anyone leaving the U.S. for tax reasons.
So far, that bill remains unpassed. Meantime, are people following Tina Turner’s lead? No, and not Eduardo Saverin’s either. Most expatriations are probably motivated primarily by factors such as family and convenience. Many people like Ms. Turner have built a life somewhere else and may not plan to need a U.S. passport.
Complex or costly taxes can help sway a decision but are often only one factor. Although statistics are not available for why people say a final good-bye, many now find America’s global income tax compliance and disclosure laws inconvenient and nettlesome. Some go so far as to say that the U.S. tax and disclosure laws are downright oppressive.…
- Number of Americans Who Are Renouncing Their U.S. Citizenship Soars… (weaselzippers.us)
- How To Give Up Your US Citizenship (lewrockwell.com)
- Record Numbers Renouncing US Citizenship (newser.com)
- Renouncing citizenship (readingeagle.com)
- New tax law driving expats to renounce U.S. citizenship (mcclatchydc.com)
- 2010 Tax Law Forcing Some Americans to Renounce Citizenship (darkgovernment.com)
- Eduardo Saverin renounces U.S. citizenship ahead of Facebook IPO (venturebeat.com)
- Number of Americans Who Renounced U.S. Citizenship Increased 221% in 2013, to All-Time High (68% Over Previous Record) (taxprof.typepad.com)
- More Americans Than Ever Are Renouncing Their Citizenship (dailyfinance.com)
- Record Number of Americans Renounce US Citizenship (economicpolicyjournal.com)