A record number of United States taxpayers renounced their citizenship or green cards in 2013, according to new data.
Each quarter the U.S. Treasury publishes the names of the Americans who officially expatriated during that period. In the last quarter of 2013, 630 people renounced their citizenship or relinquished their green cards, added to the previous 2013 quarters (2,369 people), bringing the total for 2013 to 2,999.
On Monday, May 14, 2012 we posted Facebook’s Co-Founder Just Defriended America, regarding Face book’s Co-Founder Mr. Saverin’s renouncing his U.S. citizenship ahead of the company’s IPO.
On Friday, August 9, 2013, we posted Americans Renouncing U.S. Citizenship Increased 6X so far in 2013!, regarding Americans renouncing U.S. citizenship increased 6X in the second quarter from a year earlier as the government prepares to introduce tougher asset-disclosure rules.
On Thursday, November 14, 2013 we posted Tina Turner – By Adopting Foreign Citizenship are you Still Subject to the US Exit Tax? regarding long-time Swiss resident Tina Turner” Relinquishment of U.S. Citizenship. and then
On Thursday, September 12, 2013 we posted New Worries for Those Thinking of Renouncing US Citizenship!
According to the International Tax Blog, the 2,999 amount represented a 221% increase over the 932 total in 201 and “shatters” the previous record of 1,781 set in 2011. The International Tax Blog points to three possible reasons for the increase in expatriations last year.
1. “Increased awareness of the obligation to file U.S. tax returns by U.S. citizens and U.S. tax residents living outside the U.S.,” he writes.
2. “The ever-increasing burden of complying with U.S. tax laws; and
3. “The fear generated by the potentially bankrupting penalties for failure to file U.S. tax returns when an individual holds substantial non-U.S. assets.
The increase in expatriations may also be partly due to a 2008 change in the expatriation rules.
According to Forbes tax columnist Robert Wood, while many expatriations are likely motivated by convenience or family matters, taxes can “help sway a decision.” 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.
William McBride at the Tax Foundation further notes that the last four years have seen more people renounce their U.S. citizenship and green cards (7,246) in 2013 than the total number in the twelve years prior (5,775).
“Should I Stay or Should I Go”?