Record Number of Americans Renounce Citizenship Due to High Taxes

Seal of the United States Internal Revenue Ser...
Record Number of Americans Renounce Citizenship Due to High Taxes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Record number of Americans renounce their citizenship in 2011. Reuters reports that nearly 1,800 people renounced their American citizenship or handed in their Green Cards last year. That’s huge and it is almost eight times more than the number of citizens who said bye-bye in 2008 and more than the total for 2007, 2009 and 2009 combined. Some gave up their citizenship for tax reasons.

The United States is one of the only countries to tax its citizens on income earned while they’re living abroad. And just as Americans stateside must file tax returns each April – this year, the deadline is Tuesday – an estimated 6.3 million U.S. citizens living abroad brace for what they describe as an even tougher process of reporting their income and foreign accounts to the IRS. For them, the deadline is June.

The National Taxpayer Advocate’s Office, part of the IRS, released a report in December that details the difficulties of filing taxes from overseas. It cites heavy paperwork, a lack of online filing options and a dearth of local and foreign-language resources.

For those wishing to legally escape the filing requirements, the only way is to formally renounce their U.S. citizenship. Last year, IRS records show that at least 1,788 people did, and that’s likely an underestimate. The IRS publishes in the Federal Register the names of those who give up their citizenship, and some who renounced say they haven’t seen their name on the list yet. Source: Reuters

The IRS publishes the names of those who renounce their citizenship in the Federal Register. The process is also known as “name and shame.”