Americans renouncing US citizenship at record rate

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Maria Sergeeva
November 7, 2017

In the third quarter of 2017, 1,376 Americans renounced their US citizenship, putting the annual tally on track to top 2016’s record, according to data from the U.S. Treasury Department, and this year could be record-breaking for the number of expatriates if the trend continues.

Reasons for renunciation are personal and are more about finances than about politics. The number of people renouncing their citizenship has been slowly increasing since 2010, after the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act became law.

While the Singapore passport is now the "most powerful" in the world, with a visa-free score of 159, the power of the US passport is falling and could be set to get weaker still as the European Parliament voted to end visa-free travel for Americans back in March this year. When choosing to live abroad, no more reasons for an American to pay both American taxes and the taxes in their country of residence.

Since the start of the year, more than 4,400 Americans renounced their citizenship. If this year’s final quarter mirrors last year’s, Bloomberg estimates that 6,813 Americans will have chosen to expatriate in 2017.

The total number last year was 5,411 — a 26-percent jump from the previous year.

This time last year, the UK’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, born in New York, appeared  on the published list of Americans who renounced citizenship.

By the way, renouncing does not solve a current tax bill, so the ex-Mayor of London had to satisfy the IRS in order to be able to renounce America.

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