US Citizens Renouncing Citizenship in Record Numbers
Every year, there are at least a few hundred people who get tired of one thing or another about America, often taxes, and decide to renounce their citizenship. Reported by the media as nothing more than malcontents and rabble-rousers who don’t know how good they have it, the raw totals of these expatriates have taken a spike this year, from a 2011 total of 1,781 up to 2,369 this year with still a month and a half to go.
Third quarter numbers from the Treasury Department’s published list shows that 560 people either renounced their citizenship or were long-term residents who turned in their green card. Taxpayers who expatriate aren’t required to give a reason, but some experts point to the federal government’s recent toughening stance regarding American citizens who have assets or accounts overseas.
The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, scheduled to take effect next year, requires foreign institutions to report account information about US taxpayers to the IRS. Even long-time bastions of secrecy like the Swiss banking system have yielded to pressure. As far as individual account holders, the penalties for not reporting assets can be severe, as much as 50 percent of the account balance during a year. (Derek Dowell – VNN) (Image: Flickr | Tax Credits)