Americans renouncing citizenship over taxes in record numbers
posted at 2:21 pm on August 10, 2013 by Ed Morrissey
Is this a rational response to market forces, a betrayal of one’s fellow citizens, or something in the middle?
The number of U.S. taxpayers renouncing citizenship or permanent-resident status surged to a record high in the second quarter, as new laws aimed at cracking down on overseas assets increase the cost of complying and the risk of a taxpayer misstep.
A total of 1,130 names appeared on the latest list of renunciations from the Internal Revenue Service, according to Andrew Mitchel, a tax lawyer in Centerbrook, Conn., who tracks the data. That is far above the previous high of 679, set in the first quarter, and more than were reported in all of 2012.
Taxpayers aren’t required to explain the move, but experts said the recent rise is likely due to tougher laws and enforcement.
“The IRS crackdown on U.S. taxpayers living abroad seems to be having an effect,” said Mr. Mitchel. …
The U.S. is rare in that all income earned by citizens and permanent residents, even those living abroad, can be subject to U.S. tax, according to Bryan Skarlatos, a New York lawyer. The U.S. also confers citizenship on people who are born on American soil.
If this is just about the taxes, it’s understandable as a business transaction, but still. My American citizenship means more to me than my tax bill. Too bad it doesn’t for an increasing number of our (former) fellow citizens.