U.S. Citizenship Renunciations On The Rise

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More Americans renounced their citizenship in 2014 than any previous year, according to data from the Treasury Department.

The 3,415 Americans who cut ties from Uncle Sam in 2014 was up from 2,999 in 2013 and more than five-times the number of U.S. citizenship renunciations from 2004.

With the arrival of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, which requires foreign banks to reveal any American-held accounts over US$50,000, many American expats have faced increased difficulties banking overseas. While FATCA was originally designed to catch wealthy overseas tax evaders, some overseas banks have simply stopped dealing with Americans altogether rather than deal with the reporting requirements.

The United States is the only developed country that collects taxes based on citizenship. The only other countries—developed or not—to tax nonresident citizens based on worldwide income in the same way as they do residents are Eritrea and China.

Meanwhile, the U.S. government is making it harder for Americans to renounce their citizenship. In September , the State Department raised the fee for renouncing citizenship from US$450 to US$2,350.

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