MASSIVE jump in people who renounced US citizenship last quarter
Quarterly Publication of Individuals Who have Chosen to Expatriatehttps://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/08/09/2013-19224/quarterly-publication-of-individuals-who-have-chosen-to-expatriate
A massive 1,131 individuals renouncedtheir US citizenship last quarter, according to data that has yet to beofficially released (though I was able to procure an advanced copy).
This is a HUGE jump.
Compared to the same quarter last year inwhich 188 people renounced their US citizenship, this year's number is over SIXTIMES higher.
Not to mention, it's 66.5% higher thanlast quarter's 679 renunciations.
This brings the total number ofrenunciations so far this year to 1,810.
While still embryonic, it's difficult toignore this trend-- more and more people are starting to renounce their UScitizenship.
After all, the number of people whorenounced citizenship this past quarter is roughly the same as the number ofpeople who renounced for the previous four quarters COMBINED.
This movement shouldn't be that surprisingfor a species that began as nomadic hunter gatherers, or for a society that wasfounded by foreigner settlers in search of a better life.
Yet, in a rather anomalous twist, theemotional ties we have for our passports are incredibly strong.
It doesn't matter where you're from-- theUnited States, Sweden, New Zealand, or Venezuela... many people all over theworld are inculcated from birth with a sense that their country is 'better'than all the others.
We grow up with the songs, the flagwaving, and the parades until the concept of motherland becomes deeply rootedin our emotional cores.
Not to mention, when so many of ourfriends and neighbors unquestionably fall in line, it's a powerful socialreinforcement that only strengthens the bond.
We come to view our nationalities ratherironically as a big piece of our core individuality. I am an American. I am aCanadian. I am an Austrian. Instead of-- I am a human being.
It has taken decades... centuries even...to reach this point. So the fact that more and more people are making thegut-wrenching decision to ditch their US passports is truly a powerfultrend.
So what's driving it? Taxes... and thesearch for liberty.
For many, their tax bills constitute afinancial breaking point. Particularly for people who spend most of their timeoutside of the United States and are constantly hamstrung by worldwide taxationand information disclosures, the burden for many of them has just become toomuch to bear.
The US government figured this out someyears ago and began charging an exit tax to certain high income / high networth expatriates seeking to renounce.
This applies to anyone whose average UStax liability over the last five years was about $150,000 (the equivalent ofroughly $500,000 in taxable income in 2012 dollars), and/or has a net worth ofat least $2 million on the date of expatriation. Curiously this net worthfigure does not adjust with inflation.
The ironic thing is that in the "Actof July 27, 1868", the United States Congress declared that "the right ofexpatriation is a natural and inherent right of all people, indispensable tothe enjoyment of the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit ofhappiness."
Yet I would expect that as the number ofexpatriates continue to grow, this exit tax will become more and more onerousas the government tries to trap people, and their wealth, in the country.
Senior Editor, SovereignMan.com