Tags: renounce | citizenship | tax | US

Number of People Renouncing US Citizenship, Green Cards Reaches Record High

Friday, 15 Nov 2013 09:07 AM

By Dan Weil

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The number of Americans renouncing their citizenship and foreigners renouncing their green cards already has hit an all-time peak for the year amid concern about tighter enforcement of tax laws.

The total so far is 2,369, according to Andrew Mitchel, a tax lawyer in Centerbrook, Conn., The Wall Street Journal reports. That figure already beats the 1,781 for 2011, the previous record year, by 33 percent.

"Nothing has changed in immigration law that would make people want to renounce," Freddi Weintraub, an immigration specialist at Fragomen Worldwide law firm, tells the paper. "Current or anticipated changes in tax law and enforcement are driving this increase."

Editor’s Note:
Weird Trick Adds $1,000 to Your Social Security Checks

Income and investment taxes were increased for the top bracket this year.

In addition, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, which begins next year, demands that foreign financial institutions provide account information about U.S. taxpayers to the IRS.

Americans and green-card holders living in the United States and abroad are subject to taxes on overseas income.

"The fact that renunciations have increased sharply is not surprising, given increased U.S. scrutiny in this area," Fran Obeid, a partner at Obeid & Lowenstein, tells The Journal.

"Renunciation can be expensive, but it may be easier than staying in compliance with U.S. tax laws that can be onerous for citizens of other countries," says Fran Obeid, a partner at Obeid & Lowenstein LLP in New York, who specializes in offshore-account issues.

Jeffrey Neiman, a former federal prosecutor, said, "The reality is that the U.S. tax system gives dual citizens a good reason to walk away from their U.S. citizenship or permanent-resident status," CNBC reports. "It's a painful process but easier than staying in compliance with the law."

Editor’s Note: Weird Trick Adds $1,000 to Your Social Security Checks

Related Stories:

Americans Relinquish Citizenship in Growing Numbers Over Taxes

Tina Turner Drops US Citizenship

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