Simon Black October 27, 2015
Sovereign Valley Farm, Chile
1,426. That’s the number of Americans who renounced their US citizenship last quarter according to the US government’s report just released this morning.
That’s a record high for a single quarter, easily beating the last record high set earlier this year, which beat the previous record high set in 2013.
This is clearly a trend on the rise, and it certainly raises the question: why?
What is it about the United States that drives so many citizens to leave?
Two main reasons:
The first group consists of people who just can’t take it anymore. Constant warfare, intimidation, and the steady erosion of freedom have pushed them to their breaking points.
They look around and think, “This is NOT the country that I grew up in.” And they renounce their citizenship in protest of a government they no longer want to be associated with.
But that’s a small percentage of former citizens.
For the vast majority of people who renounce their US citizenship, it ultimately comes down to a single issue: taxes.
And there are three categories of tax-motivated renunciants.
The first is wealthy Americans who want to end Uncle Sam’s claim on their income once and for all.
Some famous people in this category who renounced US citizenship include Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, and singer Tina Turner.
It’s an expensive decision for this group, as the US government levies a nasty exit tax on their entire estate before they leave.
Now, this group is often held up as the villainous “tax traitor” who leaves America. But not everyone who renounces is a moustache-twirling billionaire.
There are far more people in the second group, what I call ‘Accidental Americans’.