(TheLibertyRevolution.com)- According to an Axios report, more Americans renounced their US citizenship and relocated to a foreign country in 2020 than any year in history. A record 6,707 people gave up their US citizenship in 2020 – a whopping 237 percent increase over 2019.
The cause of this mass-exodus appears to be Joe Biden. Most of the people who hightailed it out of the US in 2020 were ultrawealthy Americans looking to escape before a potential Democrat administration could take over the White House and impose onerous taxes on them. And given that the Biden administration is proposing an increase on the top capital gains tax to 43.4 percent as well as new estate taxes, this is a trend that just might continue.
Among those who beat feet ahead of the tax man is former Google CEO Eric Schmidt who has applied for citizenship in Cyprus.
Thus far, however, the number of people renouncing their citizenship is down in 2021 compared to 2020. Though that may be explained by the lockdowns due to the COVID pandemic that have kept many embassies and consulates closed. To renounce one’s citizenship, a person needs to take an oath in front of a State Department official.
The trend began growing back in 2010 after Congress passed the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act which increased reporting requirements and penalties for American expatriates. According to international tax attorney Andrew Mitchel, this law effectively deputized all foreign banks to “tattletale on US citizens.”
Worldwide only two nations tax people based on citizenship rather than residency – the United States and the northeast African nation of Eritrea. So simply moving out of the US to live abroad does not protect a US citizen from the tax man. The only way to avoid paying US taxes is to renounce citizenship.
In addition to US citizens, current green card holders are also lining up to relinquish their green cards. Demand is so high, some embassies have a wait list to accommodate green card holders. According to an international tax lawyer in Poland who specializes in helping Americans renounce their citizenship, there are between 20,000 and 30,000 green card holders who want to do this, but cannot get an appointment.
The State Department refuses to discuss this surge in Americans renouncing their citizenship. A State Department official only told Axios that as these requests are done directly through embassies and the State Department does not track “pent-up demand for U.S. citizenship renunciations.”