Record number renounce U.S. to avoid income tax

Would you renounce your U.S. citizenship if it meant you didn’t have to pay an income tax?

More Americans than ever are saying “yes” to that proposition, according to the Internal Revenue Service.

A Reuters article says 1,800 people either renounced their citizenship or relinquished their ‘Green Card’ in 2011, the highest number since the IRS began publishing a list of those who’ve quit Team U.S.A.

The number that walked away in 2011 is eight times larger than those who renounced their citizenship in 2008, Reuters reports, and more than 2007, 2008 and 2009 combined.

Why are people doing it? Probably taxes.

The United States is one of the few countries to tax citizens living abroad. An estimated 6.3 million Americans living overseas have until June to file income taxes, but some apparently find the liability is greater than the benefit.

Longstanding federal law requires U.S. citizens to list offshore bank accounts, but a new law — 2010’s Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act — asks foreign banking institutions to provide the IRS with financial information that some Americans may have “forgotten” to provide. This new law likely explains the 2011 spike.

The IRS publishes the names of those who’ve decided not to pay up, a practice referred to as “name and shame” by lawyers representing the expatriates.

There’s an “exit tax” for the very rich who choose to leave. Reuters says Ted Arison, the late founder of Carnival Cruises, and Michael Dingman, a former Ford Motor Co. director, both paid to no longer be considered American.

* Read the complete Reuters article.

106 comments Add your comment

Ben Dover

April 18th, 2012
9:24 am

I hope the Social Security Administration, knows who they are? We have millions of dollars going to foreign citizens who came here, qualified for Social Security and returned to their native countries. I know for a fact several people, whom are living here, who have relatives that are doing this. With the value of the $ in some countries(India, Costa Rica,for example) they can live like kings just on Social Security.

American View

April 18th, 2012
9:35 am

I hope the Imigration & Naturalization Service and State Department keep a list of these people so when they decide they want to come home and/or re-apply for citizenship they are denied. We also need to be much stricter about granting green cards and admitting forigen citizens to citizenship in the U,S. And if admitted to citizenship, no dual citizenship. You can only be loyal to one country.

Animal Control

April 18th, 2012
9:59 am

wendell

April 18th, 2012
10:09 am

Welcome to the Obamanation, where 50% of the population pay NO taxes, but receive 99% of the benefits. We are officially a bloated, over governed nanny-state.

Obama is an incompetent boob who will not be re-elected.

BG

April 18th, 2012
10:11 am

Abolish the IRS. We need to got to a flat tax system.

sheepdawg

April 18th, 2012
10:18 am

wendell, you need to check you facts. Your post is the perfect example of “opening your mouth and removing all doubt” as to your intelligence

wendell

April 18th, 2012
10:19 am

Obama is an incompetent boob.

baby

April 18th, 2012
10:22 am

Wendell- The middle class bear the brunt of the tax system, while the rich and corporations pay far less. Why should I or anyone in the middle class be paying more of a percentage of my income, than the those with the most? Do you think it’s the middle class skipping out, to avoid paying their fair share?

Tag

April 18th, 2012
10:27 am

Think about how many from other countries would like to be citizens.

Edward

April 18th, 2012
10:28 am

wendell can’t help appearing ignorant, he IS ignorant. He’s just parroting the Republican mantra without any clue whatsoever as to why, like most poor fools that support the GOP.

ha

April 18th, 2012
10:28 am

where’s my CHANGE?

Rubber and Glue

April 18th, 2012
10:30 am

Welcome to the Bushanation, where 50% of the population still pay NO taxes, but receive 99% of the benefits. We are officially a bloated, over governed nanny-state as a result of the Bush’s Administrations.

Bush was (is) an incompetent boob who was never re-elected.

Danny

April 18th, 2012
10:35 am

Rubber and Glue, right! but you don’t hear the Republicans saying anything about that, they wanted to keep it hush hush. They come in office tear the country down, get a democrat to fix it (Bill Clinton, Obama) campaign under their credit and if they get elected they do the same thing all over again. Clinton balanced the budget and we were in surplus, Republican came in for 8 years and ran it into the ground. Now the economy is slowly coming back and they Republicans who haven’t done one thing to help our country want to take credit for nothing. The only thing they did was be in the way and sabotage progress and spread lies so that they can keep their cushion and continue to exploit the middle class for their own benefit.

hotinatlanta

April 18th, 2012
10:38 am

If you renounce, you should not be able to EVER get it back! Shameful!!! I guess you want all the privileges and rights but none of the responsibility like the rest of us. The lady featured in this article (Ms. Eysselinck) is a trader to her country (in my eyes). Her father proudly served in the US Air Force and, even though she did not owe any taxes, she doesn’t want to pay her fare share. Ms. Eysselinck – where do you think the money came from to pay your father’s salary, pay for your family benefits, etc.? TAXES!!! If you renounce – you should be kicked out of the US. If you live abroad, you should not be allowed to come back here!

Truth Seeker

April 18th, 2012
10:40 am

The GOP often states that half of Americans do not pay taxes. In truth, about half of Americans do not pay a federal income tax. Other taxes, such as payroll taxes and state, local and sales taxes are not included in the statement. As a percentage of the federal governments income, the highest income earners pay the highest percentage of taxes. We have a progressive tax system, and the higher your income the higher your payments. However, I am concerned that 50% of Americans are paying virtually no income tax. I am not concerned that our highest earners pay more taxes. There is another concern too. Prior to the Great Depression the gap between low income and high income in America grew to what was considered a remarkable rate. Many historians say this was a key factor in the Great Depression. Over the last 30 years since we lowered the top income tax rate from >70% to about 30% the gap has grown dramatically. I am not a Democrat, but Obama is correct in attempting to tax our highest income earners. As a matter of historical record they are paying the lowest share in modern history. Unfortunately, Obama will not pair his call for higher taxes on the rich for fiscal responsibility for the government. These go hand in hand, and neither side of the political spectrum is willing to compromise so we continue with the insane path of lower taxes and higher spending.

NORRY

April 18th, 2012
10:40 am

I personally know someone who has come to the US, applied for Social Security, and then went back to their home country to live. They receive nothing from their home country, they live off the monthly SS check. All paid by the US taxpayer. Nice deal.

Richie

April 18th, 2012
10:43 am

If 1800 is a record breaking number we have no problem! This is definitely not a real story just fillings. Out of 200+ million people losing 1,800 is so immaterial!!

common man

April 18th, 2012
10:46 am

Baby–there is a difference between income tax and capital gains tax. Just because the “1%” pay a lower income tax rate it is more than made up for in capital gains taxes.

Edward– be thankful that there are ignorant GOP supporters out there who fight for this country so that you have the freedom and to post your retarded leftest views in this website.

wendell

April 18th, 2012
10:47 am

In the 39 months since Barack Obama took the oath of office as president of the United States, the federal government’s debt has increased by $5,027,761,476,484.56.

Although he has served less than a term, Obama is now the first American president to see the federal government’s debt increase by more than $5 trillion during his time in office.

tax baby

April 18th, 2012
10:50 am

Baby – per the tax policy center, the breakout by houshold income effective federal tax rates for 2007(last year avalable) are: lowest 1/5 paid 4%, the next 2/5 paid 10.6%, the 3/5 paid 14.3%, the 4/5 paid 17.4% and the top 5/5 paid 25.1%. Please explain how the rich/top income earners are paying far less than the middle class when the statstics seem to prove the top earners on average are paying the largest percentage of THEIR income in federal taxes.

DD

April 18th, 2012
10:51 am

@ Wendell…you’re blaming Obama for what you say …that 50% of the people in this country pay no taxes? And that those are the ones that receive 99% of benefit? You really believe that? If so, you have a lot of reading to do. Even if this WERE true – and it’s not – it wouldn’t be Obama’s “fault”. For a quickie version of “Taxes 101″, see here:http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/06/28/who-doesnt-pay-federal-income-taxes-legally/#. And note who wrote this…a Reagan/Bush Republican.

charles

April 18th, 2012
10:54 am

The US is one of the few countries to tax offshore income. The person first pays the tax where they live and work and then has to file a US return that is confusing and super expensive to pay no tax. The new laws also require non US spouses to turn over financial information to the IRS that has nothing to do with the US – When I lived in the UK, my UK tax return was three pages and my US was over 70 pages. It cost around $1,000 and I never owed any tax. The current US tax code is a huge mess, no one understands it. It needs to be reformed and is down to both parties. Forget the Buffett Rule that is a political side show. Get rid of the massive tax loopholes, simplify the code and lower the marginal rates – that is how to get the so called rich to pay more. Of course the special interest love a super complicated tax code as it supports a whole army of lawyers, CPAs and advisors – oh yes – it also distorts the economy and decision making. Most of these folks have massive problems staying in compliance with a system that is crazy to begin with and makes no sense to any other developed country away from the US.

wendell

April 18th, 2012
10:54 am

In 2012, spending will account for about 24 percent of GDP and taxes will total about 16 percent.

For all of you left wing fanatical MSNBC clones, this is a recipe for national Bankruptcy (SEE Greece/ EU Financial Crisis).

Expatriate Tax

April 18th, 2012
10:57 am

Expatriate Tax is a new solution. This is the answer for a few Americans that feel foreign bank accounts should be protected and remain private. The rich don’t need to be US citizens. Think about it. If you have 50 million in the bank what Gov’t benefit could you actually get that would be worth being taxed at 40% and climbing. Move all your money over seas renounce your citizenship and claim citizenship in a country that will take you and has a Tax Treaty with the US. Kind of a no-brainer. Then when you do earn US income that is effectively connected to a US Trade or business you claim a reduction in withholdings under the US Tax Treaty. Use caution because the country you shift the tax obligation to could have higher taxes than the US, but I’m guessing that would be doubtful in light of our 14.6 Trillion dollar debt.

Come on Man

April 18th, 2012
10:57 am

Truth Seeker – you are a democrat; you are still in the closet though. Why would you tax someone more because they strive to be better. Makes no sense to me but even despite this burden, the facts still support the gap between those that have is widening between those that don’t have. Why? People are still driven despite the governments plan to control them. If you take a handout, you are a vote. If you don’t need the government, you are dangerous. Punish me for earning too much money (extra taxes) and maybe I will be a good little boy and get in my place. At the end of the day, both parties want the same thing; your money and their continued employment. More can’t take out than those who put in though and that is where we are.

Intown

April 18th, 2012
10:58 am

Are these people becoming citizens of other nations or are they “persona non grata.” I’d hate to be a nationless soul. No protection.

Sterling

April 18th, 2012
10:59 am

Wendell, you’re such an idiot. To blame Obama for things that have been going on for decades is the height of foolishness.
News Flash to Wendell: The USA is NOT a dictatorship where one person rules and makes all the decisions!

wendell

April 18th, 2012
11:01 am

In the 39 months since Barack Obama took the oath of office as president of the United States, the federal government’s debt has increased by $5,027,761,476,484.56.

Although he has served less than a term, Obama is now the first American president to see the federal government’s debt increase by more than $5 trillion during his time in office.

Sterling

April 18th, 2012
11:04 am

Another tidbit for you wendell… Google “USA national deficit”… go look and see where the deficit really started to rise…. it was under Regean. I’m sure you blame Obama for it. Also look at the years under Bush. Notice a trend?

wendell

April 18th, 2012
11:07 am

I see, Blame Bush.

LOL

Good Grief

April 18th, 2012
11:09 am

@wendell – Don’t waste your time giving the leftist dreamers facts and figures. They operate by giving you grief when you make a statement and then ask for facts, when you give them facts they find something else to cry about. @Truth Seeker could not have said it better with respect to what SHOULD be done. I am sick and tired of hearing about “paying your fair share”. Why should any taxes be percentage based on income levels? Does someone making $300,000 a year “consume” more from the federal government than someone making $50,000? An easy example, national parks; assuming a 30% tax rate (with no deductions ;) ), the $300,000 salaried person pays nearly $100,000 in taxes and the $50,000 salaried person pays $15,000 – Does the $300,000 salaried person get $100,000 worth of enjoyment/use out of the park system and the $50,000 salaried person get $15,000? Talk about inequality (for the $300,000 salaried person) and this is true for every federally funded program. . .

This country needs to move to a fair tax system and “fair” does not mean an equal percentage of income!

Fed Up

April 18th, 2012
11:10 am

Everyone on this board must be liberal, or listen to only what the liberal media and democrats want you to believe. Stop blaming Bush and the Republicans for all you don’t agree with in this country. All anyone has to do is listen to and watch Obama and the rest of the democrats to see/hear who is to blame for high gas prices, unemployment, etc. Check facts, not emotions. Gas prices, unemployment, home values are approaching double what it was under Bush. Lest I forget, the national debt has gotten out of hand under Obama as well. No, I am not a Republican. It is not just the middle class, but the lower income and those on welfare that can work though choose not to that is hurting this country. Oh, yea, that’s right. You liberals and demos believe in entitlement programs or as your Obama put it, the need for things to be “fair”. It is also not “fair” for those who have worked hard, saved, been gifted, or invested well to have to pay for and keep up the rest of Americans who want hand outs. You should pay your taxes while you live or own property here, but if one wants to move out of the country it is their right. You guys are just afraid that it won’t be “fair” and that you will have to pick up the slack.

Voice Of Reason

April 18th, 2012
11:12 am

“Scratch a liberal and you’ll find a fascist … I’m not joking.”

Not only has the debt increased to record numbers during this term, but Obama has officially edged out Jimmy Carter for the largest increase in gas prices during his first four years. This double standard infuriates me…if this had happened during Bush’s tenure, the Dem’s and Media would have been on the White House lawn with pitchforks and torches. Recognize the hypocrisy??

Tax Slayer

April 18th, 2012
11:12 am

Yes, yes. Let’s abolish 200 years of carefully crafted tax code because some ignorant mopes are confused by it.
Better yet, let’s pay money to a non-profit organization that supports a disproportionate tax on the poor because we are too dense to realize that the idea supported by a local radio host is simply propagated to sell books to bumpkins who think they know a thing or two about a thing or two.
If you don’t like paying taxes, get an MBA or hire somebody with a brain to figure how to work the system. It’s the Republican way. Well, real Republican, that is. Not the broke loser Southern version.
Let’s face it, saying “abolish the IRS” is both lazy and dumb.

Good Grief

April 18th, 2012
11:12 am

News Flash to Sterling – Please let Obama know that the USA is not a dictatorship or socialist state . . . he does not seem to understand.

bed

April 18th, 2012
11:13 am

baby – Why do you believe the middle class bears the brunt of the tax system – because politicians tell you that? They know the middle class is the largest voting block, and therefore, they pander to that voting block to remain in office. The top 5% of earners in the country pay 58% of federal taxes – that’s a fact. While wendell is off on the 99% benefits, he is correct that about half of American workers pay no federal income tax.

Zombie Steve

April 18th, 2012
11:13 am

Everyone hates taxes, but this is downright Un-American. Get the he!! out of this country if you’re not proud to be American.

Zombie Steve

April 18th, 2012
11:14 am

Bed speaks the truth

FCM

April 18th, 2012
11:15 am

Maybe the government should wake up and realize that an INCOME tax is not the right method to generate revenue.

Homer the Brave

April 18th, 2012
11:15 am

I read earlier about how the middle class bears the brunt of taxes, and it’s true. The rich & corporations pay far less. This will never be fixed though as our fat cat lawmakers keep insisting that these folks are the “saviors” of the economy and will create all these jobs by not being taxed. How many years have we been hearing this??? Where are those jobs?? Oh, I forgot, China & India….

YourPoliticalAnimal

April 18th, 2012
11:16 am

Just another right wing talking point that Sean, I hang out with Karl the fixer Rove, Oliver I should just be getting out of prison, North, Sarah, my husband should have been tried for treason, Palin, Hannity…he is obsessed with trashing Prez Obama yet he is blind to the political thugs that he is in bed with…let’s blame Obama and have a good night…works every time for the Kool Aid drinking ignorant knuckle draggers of this world…they tried this same tactic on Dr. ML King…”he’s less than American”…he’s not “one of us”…if they had sound policy alternatives they wouldn’t have to engage in character assassination…but their only policy wizardry is “less taxes for the Mitt Romney crowd”…truly the Bible was right when it stated “The poor is despised even by his neighbor…but the rich have many friends…”

Homer the Brave

April 18th, 2012
11:17 am

And also, I can’t get any of these government benefits because I am a citizen and our family makes too much at $35,000 year combined……..

Good Grief

April 18th, 2012
11:17 am

@Tax Slayer – Not sure who mentioned abolishing the IRS, b/c we need the IRS. What we do not need is the system we have and we need to drastically overhaul the entitlement mentality this country/administration has drifted towards; oh, sorry, I forgot Obmama is a socialist in so many ways.

Pandering to Dullards

April 18th, 2012
11:17 am

Since the Secret Service has proven itself to be untrustworthy, and they are the agency charged with vetting the credentials of a Presidential candidate, I say we resurrect this Obama birth certificate issue.
Come on! Who’s with me? Bubba? Billy Bob? Nathan? Chip? Let’s do this! Show me the birth certificate now! Come on, guys, get some money out of those special needs trusts and get this thing going. Impeach the Secret Service! Void the 2008 election. Make Sarah Palin Queen!

A-Team

April 18th, 2012
11:23 am

Actually, the FBI is the agency charged with such background checks.

Typical misinformed liberal.

Tax Slayer

April 18th, 2012
11:26 am

Entitlement mentality?
Which one is that? The one in which we complain that the jobs are going to India and China and we deserve them because we are American Americans?
How about you stop marrying your cousin, make your kids get a good education, and stop believing the myth that just because you were born white in America that it is your birth right to a good job, a big house (or trailer) a new pickup (and minivan for your obese wife).
I realize this was formerly true, but it has not been the case since at least the 1970’s. It’s just the reality of the world we live in. Accept it and move on. There is still opportunity for lazy whiny white people. But you have to assert yourself. The jobs are going to India and China because they are busting their tails to get them. In school, after school, at home.
They don’t sit around complaining about political topics they don’t understand and running themselves into debt with their Wal-Mart cards. They save and they study and they sacrifice.
America is a nation of overweight indebted lazy white people with an entitlement mentality. That is the hard truth. Stop whining and start improving yourself because you see how far blaming other people gets you.

Franklin

April 18th, 2012
11:27 am

Taxslayer: It’s amazing that you could use so many words without citing a single objective fact.

rodertrudis

April 18th, 2012
11:28 am

This is a rebuttal to Bend Over’s comment @ 9:24, who wrote:

“With the value of the $ in some countries(India, Costa Rica,for example) they can live like kings just on Social Security.”

Nonsense. “…live like kings on Social Security.” No one lives like a king on Social Security in Costa Rica or anywhere else. I know this to be a fact because I am living in C.A. on a retirement check and all it means is that I am not starving like I would be in the U.S.

I Give Up

April 18th, 2012
11:30 am

I give up. Obama is a socialist, so it’s pointless for me to try to work hard and make money. He’ll just take it and redistribute it.
I guess I’ll just see here on the front porch of my trailer drinking beer and counting my teeth.
I wish somebody good with money like Nathan Deal were President.
Then I could really be somebody.

Tax Slayer

April 18th, 2012
11:31 am

Here’s an objective fact: you’re an idiot.