NEW YORK, Aug 11 (APP): Americans are renouncing their citizenship at record levels, with twice as many people giving it up in the first six months of 2020 than the entire previous year, a research conducted by Bambridge Accountants of New York revealed.
A total of 5,816 Americans voluntarily relinquished their citizenship in the first half of 2020, compared to the 2,072 who gave it up in all of 2019, the research said.
The first six months of 2020 saw a 1,210 percent increase in renunciation compared to June through December 2019, in which just 444 cases were recorded.
Alistair Bambridge, a partner at Bambridge Accountants, attributed the sharp increase to the corona-virus pandemic and the political and social climate in the United States.
“The huge increase in U.S. expats renouncing from our experience is that the current pandemic has allowed individuals the time to review their ties to the U.S. and decide that the current political climate and annual U.S. tax reporting is just too much to bear,” Bambridge said in a statement.
Those who choose to renounce their citizenship must pay a $2,350 fee to the U.S. government, but are then free from filing U.S. tax returns.
Renunciation is different from expatriation, as expatriates potentially still have to pay U.S. taxes and report their foreign bank accounts.
“For many Americans this intrusion is too complicated, and they make the serious step of renouncing their citizenship as they do not plan to return to live in the U.S.,” Bambridge said.
There are approximately 9 million U.S. expatriates, meaning Americans living abroad.
Those choosing to keep their citizenship but continue living and working overseas are still able to receive federal benefits, including the $1,200 stimulus cheques sent by the U.S. Treasury in April meant to help eligible Americans ease the financial burden caused by the pandemic, it was pointed out.