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Record number of Americans give up citizenship
CNBC ^ | 2/11/14 | Frank

Posted on 02/13/2014 5:32:03 PM PST by mgist

While Washington is focused on immigration, tax experts are focused on the opposite issue: a surge in Americans moving out.

Last year, a record 2,999 Americans gave up their citizenship or terminated their long-term U.S. residency, according to new data from the U.S. Treasury Department. That was more than three times the number in 2012, and greater than the combined totals for 2011 and 2012.

Many will look at these numbers and say they are proof that America's high taxes are chasing Americans overseas. After all, many of the expatiates who have been named are wealthy or high earners—like Facebook billionaire Eduardo Saverin or pop star Tina Turner.

But tax experts say it would be wrong to imply that the soaring number of expatriates are driven by wealthy Americans looking to avoid taxes.

"We do not believe that the primary reason for the increase in expatriations is for political purposes or for individuals to reduce taxes," said Andrew Mitchel, an international tax attorney who has studied the expatriate numbers closely in recent years, in his blog.

Instead, he said there are three other reasons for the recent increases in the number of expatriations.

Increased awareness of new tax filing laws. Many people with U.S. passports who live permanently overseas have been unaware of the rules requiring all citizens to file tax returns. The UBS tax scandal and crackdown on Americans with overseas assets has made more people aware of the requirement. And they have simply given up their citizenship rather than comply.

Growing compliance burden. A new law, known as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, was enacted in 2010 and may soon require foreign financial institutions to report to the Internal Revenue Service accounts held by U.S. taxpayers. Mitchel said some banks are simply closing the accounts of U.S. clients as a result.

Big penalties. The standard penalty for unintentionally failing to file a tax return is $10,000. But the penalty for intentionally failing to file is far more. Mitchel gives the example of an individual who has retired overseas with savings of $1 million in a foreign bank account. If they've intentionally failed to file for four years, the penalty could be $2 million. So yes, the IRS is clearly on the minds of Americans giving up their citizenship. But it's not because taxes have gone up. It's because the requirement to file a return—no matter where you live or what you do—has become far more stringent.

TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: citizen; citizenship; immigration
I live in Miami and my heritage is South American. People are leaving the US for better opportunities in their countries, in numbers that I have never seen in my lifetime of living here. I have said a million times that the anti immigration stance of some conservatives is misguided. The president is spending like a drunken sailor, and acting like a Chavez wanna be, the issue should remain "debt and the economy". They skillfully bring up issues of immigration, which their own unions oppose, and certain conservatives obediently start foaming at the mouth. It is just a ruse, and too many conservatives take the bait. They turn around and say we are hate filled. That is how Marxist work.
1 posted on 02/13/2014 5:32:03 PM PST by mgist
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To: mgist

It used to be a nice place, so it goes.

2 posted on 02/13/2014 5:33:50 PM PST by gorush (History repeats itself because human nature is static)
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To: mgist

After the GOP passes their amnesty fiasco, I imagine we’ll all lose our citizenship until we learn to speak Spanish. “Immigration reform” means OPEN BORDERS. They’ll overrun this country in a heartbeat. The Mother of All Invasions.

3 posted on 02/13/2014 5:41:29 PM PST by FlingWingFlyer (As government expands, liberty contracts. - President Ronald W. Reagan)
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To: mgist

They probably are not moving to France.

4 posted on 02/13/2014 5:52:14 PM PST by Michael.SF. (I never thought anyone could make Jimmy Carter look good in comparison.)
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To: Michael.SF.

Call me a sunshine patriot but I’d do it in a heartbeat if I could. I’d reclaim my citizenship as soon as the welfare state is abolished, we return to the gold standard, and privatize the education system.

5 posted on 02/13/2014 6:05:25 PM PST by huckfillary
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To: huckfillary


6 posted on 02/13/2014 6:11:58 PM PST by mgist (.)
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To: mgist

And they said that renunciation went up under Bush. The numbers tell a very different story.

7 posted on 02/13/2014 6:19:32 PM PST by Olog-hai
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To: mgist

Its shameful that the price of freedom can be giving up your citizenship.

In our grandfathers’ time, an American citizen was a free man. We lost it. An American citizen is now a subject. Try to keep your assets private and you’re a felon.

8 posted on 02/13/2014 6:30:49 PM PST by marron
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To: mgist
I have said a million times that the anti immigration stance of some conservatives is misguided.

You don't believe in the Rule of Law? National Sovereignty? Common Language and Culture that unites rather than Balkanize? Check out Mexico's immigration laws. They would put ours to shame. And, they enforce theirs.

It is just a ruse, and too many conservatives take the bait.

It is not a ruse. Democrats need new voters to sustain the welfare state, and most Republicans need it to curry favor to their crony capitalist business groups. So yes, I will "foam at the mouth" over any politician that attempts to pass amnesty.

9 posted on 02/13/2014 6:35:03 PM PST by Extremely Extreme Extremist (15 years of FReeping! Congratulations EEE!!)
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To: Extremely Extreme Extremist

Being illegal in the US, is a civil, not criminal offense. Under Obama, you are a very likely civil offender according to the IRS and other federal agencies. Get it?

Personally, I follow what my real King tells me.

The Israelites’ experience of living as homeless aliens was so painful and frightening that God ordered his people for all time to have special care for the alien: “You shall treat the alien who resides with you no differently than the natives born among you; have the same love for him as for yourself; for you too were once aliens in the land of Egypt” (Lv 19:33-34).

The New Testament begins with Matthew’s story of Joseph and Mary’s escape to Egypt with their newborn son, Jesus, because the paranoid and jealous King Herod wanted to kill the infant. Our Savior himself lived as a refugee because his own land was not safe.

Jesus reiterates the Old Testament command to love and care for the stranger, a criterion by which we shall be judged: “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me” (Mt 25:35).

The Apostle Paul asserts the absolute equality of all people before God: “There is neither Jew nor Greek . . . for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:28). In Christ, the human race is one before God, equal in dignity and rights.

10 posted on 02/13/2014 6:48:18 PM PST by mgist (.)
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To: mgist

I think you make worthy points and gave excellent scriptural examples. It is impossible to set aside the call for kindness in receiving the alien. However, there is no case where the people of God, Israel, were overrun by desparate aliens who demanded entry, or sneaked in to take the spoils of the tribe to ship home to their own tribe, insisting on rights and entitlements, who lived to tell about it. The United States is no longer led by Godly men, nor united under God, sadly. Israel was both, with few exceptions, in that era.

Instead, these aliens lay down, as dutifully instructed, to be circumcised (foreshadowing baptism). There was obedience expected and obedience given, or else. Certainly foreigners and their gods did not run amuck in the tribe of Israel with no repercussions. Just sayin’.

11 posted on 02/13/2014 7:43:34 PM PST by RitaOK ( VIVA CHRISTO REY / Public education is the farm team for more Marxists coming.)
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To: mgist

Last year, a record 2,999 Americans gave up their citizenship or terminated their long-term U.S. residency

I presume most of these are folks here with a green card who decided to go back home. Hardly a trend of renouncing citizenship.

Class media conflation of the common with the unusual, in order to falsely make the unusual look common.

12 posted on 02/14/2014 6:45:33 AM PST by Atlas Sneezed ("Income Inequality?" Let's start with Washington DC vs. the rest of the nation!)
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