According to recently released data, the number of Americans renouncing their citizenship has reached a record level. Bambridge Accountants, a New York based tax firm, stated that 5,816 people relinquished their citizenship in the first six months of 2020 compared to 2,072 who gave it up throughout the whole of 2019. The process involves paying a $2,350 government fee and expatriates have to present themselves in person at the U.S. embassy in their country of residence. Under IRS rules, the government publishes the names of all Americans who have given up their citizenship on a quarterly basis.
The vast majority of Americans taking the step to give up their citizenship live abroad and they do it for several different reasons. Some blame the political climate at home and it is entirely possible that the government's handling of the coronavirus pandemic is one of the primary reasons for this year's drastic increase. Historically, however, tax has been one of the key reasons. U.S. citizens living abroad still have to file their tax returns every year and provide information regarding foreign bank accounts, investments and pensions, a somewhat laborious undertaking. Despite that, American expats did benefit from the $1,500 stimulus check earlier this year.