Despite President Trump pledging to reform the U.S. tax system, more Americans than ever renounced their citizenship in 2016, according to federal government records.
Fortune reports 5,409 Americans renounced their citizenships in 2016, which is a 26% increase from the 4,279 who turned in their passports in 2015.
The main reason people are renouncing their citizenship, according to Fortune, is the U.S. tax system. Tax penalties on individuals and small businesses are not the only reason people want to get out of the system.
“The IRS has been very gracious in saying they won’t take more than 100% of your money,” says Mitchel, ironically. “These people are terrified they will go bankrupt because of the United States. They just want to get out of the U.S. tax system.”
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Fortune reports the U.S. also taxes people based on their nationality, as well.
“To some degree, it is President Obama’s fault. It was Obama and the Democratic Congress that passed a law in 2010 that forced foreign banks to disclose U.S. citizens,” says Mitchel.
According to Fortune, many people who have dual citizenship are struggling to keep up with what they owe the U.S., even if they have small bank accounts in other countries.
It is reported that many people are renouncing their citizenship because the IRS requires overseas banks to disclose American customers’ information.
Although initially, this law was aimed at people who keep millions of dollars in foreign bank accounts, Fortune says Obama’s tax reform is also affecting millions of people who have modest bank accounts in other countries.
“The United States comes after me … would you believe it, for capital gains tax on the sale of your first residence, which is not taxable in Britain. But, they’re trying to hit me with some bill. Can you believe it?” Boris Johnson, the former mayor of London and current Foreign Affairs minister for the UK, told NPR in a 2014 interview reported by The Guardian.
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