The Wall Street Journal

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More Taxpayers Are Abandoning the U.S.
The Wall Street Journal

This year will set a record for expatriations by U.S. taxpayers, with at least a 33% increase from the previous high in 2011. The Treasury Department published the names of 560 people who either were U.S. citizens renouncing their citizenship or long-term residents who turned in their green cards during the third quarter.

That brings the total so far this year to 2,369, according to Andrew Mitchel, a tax lawyer in Centerbrook, Conn., who tracks the data. For all of 2011, the number of published expatriates was 1,781, he said.

Taxpayers who expatriate aren’t required to give a reason, but experts said the overall increase was likely because of tougher enforcement of U.S. tax laws. « Nothing has changed in immigration law that would make people want to renounce, » said Freddi Weintraub, an immigration specialist and partner at Fragomen Worldwide, a New York-based law firm. « Current or anticipated changes in tax law and enforcement are driving this increase. »

Experts said the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act also may have contributed to rising renunciations. Set to take effect next year, it requires foreign financial institutions to report account information about U.S. taxpayers to the IRS. Affected taxpayers include both U.S. citizens and green-card holders living in the U.S. and abroad.

Quand Bush était président, on nous parlait constamment des Américains qui menaçaient de renoncer à leur citoyenneté pour manifester leur honte d’avoir un président républicain. Ironiquement, il aura fallu un président démocrate pour que ces menaces se matérialisent…

Plus fondamentalement, rappelons-nous qu’il vaut mieux taxer 100$ à un taux de 1% que de taxer 0$ à un taux de 50%, le 100$ ayant fui vers un pays qui taxe à 1%…