Americans renouncing citizenship in record numbers, seek to avoid tax 

Published August 12, 2013 
The Wall Street Journal 

The U.S.'s crackdown on global tax evaders is leading to a record number of 
people renouncing their citizenship, and its effects are being felt keenly 
in Asia -- now the world's wealthiest region by household assets. 

A growing number of wealthy Americans in Asia -- and others with green cards -- 
are exploring whether to renounce their U.S. 
citizenship or give up their green cards to avoid onerous tax obligations. 

Globally, more U.S. citizens have renounced their citizenship in the first and 
second quarters than all of 2012 combined, and 2013 is 
already on track to becoming a record year for renunciations. A total of 1,130 
names appeared on the latest list of renunciations from the 
Internal Revenue Service, according to Andrew Mitchel, a tax lawyer who tracks 
the data. That is far above the previous high of 679, 
set in the first quarter, and more than were reported in all of 2012. 

While those numbers are still a fraction of the estimated six million Americans 
living abroad, lawyers say the main trigger for cutting ties 
with U.S. recently is the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or Fatca, which 
requires foreign institutions to disclose the overseas assets 
of U.S. green-card holders and citizens to the U.S. government. 

The U.S. Congress estimates that tax evasion by U.S. citizens results in losses 
of up to $100 billion a year. The main objective of 
Fatca is to identify people who may be evading taxes through offshore 
investment vehicles. 

"When I became an immigration lawyer 30 years ago, people really were excited 
about going to America. Now, more than half of my 
clients are people thinking of other alternatives rather than people seeking to 
immigrate to America," said Eugene Chow, the principal of Chow King & 
Associates. 

Click for more from The Wall Street Journal.


Dr. Roger B Clough NIST (ret.) [1/1/2000] 
See my Leibniz site at 
http://independent.academia.edu/RogerClough

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