Pandemic causes huge surge in US expats renouncing their citizenship

Published:  12 May at 6 PM
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The US government’s ineffective response to the coronavirus pandemic seems to have been the last straw for huge numbers of American expats overseas.

Whilst those representing the USA’s so-called official stance on the pandemic continue to sow confusion and despair across the nation, increasing numbers of its expats living and working overseas are finally and reluctantly deciding to renounce their citizenship. Whilst a good number have already taken this irrevocable step due to the hated FATCA reporting law, those who’ve hoped for an end to dual taxation are finally giving up and getting out.

Since the beginning of this year, just under 3,000 US expats renounced their citizenship, a massive 1,104 per cent increase on the 261 cases recorded on the previous three months. It’s the highest quarterly number ever, leading to a belief the pandemic and the USA’s weak response is now the main motivation behind the wish to cut all ties as well as avoiding the onerous tax reporting laws.

It’s a costly exercise, with the renunciation fee set at $2,350, and must be done face to face at US Embassies in expats’ countries of residence. It’s believed some nine million US expatriates are scattered across the world, most of whom are long-stayers in their preferred countries of residence. The last quarter’s huge increase in renunciation numbers equals the numbers recorded for the whole of last year, and many more are now expected to use their free time in lockdown to get their affairs in order and get out.

For those who can prove they have no intention of ever returning to live in the USA, it’s a huge saving tax-wise, and also makes practical sense as many overseas banks don’t accept US clients due to the reporting they’re also forced to do by the US tax authority. The way the pandemic has been dealt with by Trump and his lackeys has had a strong effect on US expats, with the horrendous death toll totals the last straw for US citizens who used to be proud of their country.
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