Trump presidency causes huge rise in Americans renouncing citizenship

Published:  28 Apr at 6 PM
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Trump’s first 100 days as President has, according to official figures, caused a massive rise in the number of Americans renouncing their citizenship and becoming permanent expats.

As the Trump administration struggles to find anything to celebrate about The Donald’s first 100 days as US president, the thousands of Americans who’ve now deserted the sinking ship are enjoying their new lives overseas. Even before last year’s Presidential election, high-profile individuals as well as everyday Americans stated their determination to give up and leave should Trump end up in the White House.

Immediately Trump’s entry into the presidential race was announced in 2015, the number of US citizens seriously considering renouncing their citizenship began to rise. A year later, the trend had reached a high point, with forecasts predicting even more disenchanted Americans would follow. The latest Internal Revenue Service (IRS) quarterly publication listing the names of those who’ve renounced their citizenship has supported the forecasts, with a stunning increase from 2,300 in the last quarter of 2016 to 5,400 between January 1 and February 9.

Previously, the main reason for giving up on America was thought to be the country’s double taxation rules and its punishing new FATCA laws, but the shock election result and the resulting chaos in government is now being seen as the number one reason for the exodus. Other nations are taking advantage of the situation, with New Zealand, Canada, Cyprus and others launching promotion campaigns aimed at American would-be expats.

In the past, multiple reasons accounted for the estimated nine million Americans living overseas. Missionary work, economic betterment, study overseas, marriage and politics in general have been cited as the main triggers for moving abroad, but the present trend is clearly focused on Trump.

Renouncing American citizenship is an expensive business, with the exit tax payable calculated on the individual’s annual earnings. Even long-term Green Card holders with permanent residence must pay to leave. Previously, the tax charged averaged $450, but has now been raised to $2,350. According to the USA’s State Department, upping the fee was simply a reaction to increased demand, but the numbers have continued to rise despite the extra expense.
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