Hasta la vista, Uncle Sam! A record 1,337 Americans gave up their passports in the first three months of the year, according to new data released by the U.S. government.
That's nearly 40% of the 3,415 Americans that renounced citizenship last year, suggesting that U.S. renunciations will again hit a new high this year. In 2014, the number of Americans who gave up their passport was 15 times higher than in 2008.
The surge in renunciations is part of a backlash from expats who are tired of handling complicated tax paperwork, a burden that has increased in recent years as a new tax law kicked in.
Unlike most countries, the U.S. taxes citizens on all income, no matter where it is earned or where they live. The piles of paperwork can be so complex that expats often must seek professional help, forking over high fees to accountants and lawyers. It's common for Americans living abroad to spend thousands to prepare even a relatively simple tax return.
And the headache is only getting worse. One new law designed to catch tax cheats -- the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act -- requires individuals to report certain foreign assets, and for banks to disclose all foreign accounts held by Americans. That's in addition to another provision that mandates Americans to disclose foreign bank holdings worth more than $10,000.
The regulations are part of a wider U.S. government effort to battle tax evasion, especially after major Swiss banks admitted to helping Americans hide assets offshore.
Credit to CNN