Paul L. Caron

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Record Number of Americans (Including Hamid Karzai's Brother) Renounce Their Citizenship

CNN, U.S. Citizens Ditch Passports in Record Numbers, by Lynnley Browning:

If the recent quarter's pace continues, 2013 will become a landmark year for saying goodbye to America, tax-wise. ...

Americans are ditching their U.S. passports in record numbers, a sign of growing frustration with a system that taxes U.S. citizens on their global wealth whether they live in Montana or Mongolia.

The latest bold-faced names to relinquish their U.S. citizenship include Mahmood Karzai, a brother of Hamid Karzai, the president of Afghanistan, according to federal data released Wednesday. Also on the list, published quarterly by the IRS, is Isabel Getty, the daughter of jet-setting socialite Pia Getty and Getty oil heir Christopher Getty.

In total, more than 670 U.S. passport holders gave up their citizenship -- and with it, their U.S. tax bills -- in the first three months of this year. That is the most in any quarter since the I.R.S. began publishing figures in 2008. And it is nearly three-quarters of the total number for all of 2012, a year in which the wealthy songwriter-socialite Denise Rich (christened "Lady Gatsby" by Yachting magazine) and Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin joined more than 932 other Americans in tossing their passports.

If the recent quarter's pace continues, 2013 will become a landmark year for saying goodbye to America, tax-wise.

International Tax Blog, Q1 2013 - Highest Quarterly Number of Expatriates Ever (But . . . ):


The number of Published Expatriates was 679. This is the highest quarterly number of Published Expatriates ever. However, the prior quarter number of expatriates (Q4 2012) was only 45. For the 8 quarters prior to the fourth quarter of 2012, the average number of names listed per quarter was 383. The average of the two quarters (Q4 2012 and Q1 2013) is 362. It appears that the government forgot to include some of the names in the Q4 2012 list, and that they have now included those names in the Q1 2013 list.

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I have dealt with many individuals who moved from the US decades ago or who were born outside the US but were "granted" US citizenship from birth whether desired by their parents or not. Many have never had US passports, voted in the US, or lived in the US. The US has then imposed steadily more burdensome filing and penalty obligations than are faced by US citizens who are US residents with only US income/assets. The US has also imposed facially neutral tax obligations that have a much greater adverse impact on US citizens resident outside the US than on US citizens resident in the US.

Virtually all paid substantial tax in their countries of residence.

For such individuals, renunciation of US citizenship is seen as the only way to avoid these burdens. Not one has expressed disloyalty to the US. Many have expressed regret that their families' financial wellbeing required such a step.

Posted by: Dave | May 10, 2013 1:59:07 PM

These people earned their money, but the welfare creeps want to steal it. If renouncing citizenship is how these earners choose to maintain their right to "pursuit of happiness", then more power to them.

Posted by: Yossarian | May 10, 2013 7:14:10 AM

Enemies for giving up U.S. citizenship? Are you kidding me? How about tired of being raped and pillaged by a government that can't manage its way out of a paper bag? You are confused about where opportunity comes from. It isn't deferred upon someone by a government. The United States government was formed by the people and for the people - a republic. When it ceases to be by and for the people, the people have the right to leave. Opportunity comes from freedom and when you take away freedoms, you prevent opportunity. This country is going down the toilet and unless we do an about face in protecting personal liberty and stop the excessive taxation, people will continue to leave.

Posted by: Sarah | May 10, 2013 6:20:56 AM

Sid - I disagree. The traitors that you are talking about are sitting in Wash DC. Politicians have killed more Americans than everyone else combined. Wake up and smell the stench!

Posted by: John Trust | May 10, 2013 5:27:38 AM

These people should never be allowed in the US again...traitors everyone. America gave them the opportunity to become wealthy and they turn their back on it for money.....their names should be published so people can spit on them whenever they see them...they are no different than a person who sells out to our enemies...

Posted by: Sid | May 9, 2013 6:50:04 PM