It seems like it was only yesterday when we wrote that a record number of Americans have renounced their citizenship by expatriating and handing over their US passports one last time. Well, make that recorder after Thursday's release by the IRS of its latest "taxpatriot list" - a quarterly report that is published in the Federal Register and list the names of every person who renounced thier U.S. citizenship during the previous quarter.
The original idea for publishing these names was that it would become a list of shame, with some government tax lawyers unofficially labeling it the "name and shame" list. But judging by the soaring numbers of people who clearly don't mind putting their name on paper just to get rid of their US passport, it didn’t quite work out that way. In fact to many people being added to the "taxpatriot list" has become a badge of honor.
How many? According to the IRS, in the first quarter of 2015 a record 1,335 Americans renounced their citizenship, 26% more than in the previous quarter, and 18% more than the previous all time high quarter which was in Q2 of 2013.
If one anualizes the Q1 number, the number of 2015 expatriates is set to hit roughly 5,340, or a 56% increase to what was already the record expatriation year of 2014, in which 3415 Americans punched a hole through their passport.
Some thoughts from Bloomberg on this "highly distressing" trend:
“The cost of compliance with the complex tax treatment of non-resident U.S. citizens and the potential penalties I face for incorrect filings and for holding non-U.S. securities forces me to consider whether it would be more advantageous to give up my U.S. citizenship,” Stephanos Orestis, a U.S. citizen living in Oslo, wrote in a March 23 letter to the Senate Finance Committee. “The thought of doing so is highly distressing for me since I am a born and bred American with a love for my country.”
London Mayor Boris Johnson, who had a tax dispute with the IRS, said earlier this year that he would give up the U.S. citizenship he received because he was born in New York. His name isn’t on the IRS list. Eduardo Saverin, a Brazilian-born co-founder of Facebook Inc., gave up his U.S. citizenship in 2012
In any event, whether for tax purposes, because they are tired of living in an Orwellian dystopia (recall that last week a Federal appeals court found the NSA's decade-long pervasive spying on US citizens was illegal, a move which will result in absolutely no change in America's police status), or for any other reason, a record number of former Americans have had enough and just said no to their US citizenship. A trend, which as can be easily seen below, is far from over.
As to whether the following latest IRS expat list is one of shaming, or naming 1335 taxpatriots, we leave it up to readers to decide.