Every election cycle, there’s always talk of a mass exodus of Americans moving to Canada. No matter who wins, that never quite seems to pan out. Apparently, it wasn’t an election but a pandemic, and a turbulent political climate, that proved to be the catalyst for Americans giving up their citizenship.
A new study from accounting firm Bambridge Accountants New York found that 5,816 Americans relinquished their citizenship in the first six months of 2020, which is an increase of over 1,210 percent from the six months prior (only 444 cases were reported in the last six months of 2019).
In the entirety of 2019, a total of 2,072 Americans renounced their citizenship, showing just how big a difference one year can make. According to Bambridge, the trend over the past six months can largely be explained by reporting tax requirements and the current political landscape in the US.
In a statement, Bloombridge Accountants partner Alistair Bambridge said, “The huge increase in U.S. expats renouncing from our experience is that the current pandemic has allowed individuals the time to review their ties to the U.S. and decide that the current political climate and annual U.S. tax reporting is just too much to bear. For U.S. citizens living abroad, they are still required to file U.S. tax returns each year, potentially pay U.S. tax and report all their foreign bank accounts, investments and pensions held outside the U.S. For many Americans this intrusion is too complicated, and they make the serious step of renouncing their citizenship as they do not plan to return to live in the U.S.”
It cost $2,350 to renounce your US citizenship.