From MSN Money:
An IRS tax-avoidance crackdown on people living abroad appears to be behind the recent spike.
By Jonathan Berr 3 hours ago
The number of Americans who have given up their citizenship soared sixfold in the second quarter as the government prepares to adopt more stringent disclosures for overseas assets, according to Bloomberg News.
Overall, the number is tiny — just 1,131 in the three months through June versus 189 in the year-earlier period — but it highlights the unease many expatriates are feeling about the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), which requires them to disclose foreign assets in excess of $50,000 to the IRS. Financial institutions abroad must now provide the IRS with information about accounts held by U.S. taxpayers and foreign entities in which U.S. taxpayers hold a substantial ownership interest.
“The U.S., the only nation in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development that taxes citizens wherever they reside, is searching for tax cheats in offshore centers, including Switzerland, as the government tries to curb the budget deficit,” the news service says.
More at the link. But this is hardly a surprise. Americans living abroad long-term are primarily very well-to-do; they are being hit with higher taxes and increased federal efforts to collect those taxes, and receive far fewer government services from the United States. On top of that, they know that a major portion of their tax dollars is going to subsidize the lifestyles of people who will not work. WE don’t know how many of them are just trying to save money on taxes in general, and how many are simply disgusted at having to pay for the malingerers, the malcontents and the malefactors, but I’d guess that there are far more in the latter category than our Democratic friends would admit.