Record numbers of U.S. citizens are renouncing their citizenship according to numbers reported by a New York accountancy firm.

Bambridge Accountants reports that 5,816 people gave up U.S. citizenship in the first half of 2020 — a 1,210 per cent increase on the previous six months in which only 444 cases were recorded.

The first two quarters of 2020 also rank as having the first and second highest numbers on record at 2,909 and 2,907 respectively.

In 2019, only 2,072 Americans gave up their citizenship.

Bambridge specializes in preparing and filing taxes for U.S. and UK expats, particularly those in creative fields such as acting.

The firm cites the pandemic as a motivating factor for U.S. expats to cut ties and avoid the current political climate and onerous tax reporting.

Alistair Bambridge, a partner at the firm, told CNN: “These are mainly people who already left the U.S. and just decided they’ve had enough of everything.”

He adds: “What we’ve seen is people are over everything happening with President Donald Trump, how the coronavirus pandemic is being handled, and the political policies in the U.S. at the moment.”

There are approximately 9 million Americans living outside of the U.S.

Each year they are required to file tax returns, and report all of their foreign bank accounts, investments and pensions.

Bambridge explains: “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.”

On a positive note, those who have retained their citizenship remain eligible for any stimulus payments authorized by the U.S. government in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Asked about the impact of the November election on the number of people giving up their citizenship, Bambridge said: “If President Trump is re-elected, we believe there will be another wave of people who will decide to renounce their citizenship.”

In order to renounce their citizenship, Americans must pay a $2,350 government fee, and those based overseas must do so in person at a U.S. Embassy.

Every three months the U.S. government publishes the names of those who have given up their citizenship.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security records show that in 2018, the year with the most recent data available, 761,901 people were naturalized as U.S. citizens.

Highlights of the report, “Americans continue giving up citizenship at record levels,” by Bambridge Accountants on August 9, 2020:

* 5,816 Americans gave up their citizenship in the first six months of 2020.

* Showing a 1,210% increase on the prior six months to December 2019, where only 444 cases were recorded.

* 2,072 Americans gave up their citizenship in 2019 in total.

* This is the second highest quarter on record; the record is 2,909 cases for the first quarter of 2020.

* It seems that the pandemic has motivated U.S. expats to cut ties and avoid the current political climate and onerous tax reporting.

There are an estimated 9 million U.S. expats. The trend has been that there has been a steep decline over the last few years of U.S. citizens expatriating – the first six months of 2020 is a huge increase in the number of Americans renouncing their citizenship.

Under the IRS rules (section 6039g), every three months the U.S. Government publishes the names of all Americans who give up their citizenship. The first six months for 2020 had 5,816 Americans renouncing their citizenship, far more than the total of the four quarters for 2019 (2,072 Americans renounced).


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