A new research has shown that Americans are renouncing their US citizenship in droves due to an unbearable political atmosphere and the COVID-19 crisis.
In the first half of 2020, more than 5,800 Americans ditched their citizenship, according to a report by Bambridge Accountants New York, a firm that specializes in US expat tax compliance.
“There has been a huge turnaround during coronavirus of US expats renouncing [citizenship], where the figures have been in steep decline since 2017,” said Alistair Bambridge, a partner at the New York-based accounting firm, RT reported.
He pointed that the main reasons Americans are surrendering their citizenship are due to a contentious political landscape, the coronavirus pandemic, and harsh tax regulations.
“The huge increase in US expats renouncing [citizenship], from our experience, is [due to the fact] that the current pandemic has allowed individuals the time to review their ties to the US and decide that the current political climate and annual US tax reporting is just too much to bear,” he stated.
The number of US citizens who renounced their citizenship in the first six months of 2020 was more than double the figure for the entire 2019.
Bambridge added that the surge in the Americans giving up their citizenship has been especially caused by ever-more onerous tax rules.
He noted that “for many Americans this intrusion is too complicated, and they make the serious step of renouncing their citizenship.”
The individuals who choose to give up their US citizenship will lose some benefits granted to citizens, including government protection, access to federal jobs, and unrestricted travel into and out of the United States. They will also lose their right to vote in US elections.
The US State Department has raised the cost of renunciation, which is a lengthy legal process, from $450 to $2,350, more than 20 times the average fee in other high-income nations, according to reports.