A record number of Americans renounced their U.S. citizenship in the first part of 2015, following a year where more Americans fled to other countries than ever before to avoid high taxes, according to a report in CNS News.
The number of citizens deciding to become expatriates has been growing, with most former citizens citing America’s taxe rates as the reason for leaving the land of the free. According to a survey by the University of Kent, the desire to flee America’s burdensome tax structure is not exclusive to the ultra-wealthy.
“Of those who have renounced or relinquished US citizenship, nearly half (43%) have annual pre-tax household incomes of under $100,000” the survey reports.
While the number of Americans renouncing their citizenship remains fairly small – 3,415 did so last year – the percentage of people considering the move is larger than expected.
According to the survey, almost 28 percent of respondents who make less than $100,000 a year are “considering” renouncing their citizenship. As could be expected, upper income respondents – those who make more than $250,000 annually – were slightly more inclined to leave the U.S., with 33 percent saying they were considering it.
“Of the overall US citizen respondents, 31 percent have actively thought about renouncing US citizenship and 3% are in the process of doing so,” the survey said.
In an effort to discourage the upward trend in emigration from the United States, the government raised the fee for those wishing to formally relinquish their citizenship from $450 to $2,350.
Apparently boosting the IRS fee for leaving an already high-tax country hasn’t slowed many people down.