Giving up citizenship to what may be the country of your birth, or the country where much of your family lives is a very hard decision to make. It can mean severing emotional ties, or it can feel like betraying a heritage. But for many American expats who feel like they’ve just been pushed too far, that’s exactly what they’re doing.
For some posters on ExpatForum, it’s about protecting spouses and children from further harm caused by ham-fisted and draconian IRS regulations (penalties as well as the costs of annual compliance).
For others, it’s the increasing difficulty in finding a bank – a necessity of modern life almost no matter where in the world you live – willing to take on American customers given the new risks that FATCA imposes.
In 2010, over 1,500 Americans formally renounced their US citizenship. This is double the number that renounced in 2009, which was already seven times the number of renouncers in 2008. While still only a small fraction of all US expatriots, the number is growing rapidly, and only stands to increase as FATCA comes into effect.
The kicker for many ‘accidental Americans’ is that they are required to get a passport in order to renounce it.