Number of Americans Renouncing Citizenship Soaring
(PRESS TV) The number of Americans giving up their citizenship has risen considerably this year, but why this is happening has yet to be determined. Americans that renounced their US citizenship jumped six fold in the second quarter of 2013. More than 1,130 cases have been registered, compared to only 189 cases in the same period last year.
Experts speculate that new tax laws to be implemented next year are the cause for this spike. The culprit is believed to be the Foreign Accounts Tax Compliance Act which is meant to recover unpaid taxes from Americans overseas, estimated at $100 billion per year.
But one American citizen who has attempted three times to revoke his citizenship states there are other reasons as well.
Ken O’Keefe is an Irish citizen who attempted on three occasions to renounce his American passport on moral grounds, mainly in opposition to the military policies of the United States government.
O’Keefe says his first and second attempts at renunciation in 2001 were denied by the US government because he held no other citizenship. Upon obtaining his Irish citizenship, he again requested his American one be given up in 2004, but was again denied, this time without explanation.
A State Department spokeswoman told Press TV that they cannot discuss O’Keefe’s case, due to privacy laws.
Unlike some other nationalities, Americans pay taxes to both the US and as citizens of the countries they live in. Experts state that with the added burden of more stringent tax laws, citizenship renunciation may become more common.