The Rise in US Citizens Voluntarily Renouncing Citizenship


Photo of a united states passport

Madolynn Morgan, Staff Writer

Within the past few years, many United States citizens have voluntarily renounced their citizenship. Primary reasons being US taxes and overall dislike towards the United states due to legislation and lack of governmental trust. In 1989, a reported 398 United States citizens renounced their citizenship; this was on a steady rise compared to years before. 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2012 there was a significant rise in these cases. The year 2016 held the record number of 5,411 until Covid19 hit hard in 2020 leaving 6,705 renounced. As an estimated nine million Americans live overseas in 2022, a common issue citizen have had is citizen based taxation. Due to the United states are one of only two countries the other being Eritrea, an East African country bordering Ethiopia.

These taxes both affect Americans abroad and “accidental citizens”. Accidental citizens are defined as US citizens who live abroad and are unaware of their US taxpayer status and obligations as a United states citizen. A famous accidental citizen was Borris Johnson the ex-prime minister of the United Kingdom. This affected him when he sold his London home in 2009, though the UK didn’t force him to pay capital gain taxes, he was forced to pay a US tax bill. This is because Americans must pay the global income tax back to the American IRS no matter where they live. Many of the estimated nine million United States citizens live overseas, and as taxes steadily rise, accidental citizens are renouncing their citizenship. This is a serious decision that Americans are nearly forced to consider spawning heavy discussions about both pros and cons of US citizenship.  Some of the pros are you will in longer need to fill out thing like tax returns , 5471 forms , or report you overseas bank account information this reducues stress and alow you to use that time for more important things. But there are also cons like you no longer have as open access to the us job market , you also canot vote in us elections, and you no longer have access to things like consular protection.Too people thinking of making this decision you should weight out your options, and understand that this is a decision shouldn’t be made lightly.