Every quarter the United States government publishes a list of individuals who have chosen to renounce their US citizenship.
The latest list came out yesterday, and 1,376 people are on it.
That might sound like a small number, but the total for 2017 is projected to be more than 20% higher than 2016… and 2016 was 26% higher than the total number from 2015.
In fact the number of Americans renouncing their citizenship has been rising dramatically for years.
The primary driver behind this is taxes, plain and simple.
The Land of the Free is one of the ONLY countries on the planet that taxes its citizens on their worldwide income, EVEN IF they don't live in the United States.
You could be an 'accidental' US citizen, i.e. one of your parents is American, but you live your entire life overseas. It's possible that you've never set foot on US soil or even speak English.
And yet Uncle Sam will still demand his fair share of your worldwide income. Plus interest and penalties.
Beyond that, the cost and hassle of maintaining tax compliance has grown worse ever since the US government passed the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) back in 2010.
I've written about this a number of times, calling FATCA quite literally the worst piece of legislation in US history.
The idea behind FATCA was to uncover any hidden money that Americans might be hiding overseas… so the law included countless rules that were thrust upon foreign businesses, banks, and governments.
It was the height of arrogance– the US government extending its jurisdiction to the entire world and commanding everyone to follow its laws.