Part of the reason for the rising interest in renunciation is burdensome rules like the one about foreign accounts designed to catch people who use quitting their citizenship as a way to illegally duck their tax obligations, says Bruno, who is based in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. The Irish resident, whom she declined to name, was slapped with a penalty of several thousand dollars.
"These penalties that they came up with are oversized when compared to the misdeeds that were committed," Bruno says.
Triple the Number in a Year
As many as 743 people with American citizenship or legal resident status renounced their U.S. citizenship in 2009 – three times as many as in 2008 – which resulted in a waiting list for people to say farewell to the red, white and blue at the U.S. Embassy in London, according to the Financial Times. That represents a tiny fraction of the 7 million or so Americans living abroad, but does underscore the growing unease about the Obama administration's taxation policies among the wealthy, according to experts.