Record numbers of Americans are renouncing their US citizenship according to new numbers reported by a New York accountancy firm.
Bambridge Accountants said in a statement that that 5,816 people gave up US citizenship in the first half of 2020 — a giant 1,210% increase on the previous six months in which only 444 cases were recorded.
In the whole of 2019, a total of 2,072 US citizens renounced their citizenship. Every three months the US government publishes the names of those who have given up their citizenship.
"These are mainly people who already left the US and just decided they've had enough of everything," - Alistair Bambridge told news outlet CNN
The first two quarters of 2020 also rank as having the first and second highest numbers on record at 2,909 and 2,907 respectively, with the impact of controversial policies introduced by current US president Donald Trump cited as a key factor.
In order to renounce their citizenship, Americans must pay a $2,350 fee, and those based overseas have to do so in person at a US Embassy.
Bambridge specialises in preparing and filing taxes for US and UK expats, particularly those in creative fields. As well as Trump, it cites the pandemic as a motivating factor for US expats to cut ties and avoid the current political climate and onerous tax reporting.
Alistair Bambridge, a partner at the firm, told news outlet CNN: "These are mainly people who already left the US and just decided they've had enough of everything."
"What we've seen is people are over everything happening with President Donald Trump, how the coronaviruspandemic is being handled, and the political policies in the US at the moment."
There are approximately nine million currently Americans living outside of the US. Each year they are required to file tax returns, and report all of their foreign bank accounts, investments and pensions.
"The current pandemic has allowed individuals the time to review their ties to the US and decide that the current political climate and annual US tax reporting is just too much to bear," Bambridge added.
Asked about the impact of the November election on the number of people giving up their citizenship, Mr Bambridge said: "If President Trump is re-elected, we believe there will be another wave of people who will decide to renounce their citizenship."