A record of more than 6,000 Americans renounced their citizenship in the first nine months of the year, a new report shows.
According to Bambridge Accountants New York, 6,045 Americans gave up their citizenship in the first nine months of 2020 compared to 1,811 in the first nine months of 2019.
The total number in 2019 was 2,072. The previous record was 5,411 cases in 2016, the New York accounting firm said.
The record numbers of Americans giving up their citizenship in the first nine months of 2020 is the tip of the iceberg"
Americans must pay a $2,350 government fee to renounce their citizenship, and those based overseas must do so in person at the US Embassy in their country.
There are an estimated 9 million US expats. The trend has been that there has been a steep decline over the last few years of US citizens expatriating - the first six months of 2020 is a huge increase in the number of Americans renouncing their citizenship.
In the past decade, more than 37,000 Americans filed paperwork to expatriate, according to the Federal Register, which publishes a list of names of erstwhile citizens.
Alistair Bambridge, partner at Bambridge Accountants New York, said: "There has been a huge interest in 2020 for Americans overseas looking to renounce their citizenship, where the figures have been in steep decline since 2017."
"The record numbers of Americans giving up their citizenship in the first nine months of 2020 is the tip of the iceberg and if the US Embassies and Consulates were all open, there would be much higher levels for 2020."
"From our experience, increasingly Americans abroad have had enough of President Trump and the administration of the last four years and can't bear the thought of four more years. For those individuals, the situation is so serious that they are willing to give up their citizenship so they are not linked to the political policies in the US."
"I speak to US citizens on a daily basis who are looking to renounce their citizenship, so there will be a large wave of US citizens renouncing their citizenship once they are able to book appointments again. There are some US citizens so desperate to give up their citizenship that they are booking holidays to the Bahamas or the Turks and Caicos Islands, or other far-off places, where appointments are still being offered to give up their citizenship."
In September of this year, Newsweek reported that the covid-19 pandemic alone is not responsible for these record numbers. "The paperwork for the 5,315 renunciations completed so far this year began long before covid-19 ravaged the country and made Americans global pariahs.
In fact, most Americans giving up their US passport already live abroad and hold another citizenship. In surveys and testimonials, these people say they're dropping their US citizenship because American anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism regulations make it too onerous and expensive to keep."