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According to Treasury Department statistics published in the Federal Register, a record 5,411 US taxpayers gave up their passports or their green cards in 2016 – over 26 percent more than the previous record of 4,279 set in 2015.
The number of individuals giving up their citizenship has been notably greater in the last four years. In 2014 and 2013, the numbers reached 3,415 and 2,999, respectively. The highest level in the years before that was only 1,781 in 2011.
The acceleration in the number of individuals giving up their citizenship has coincided with increased actions by the US Treasury and Internal Revenue Service to trace American undeclared assets and income held abroad, particularly by enforcing the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and the requirement to file a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts.
According to representative bodies, Americans living abroad have become increasingly aware of their US tax reporting obligations. In particular, US citizens are finding it more difficult to bank in foreign territories as a result of FATCA.
Treasury is required by statute to publish a quarterly list including the name of each individual who has lost or renounced US citizenship during the period. For the purposes of this listing, long-term residents or green card holders are treated as if they were citizens of the US who lost citizenship.
One name that stands out from Treasury's list for the last quarter of 2016 is that of the United Kingdom's current Foreign Secretary and ex-Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.
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