Number of Expatriates in First Quarter of 2016 Rises Slightly

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By Colleen Murphy

May 4 — The number of Americans who gave up their citizenship increased 9 percent during the first quarter of 2016.

The Internal Revenue Service's quarterly list of expatriates, to be published in a May 5 Federal Register notice, tallies 1,158 individuals who renounced their U.S. citizenship or terminated their long-term U.S. residency in the quarter ending March 31, 2016.

The U.S. is the only country in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development that taxes citizens wherever they reside. The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act mandates foreign financial institutions to report U.S.-owned accounts to the IRS or face up to a 30 percent withholding tax on their U.S. source income.

In the fourth quarter of 2015, 1,058 individuals chose to expatriate. Expatriations reached 1,335 in the first quarter of 2015.

Andrew Mitchel, an international tax lawyer based in Centerbrook, Conn., said while the number of expatriations may seem high, it is less significant when compared with the 6.8 million U.S. citizens that live abroad. He said totals of about 1,000 expatriations per quarter could be the “new normal.”

“It has been a significant increase over the past few years,” Mitchel said. “But in the big picture, it's not as though large percentages of people living outside the U.S. are renouncing their citizenship.”

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To contact the editor responsible for this story: Brett Ferguson at

For More Information

Text of the IRS quarterly expatriate list is in TaxCore.

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