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Record Number of Americans Renounced Citizenship in 2013

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Many Americans who are aware of our country’s current state of affairs often have this internal debate: Do I stay and help restore the country, or do I get out before things get worse?

The number of Americans deciding to become expatriates has increased by 221% according to the Treasury Department. 2,999 people permanently and willingly gave up their citizenship last year, compared to 932 in 2012.

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Under our current tax law, the motivating factors behind why someone expatriates no longer matters as the law was changed in 2004. Most expatriations are speculated to be caused primarily by factors such as family and convenience, though others cite erosion of human rights and ‘safety’ as their reason.

There are also cumbersome tax laws that citizens living abroad must abide by. The regulations to keep the IRS happy leave most Americans with nowhere to turn overseas, as foreign banks consider them too much of a liability.

This sentiment is understandable when you consider the fact that just leaving America can have a special tax cost. In a final attempt to tax you, you generally must provide documentation that you have complied with U.S. tax laws for five years. Additionally, if you have a net worth greater than $2 million, or have average annual net income tax for the five previous years of $155,000 or more, you pay an exit tax.

For this reporter, the struggle to stay in the U.S. is difficult at times. I can’t see a positive outcome for America once hyperinflation of the dollar hits. Yet what hope do we have of restoring America if its most loyal patriots jump ship?

There’s also the pesky question of where I would go if I did decide to leave. America, even with all its flaws, is still doing better than most of the world, and it will always be my home, but I can completely understand why so many people have decided its time to seek freedom elsewhere.

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