The United States of America is going through a challenging time right now, due to the covid-19 pandemic, a heated upcoming presidential election and an incredibly divided political landscape.

On top of all that, new figures have shown that more Americans are renouncing their citizenship than ever before.

Research done by the Enrolled Agents and Bambridge Accounts revealed that 5,816 Americans gave up citizenship in the first half of this year. According to their figures, this is more than the number for the entirety of 2019, which was 2,072.

With an estimated nine million U.S expats, this still represents a low percentage of American citizens who live abroad.

Nonetheless, the increase in numbers is still startling, with several commentators suggesting that it may be due to the current pandemic and political issues within the country.

Alistair Bambridge, partner at Bambridge Accountants, points to these issues.

He said: “The huge increase in U.S. expats renouncing from our experience is that the current pandemic has allowed individuals the time to review their ties to the U.S. and decide that the current political climate and annual US tax reporting is just too much to bear.

“For U.S. citizens living abroad, they are still required to file U.S. tax returns each year, potentially pay U.S. tax and report all their foreign bank accounts, investments and pensions held outside the U.S. For many Americans this intrusion is too complicated, and they make the serious step of renouncing their citizenship as they do not plan to return to live in the U.S.”

To renounce citizenship, a citizen must pay a government fee of over $2,000 and those within another country may have to visit the U.S embassy in that given country to do so.r