Record number of Americans are giving up their citizenship

More Americans are giving up their citizenship
More Americans are giving up their citizenship

As the White House engages in a fierce fight to restrict travel into the U.S. by citizens of some Muslim-majority countries, a record number of Americans are voluntarily renouncing their citizenship.

Last year, 5,411 people "expatriated" by renouncing their U.S. citizenship or terminating long-term residency in the U.S., recent data from the Treasury Department show.

This marks a 26 percent jump from the record set in 2015, when 4,279 individuals expatriated.

What's driving the surge?

Tax law firm Andrew Mitchel LLC, which tracks the number closely, attributed the increase to "the escalation of offshore penalties over the last 20 years, (which) is likely contributing to the increased incidence of expatriation."

Indeed, the Treasury Department has upped its enforcement of tax rules for American expats, and some have decided that having to file taxes with multiple countries is just not worth the headache.