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Why Are Rich Taxpayers Fleeing the U.S.?

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Around the world, millions of people dream of becoming U.S. citizens. Yet recently, an increasingly popular trend has gone the other way, as a record number of people have given up their U.S. citizenship so far in 2013. What's making so many people flee for other countries, and how do taxes play a role?

In the following video, Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool's director of investment planning, looks at the question of why so many rich American taxpayers have chosen to renounce their citizenship. Dan notes that taxes definitely play a role, as Facebook (NASDAQ: FB  ) co-founder Eduardo Saverin saved a substantial amount of money when he gave up his citizenship immediately before the social-network company's IPO. But Dan points out that lately, financial regulation has made it harder for U.S. citizens abroad, with many foreign banks not wanting to comply with U.S. disclosure requirements and, therefore, choosing simply not to allow U.S. citizens to have banking relationships at all. In addition, personal issues can play a role, as expatriates become comfortable, and no longer see any need to retain their U.S. citizenship.

How does Social Security get affected by renouncing citizenship?
Social Security plays a key role in your financial security, and even those who give up their citizenship can still get their benefits under certain cases, although certain restrictions apply. Regardless of your situation, our brand-new free report, "Make Social Security Work Harder For You," includes insight from our retirement experts on making the key decisions that will help ensure a more comfortable retirement for you and your family. Click here to get your copy today.

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Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On November 16, 2013, at 12:56 AM, mathisje wrote:

    Subject has been dealt better in other articles with more raw data. The answer is No! Significant numbers of 'rich' american taxpayers are not renouncing citizenship, not has there been a dramatic uptick in the number doing so.

  • Report this Comment On November 16, 2013, at 1:07 AM, summersnowflake wrote:

    It's quite easy to find a way to evade tax legally. No need to renounce citizenship. What is true though is US is less attractive to others now compared to 30 years ago for myriad reasons, taxation being one of them.

  • Report this Comment On November 16, 2013, at 4:39 AM, mrmike wrote:

    I do not believe its that high...........taxes for the super rich are ALOT lower in the US then any where else in the world except maybe a few 3rd world fact taxes for the top 10% incomes in the US are the lowest in the last 100 years in the US..........I say good riddance to the FEW greedy selfish SOBs............

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Dan Caplinger

Dan Caplinger has been a contract writer for the Motley Fool since 2006. As the Fool's Director of Investment Planning, Dan oversees much of the personal-finance and investment-planning content published daily on With a background as an estate-planning attorney and independent financial consultant, Dan's articles are based on more than 20 years of experience from all angles of the financial world.

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