- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A record-setting number of Americans renounced their citizenship in 2014, up from 2,999 in 2013 to 3,415, Treasury Department statistics showed.

The big issue?

The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, CNBC reported. That particular law mandates that foreign banks have to identify and reveal information on any U.S. citizen who has an account of $50,000 or higher, else face a freeze-out of the domestic financial market.

The law was aimed at catching tax cheats who try and dodge the Internal Revenue Service by putting their money overseas — but the consequence has been to drive a lot of Americans to renounce their citizenship, CNBC reported.

The 3,415 who renounced in 2014 is by far the largest number ever. In 2012, only 932 gave up their American citizenship; in 2011, it was 1,781; in 2010, a reported 1,534; and in the years before that, the highest recorded level of renouncements was 762, CNBC found.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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