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Letter: What is U.S. citizenship really worth?

Editor, Gazette-Journal:

Last year, nearly 3,000 Americans renounced their citizenship. In 2012, 1,800 did so. This year, the number is expected to increase yet again. This is a growing but sad trend.

U.S. taxes are complex and carry severe penalties for non-compliance. Foreign bank account reports, known as FBARs, carry civil and criminal penalties. Then there is the recent Foreign Accounts Taxation Compliance Act (FACTA), which requires filing an annual form once foreign assets reach a certain threshold.

FACTA requires the systematic reporting of American names by foreign banks all over the world. Yes, even China and Russia have signed on, as have over 70 other nations. Our complex tax code, and especially the onerous reporting requirements that come with it, are turning many Americans into economic lepers. Many foreign banks refuse Americans as customers simply to avoid entanglements with the IRS. The largest bank in Mexico, Banamex, recently closed out the accounts of all Americ...

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