WASHINGTON- The American government is making millions of dollars as it has collected in fees around $12.6 million since fall 2014, by quintupling the amount it charges for renunciations.
According to official data of CNNMoney analysis, the amount is more than double the total it generated over the last six years.
Now the American citizens and long-term residents pay $2,350 each to ditch their passports or green cards, up from $450 previously.
The higher renunciation charges have come at a time when more people than ever are cutting ties to the US.
In 2015, 4,279 Americans bid Uncle Sam farewell, up 20 percent 2014. That’s 18 times as many as in 2008, and the third year in a row that’s set a new record.
According to Dianne Mehany, a tax attorney who assists with renunciations, increasing fees is a way for the US to capitalize on the rising trend.
She said, “We are in a difficult economic climate, and the government is looking for any method by which to increase revenue, defray costs.”
The charges are far from a straightforward gain for the US government’s coffers, though.
The increase in renunciation charges helps offset the costs for the American embassies and consulates around the world that have to process all these rejections.