New York Times: “On April 30, the Treasury Department announced that 461 Americans had renounced their citizenship in the first quarter of 2012. A 1996 law requires that every person doing so be named, with their names published in the Federal Register. The idea is to shame those who may be renouncing their citizenship solely to escape taxation.
The extreme step of renouncing one’s citizenship is necessary to escape taxation by the United States, because the United States, alone among the major nations of the world, taxes its citizens wherever on earth they live.
Other countries tax only those who live and work within their borders; if their citizens live and work in another country, they are liable only for taxes incurred in that country.
Americans living abroad, however, must not only pay taxes in the country in which they are living, but United States taxes as well, although there is an exemption of $93,000 that is adjusted for inflation annually. The only legal way for American citizens to avoid American taxes is to renounce their citizenship and live their lives permanently in another country.”