US is collecting millions from people who are fleeing the country

US Passport and fees for giving it up

The US government has collected $12.6 million in renunciation fees since fall 2014.

Much of that money was collected as the result of quadrupling the charge for ditching US citizenship.

The US government now charges $2,350 apiece to ditch your passport of green card, up from $450 just one year prior.

The higher renunciation charges have come at a time when more people than ever are cutting ties to the US.

Last year, 4,279 Americans decided they no longer wanted to be Americans, up 20% from 2014, and 18 times as many as in 2008.

While fees have increased, US embassies and consulates are spending more money than ever to process a record number of renunciations.

US citizens are also often hit with a giant “exit tax” bill, although experts say even when a rich American pays “millions of dollars” it is still far less than the US government could have collected over their lifetime.

Compounding the issue is the fact that Americans often spend upwards of $20,000 hiring a team of accountants and lawyers to help with renunciation paperwork.

Many Americans are giving up their citizenship because of the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, which requires businesses around the globe to report all assets held by Americans.

Some international banks have even stopped serving US customers rather than wrestle with the complicated law.