The number of Americans renouncing their citizenship fell sharply in the second quarter, to 189 from 520 for the same period in 2011, according to a list released by the Treasury Department on Friday.
A 1996 law requires the Treasury Department to publish a list of new renunciations each quarter. The list includes names of people who renounce their permanent residency by turning in their "green cards" as well as those who renounce U.S. citizenship.
The last list of expatriations, released April 30, revealed the names of co-founder and billionaire Eduardo Saverin, and Denise Eisenberg Rich, a Grammy-nominated songwriter and the ex-wife of commodities trader Marc Rich. In the first quarter of 2012, expatriations totaled 460.
The sharp decrease in the second quarter took some experts by surprise. "It may be that many people who were inclined to expatriate have already taken steps to do so," said Bryan Skarlatos, a tax attorney at Kostelanetz & Fink in New York.Expatriations surged to almost 1,800 in 2011, a sixfold increase from 2008. Experts say the increase was related to a recent drive to enforce U.S. tax laws concerning foreign accounts.