When Scott Schmith finally got his Swiss passport last month, it was time for him to take a drastic step: hand back his American one.Although living and working in Switzerland, his Swiss bank told him that, because of Obama-era regulations, it would be closing his bank account along with those of all other Americans:
"It was the straw that broke the camel's back," says Mr. Schmith of the consequences of the Fatca regulation. In June, the 50-year-old photographer received a certified letter from Swissbankers Prepaid Services saying the firm was terminating the relationship because of his American citizenship. The company, which is owned by several Swiss banks, asked Mr. Schmith for an address to send his account balance."Fatca" refers to the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act of 2010 which was sponsored by Sen. Max Baucus (D-Montana) and passed into law under Pelosi, Reid, and Obama.
Thomas Beck, chief executive of Swissbankers, confirms that the company canceled accounts with U.S. clients because of the administrative costs of complying with the law for the relatively small number and sizes of accounts.
"Two months later, I got my Swiss citizenship, and I decided to renounce," says Mr. Schmith.
Notice that Mr. Schmith is not renouncing citizenship because of high US taxes. He is renouncing because US regulations which made the simple act of having a local bank account impossible.
Mr. Schmith is not alone in deciding that American citizenship is not worth it. Renunciations have spiked under Obama (click to enlarge):
PREVIOUSLY on FATCA regulations:
Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin renounces US citizenship