Bloomberg reports that the number of Americans renouncing U.S. citizenship stayed near an all-time high in the first half of the year before rules that make it harder to hide assets from tax authorities came into force.

According to Bloomberg, about 1,577 people gave up their nationality at U.S. embassies in the six months through June, according to Federal Register data published yesterday. While that’s a 13 percent decline from the year-earlier period, it’s only the second time there’s been a reading of more than 1,500, according to Bloomberg News calculations based on records starting in 1998.

Tougher asset-disclosure rules effective as of July 1 under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or Fatca, prompted 576 of the estimated 6 million Americans living overseas to give up their passports in the second quarter. The appeal of U.S. citizenship for expatriates faded as more than 100 Swiss banks turn over data on American clients to avoid prosecution for helping tax evaders.

Read more at Americans Give Up Passports as Asset-Disclosure Rules Start – Bloomberg.

Posted by Lewis J. Saret, Co-General Editor, Wealth Strategies Journal.