The highest number of Americans ever renounced their citizenship in the first quarter of 2015 and the numbers are increasing year on year. So why would you want to give up one of the world's most powerful passports? And is it worth the effort? Tax is the number one reason people choose to give up their citizenship. Unlike many other countries, Americans must pay taxes on their worldwide income, even if they don't live in the States and haven't earned any of their money there. If you're living and working abroad, the double tax hit can be a financial problem and a bureaucratic nightmare. U.S. citizens also have to report extensively on any foreign bank accounts or face prosecution. Many foreign banks find the reporting too invasive and so won't open accounts for U.S. citizens. Even if you already live abroad, Americans breaking up with Uncle Sam don't get off lightly. It costs $2,350 to file the paperwork and you also face a hefty exit tax. Renouncing citizenship requires paying a theoretical capital gains tax which is meant to severely limit any tax benefits of leaving the country. So unless you're in the one percenters club, ditching your American passport is probably not worth the headache.