Congress is considering new sanctions against Americans who renounce their U.S. citizenship to avoid paying taxes.
The legislation in the U.S. Senate is aimed at wealthy businessmen and investors who use citizenship renunciation to protect their fortunes.
Grammy-nominated songwriter Denise Rich gave lawmakers new incentives to pass legislation this month when she gave up her U.S. citizenship and moved to London. She also holds Austrian citizenship.
Rich, 68, is the ex-wife of billionaire Wall Street investor Marc Rich, who was pardoned by President Bill Clinton after fleeing to Switzerland to avoid prosecution for tax evasion and profiteering allegations. She has written songs for Mary J. Blige, Aretha Franklin, Jessica Simpson and Mandy Moore.
Denise Rich's renunciation comes after Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin gave up his U.S. citizenship and moved to Singapore earlier this year. Saverin saved millions in U.S. taxes when Facebook became a public company.
Sens. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Bob Casey, D-Pa., are sponsoring the Expatriation Prevention by Abolishing Tax-Related Incentives for Offshore Tenancy Act. The bill would eliminate the tax advantages to renouncing U.S. citizenship and also impose a 30% capital gains tax on those who give it up.
Some members of Congress support even stronger sanctions, including prohibiting those who renounce their citizenship from re-entering the country again.