This marks a 26 percent jump from the previous record set in 2015, when 4,279 individuals expatriated.

What’s driving the surge?

Tax law firm Andrew Mitchel LLC, which tracks the number closely, attributed the increase to “the escalation of offshore penalties over the last 20 years, (which) is likely contributing to the increased incidence of expatriation.”

Indeed, the Treasury Department has upped its enforcement of tax rules for American expats, and some have decided that having to file taxes with multiple countries is just not worth the headache.