In their scramble to shield their wealth from higher taxes, America’s richest individuals are considering relocating to tax-friendlier states and in some cases tax-friendlier countries.

“A growing number of our wealthiest clients are seeking advice on moving their funds and themselves not only across state lines but across national borders as fears grow over the direction of U.S. tax policy,” Nigel Green, CEO of the deVere Group, an international financial advisory firm, said in a statement.

In January, the firm saw a 48% month-on-month increase in the number of high-net-worth individuals – those with $1 million or more in assets – enquiring about permanently relocating outside the U.S., according to Green.

“When high-net-worth individuals are taxed to perceived excessive levels, they simply move to lower jurisdictions because they have the resources to do so,” Green said.

Among some of the high-profile individuals who abandoned the U.S. for lower-tax countries are Eduardo Saverin, the billionaire co-founder of Facebook who recently moved to Singapore, and socialite and songwriter Denise Rich who renounced her U.S. citizenship in favor of an Austrian one and moved to London.  

“It’s a global trend demonstrated by Gérard Depardieu giving up his French passport in favor of Russian nationality, and France’s richest man, luxury goods magnate Bernard Arnault, having transferred his multi-billion euro fortune to Belgium in response to Hollande’s threat of a millionaire’s tax,” Green said.

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