Nightly News   |  July 10, 2012

Songwriter Denise Rich gives up U.S. citizenship

A spokeswoman for Rich said she wanted to be closer to her longtime life partner as well as her family in Europe, but some have said that Rich is simply attempting to dodge U.S. taxes. NBC’s Andrea Mitchell reports.

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>>> while many americans are struggling to make ends meet, there is a growing trend among some of america's ultrawealthy, they're willing to give up their citizenship in many cases to save money and taxes. our report tonight from nbc's andrea mitchell .

>> we know this saxophone has your name on it.

>> reporter: a songwriter and philanthropist got the president of the united states , the first lady and michael jackson to headline her fund-raisers for cancer, honoring her daughter gabrielle who died leukemia. she supported the clinton campaign. just before leaving office, bill clinton faced a storm of criticism for pardoning her former husband mark rich who fled prosecutors for tax fraud in 1983 .

>> just to be recognized by your peers is so wonderful.

>> reporter: from politics to the grammys, denise rich always surrounded herself with superstars and the superrich.

>> it's just a lot of funning and everyone has a lot of fun.

>> reporter: now she's put her 5th avenue apartment on the market for $65 million. it's not only denise rich , facebook co-founder gave up his citizenship before the facebook ipo, he moved to singapore. why the trend? because an irs crackdown and to avoid estate taxes .

>> they don't pay any estate tax when they die. this is a big concern to them, particularly for preserving family businesses.

>> rich says she gave up her status for her long time partner.

>> you don't need to renounce your citizenship to be closer to your family. we all know the reason she's doing this, and it's to avoid paying taxes. i find the people who renounce their american citizenship despicable.

>> reporter: whatever the reason, whose father escaped the holocaust and found refuge in the u.s. has now become a citizen of austria.