Accidental Americans in France now being targeted by FATCA

Published:  3 Jan at 6 PM
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Tagged: France, USA, Citizenship
France is urging its banks not to shut down accounts held by so-called ‘accidental Americans’ holding French nationality and living in France.

Groups of French citizens ‘accidentally’ born in the USA whilst their parents were on a short stay are urging the French government to act and prevent the FATCA related closure of their bank accounts. An estimated 10,000 ‘accidental Americans' are believed to be resident in France and are facing being denied banking services due to the effects of FATCA on the banks themselves. The topic has now gone viral, with highly respected US financial media outlet Bloomberg taking up the tale by giving examples of those caught in the net.

When interviewed, one woman said she’d no idea at all why her parents were in America at the time of her birth, nor why she is now being targeted by the US taxman for $3,000 in tax, due to the fact she’d not paid French income tax during one specific year. For the whole of the year, she’d been caring for her handicapped husband at home, and was therefore not liable according to French tax law. All she wants is an easy, free way to renounce her unwanted US citizenship.

According to a source, several as yet unnamed French banks are now fighting FATCA in the French courts, and one French MP who’s working in support of those affected told the media France should not be acting as a tax collector for the USA tax authority. France’s banking association has a different take on solutions to the issue, urging a diplomatic solution to the problem. In addition, there’s no information as yet as to whether expat British ‘accidental Americans’ living and working in France are also being affected, but it’s possible those who have French bank accounts will eventually be targeted.
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