Trump FATCA repeal lack of action angers US expats

Published:  12 Jul at 6 PM
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Tagged: USA, Citizenship
Campaigners in Washington as well as US expats across the world are demanding Trump takes action on his election promise to repeal FATCA.

Since Trump’s election campaign promise to dump the vastly unpopular FATCA law, the Republican Party and the president himself have maintained a stony silence as regards whether or not the controversial tax law will remain on the books. As a result, 24 lobby groups have joined up to a ‘Repeal FATCA’ campaign aimed at abolishing the law. The group has spoken with Washington Republicans in an attempt to get their support, but little has emerged to suggest any action is on the cards.

Leading financial advice and insurance companies are supporting the repeal efforts, stating Trump should stick by his promise of becoming a ‘President for all Americans’ – presumably including the hundreds of thousands working and living overseas who are affected by the ‘un-American’ law. US citizens abroad, they say, are living under one of the most unfair and badly thought out tax systems on the planet, conceived and executed well outside the global norm for expat tax issues.

The main objections to the law are that Americans overseas are being taxed on the basis of their national identity, whilst expat taxes across the rest of the world are based on residence in individual countries and are due to the governments of such countries. The compulsory reporting of the contents of US citizens’ overseas bank accounts from worldwide financial institutions to the US tax authorities is believed by most expats to be a serious breach of personal privacy.

Thousands of international banks and other financial institutions forced to comply with the IRS rulings are as unhappy as are Americans abroad, but can do nothing due to the massive penalties and restrictions imposed on those inclined to resist. As a result, overseas banks and financial institutions are now closing their doors to US citizens living in their countries. The Repeal FATCA campaign is hoping to break the apparent stand-off between the US government and the worldwide US expat community by forcing Trump to make good on his pre-election promise.
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