FEDs reject simplifying FATCA tax reporting for US expats

Published:  18 Jan at 6 PM
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US expats in communities across the globe are unhappy about the US Treasury Department’s decision not to ease FATCA tax return reporting requirements by adopting same country exemption.

One of the most burdensome requirements for US expats living abroad is the annual compulsory compliance with FATCA as regards their US tax liabilities. For a short time, expat hopes were based on the suggestion that Americans living overseas might be allowed exemptions through the IRS’s adopting of same country exemptions.

American Citizens Abroad, a private advocacy organisation, had been working on the proposal for exemption for some two years in the hope that US expatriates might be relieved of their annual, complicated FATCA-based tax returns. Had the authority granted the exemption, expats banking in their country of residence would have been exempt from IRS reporting requirements.

Thw organisation's reaction to the decision was blunt, stating the Treasury had ‘slammed the door’ on same country exemption and adding the IRS is hand in glove with the Treasury Department. The reason given for the rejection of same country exemption was the Treasury’s concern about the risk of tax avoidance involving cash in overseas bank accounts. American Citizens Abroad countered the Treasury’s stance by pointing out that very few USA expats are likely to be banking locally in order to evade their US tax liabilities.

It also believes the Treasury has either dropped the ball or was unable to balance various considerations when making its decision, and is now preparing to bring the subject up with the new administration. The FED announcement came just as the National Taxpayer Advocate ruled that, in some cases, the Internal Revenue Service had imposed unnecessary burdens whilst enforcing FATCA on affected taxpayers in a manner which failed to protect their rights.
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