US expats getting desperate over FATCA repeal

Published:  24 Nov at 6 PM
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Campaigners in favour of repealing the hated FATCA law have presented an open letter to US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin demanding lawmakers fulfil Trump’s campaign promise to get rid of FATCA.

The recent release of the Trump administration tax bill made no mention of any relief for US expats over citizen based taxation, nor any mention of Trump’s campaign promise to repeal FATCA. The controversial laws exposing international banks with US expat clients to US government oversight have resulted in huge problems for expats, including closure of their bank accounts both in the USA and in their countries of residence.

The Campaign to Repeal FATCA group is arguing the law is ‘wreaking havoc’ on the international banking system, a view which is held by a majority of major players in the world of international finance. The head of an international expat financial advice company and a former Washington insider are heading up the call for change by leading the anti-FATCA campaign.

Their five-page long letter to Mnuchin contains a reminder that, due to the strong anti-FATCA feelings amongst US expats living and working overseas, Trump’s election promise will have persuaded many overseas voters to give him a chance, thus bulking out his slim majority. The letter calls FATCA an ‘extraterritorial diktat burdening international financial institutions and their clients’, adding that other states’ sovereignty is being violated in a manner detrimental to taxpayers and consumers.

The letter adds the hated law turns the eight million law-abiding American expats living overseas into financial pariahs, causing untold stress and fear of making even the smallest mistake on their annual returns. Its final point is that the Republican campaign promise to repeal the legislation rests on the most cherished American principles of respect for the privacy of US citizens who are not breaking any law nor have any intent to do so. Innocent until proven guilty applies, and an unintended error in annual reporting should not be cause for an IRS witch hunt involving not just the expat taxpayer but his overseas bank.
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