American Citizens Abroad (ACA) Expands Global Campaign to Repeal FATCA Praises Congressmen Luetkeymeyer, Paul, Campbell and Manzullo for their Support

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American Citizens Abroad (ACA), the voice of Americans overseas, has launched a global campaign for the repeal of America’s onerous, overreaching and economically destructive legislation known as FATCA, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act. ACA has written Reps. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo.; Ron Paul, R-Texas; John Campbell, R-Calif.; and Donald Manzullo, R-Ill., to congratulate them for taking up the issue with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, and for pointing out “the very serious risks” that FATCA represents for the U.S. economy, the U.S. financial sector and American jobs.

American Citizens Abroad (ACA), a non-profit, non-partisan association and the voice of Americans overseas, has launched a global campaign for the repeal of America’s onerous, overreaching and economically destructive legislation known as FATCA, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act.

ACA has written Reps. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo.; Ron Paul, R-Texas; John Campbell, R-Calif.; and Donald Manzullo, R-Ill., to congratulate them for taking up the issue with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and pointing out to him “the very serious risks” that FATCA represents for the U.S. economy, the U.S. financial sector and American jobs.

ACA addressed the harmful consequences of FATCA in a speech before the International Withholding Tax Summit in London earlier this month, citing:

  •     Significant discouragement of foreign investment in the United States
  •     Negative impacts to U.S. businesses operating in global markets
  •     Failure to achieve its stated purpose -- tracking down tax evaders
  •     Transformation of American citizens into pariahs in the international world of finance
  •     Discrimination against American citizens residing overseas
  •     Costly administrative burdens for foreign financial institutions, the IRS and for U.S. taxpayers, which far exceed any potential additional tax revenue

“While the goal of preventing tax evasion is laudable, FATCA will not achieve its purpose,” said Jackie Bugnion, ACA executive director, in the speech. “Due to the high cost of compliance and the perceived legal risks, many foreign financial institutions will refuse to sign an agreement with the IRS. This fact alone makes the legislation self-defeating.”

The IRS already has numerous tools at its disposal to track down tax evaders without resorting to such an extreme measure as FATCA. And at a time when Members of Congress acknowledge Washington must scale down its heavy bureaucracy, FATCA will only increase it.

Further, Americans residing abroad are unable to maintain a banking relationship in the United States due to elements of the Patriot Act that make them suspect in the eyes of U.S. banks. ACA has already received hundreds of reports from Americans abroad being refused entry into foreign pension plans, insurance contracts or mortgage agreements based on their nationality. The FATCA law will only make this situation worse for Americans who live and work overseas.

Many members of Congress who voted for the HIRE legislation, which contained the FATCA provisions, were not even aware of the content of the FATCA legislation, let alone its implications. It was simply sold as another way to combat tax evasion; those who may have opposed it were labeled soft on tax-cheats.

For these reasons and more, ACA will continue building its coalition and adding to the growing chorus of voices urging FATCA repeal. For more information or to join the effort, please visit: http://www.aca.ch/fatcapp.pdf

American Citizens Abroad (ACA), the voice of more than 5.2 million Americans overseas, is a non-partisan, non-profit association of volunteers based in Geneva, Switzerland, with worldwide membership in over 90 countries. ACA has represented the interests of American citizens residing overseas for more than 30 years on issues ranging from banking and taxation to voter registration.

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MaryLouise Serrato
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