Geneva, Switzerland (PRWEB) February 12, 2013
Representatives from American Citizens Abroad (ACA) and other groups advocating for overseas Americans are convening in Washington, D.C. this week for the annual Overseas Americans Week (OAW). ACA and its sister groups are pushing for major tax reform for the estimated five to seven million Americans living outside of the United States. The groups’ proposal for Residency-Based Taxation (RBT), introduced to Washington D.C. legislators last November, will be discussed in detail with members of Congress this week. In meetings with legislators, ACA will stress that this vital tax reform would increase U.S. exports and create more jobs in the United States.
“We intend to explain to leaders in Washington that current U.S. tax legislation is severely penalizing Americans overseas, making it more and more difficult for them to grow their businesses and sell their products. This has a huge negative impact on U.S. exports and job creation back home,” says ACA Tax Director Jackie Bugnion, one of the participants in Overseas Americans Week.
“To discuss Residency-Based Taxation, we have meetings scheduled with key legislative members and staff as well as the offices of the Joint Committee on Taxation and the Ways & Means and Senate Finance Committees”, Bugnion explained.
One issue of great concern which ACA will raise with members of Congress is the increasing difficulty of Americans living overseas to create and maintain normal banking access, because of specific U.S. laws. Banks in the United States are closing the accounts of U.S. citizens with overseas addresses, because of restrictions imposed by the Patriot Act. At the same time, banks overseas are closing the accounts of U.S. citizens living abroad, because of the complexity and expense of implementing the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).
FATCA, a complex law passed in 2010 whose implementation is being phased in over a number of years, requires banks worldwide to report information directly to the United States Government on any accounts held by American citizens or green card holders, or face punitive fines on U.S. investments. Because of FATCA rules, American individuals and companies operating overseas are being shut out of partnerships and some are being forced to close thriving operations and businesses.
“Americans living overseas need basic financial tools to live and work, just like their fellow citizens living in the United States”, says ACA Executive Director Marylouise Serrato, who will also participate in the meetings. “Without access to bank accounts, Americans overseas simply cannot survive,” she concluded.
Legislative changes to alleviate these problems are being sought by all groups involved in OAW and by numerous members of Congress, led in particular by the Americans Abroad Caucus, which is chaired by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY). Rep. Maloney has introduced legislation (HR 597) that calls for the creation of a Presidential Commission to investigate how current U.S. legislation is negatively affecting American citizens working overseas.
For more information on events during the week of OAW, please visit the website: http://www.overseasamericansweek.com or contact:
Marylouise Serrato +1 202 322 8441 or info(at)americansabroad(dot)org