FATCA Concern Grows
Americans around the World are increasing concerned about FATCA it seems to me.
Banks are refusing Americans living abroad as clients, due to the onerous paperwork involved. Americans themselves wonder if there own Government, in an attempt stop a few people avoid tax, are actually damaging the American expat population as a whole. America needs its companies driving into the new markets to balance its books. Instead the US seems to be damaging the very people it needs with onerous legislation.
Over the last six months, we have received a 22 per cent increase in the number of enquiries from American expatriates around the world who tell us that they are considering the drastic step of switching their homeland citizenship to that of their adopted countries.
The majority of these US expats are being prompted to consider this by the complexity of the reporting process to the Internal Revenue Service, plus the threats of heavy penalties, including for previous, inadvertent non-compliance.
This sense of anxiety is compounded by the fact that a growing number of Americans are being left stranded by their foreign financial institutions as all banks and wealth management firms will also have to declare the assets of their American clients and this process is perceived as too costly and burdensome, meaning many are refusing to deal with US citizens.
Renouncing one’s citizenship is, understandably, a hard and often painful decision, so I would urge Americans who may be looking into this to contact an independent financial advisor with experience in expat wealth management. There is a raft of robust, FATCA-compliant options available.”
Officially, almost 1,800 Americans renounced their US citizenship in 2011 – six times more than in 2008. But experts suggest that this figure could be considerably higher as many of those who have renounced do not feature on the US Treasury Department’s lists.