American expats say FATCA damages their careers

A recent survey released by the American Citizens Abroad Global Foundation (ACAGF) and the University of Nevada has revealed that the majority of Americans feel FATCA has a negative impact on their careers, and that the compliance requirements are troublesome.

Allegedly designed as a tool to counteract tax evasion, since it was rolled out in July 2014, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act has resulted in additional reporting requirements for all U.S. citizens overseas.  It also means substantial compliance obligations for all non-U.S. financial institutions worldwide.

However, FATCA critics, such as myself, argue that it will do little, if anything, to combat the serious issue of tax evasion.

Released last month, the study polled 700 Americans, living and working in over 60 countries.  There are three main findings of the survey.

First, 86 per cent of those questioned say the so-called toxic tax law needs to be modified in order to allow Americans abroad improved access to banking and financial services in their countries of residence.

Second, 78 per cent of American expats say that meeting FATCA’s onerous compliance obligations put them at a professional disadvantage to others working in the same country.

Third, American expatriates say that the IRS isn’t keeping them sufficiently informed with regards to fulfilling the changing tax laws.

The results of this survey indicate why we need to continue to highlight FATCA’s fatal flaws.  Not only does it affect millions of hardworking Americans globally, but also U.S. companies operating internationally, therefore impacting U.S. jobs and the American economy.

As such, as I told journalists last summer, to my mind it is essential that ahead of the U.S. election in November, presidential candidates who support FATCA must justify their reasons for doing so, whilst those who wish for the tax law to be repealed should stress to voters the reasons they believe it is fundamentally flawed and the action they propose to take to confine it to the history books.

FATCA must play a significant part in the national conversation in America ahead of the election, so as to avoid an even worse predicament should GATCA, the Global Account Tax Compliance Act, be rolled out.  It would be, as I have said on previous occasions, “FATCA on steroids.”

Should we see the launch of GATCA, all accounts opened by foreign nationals would have to report their financial information to their homeland tax authority.  Not only does this infringe upon the Fourth Amendment for Americans, but we would undoubtedly see tax increased, sovereignty rights encroached upon and data protection threatened.

Click here to see the results of the survey.

Click here for my LinkedIn profile and Twitter account.

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