Taxation Task Force Chair

  • September 2019 Congressional Door Knock Report

    The DemsAbroad Tax Team had another productive week of meetings with Congressional tax writers in Washington DC the week commencing 16 September 2019.  We are continuously reminded about the importance of turning up in person to present the serious personal and financial problems that U.S. tax, banking, securities and other laws cause Americans abroad.  Not only have we - the many dedicated individuals and organizations advocating on behalf of Americans abroad - built important relationships with the members who are championing our cause (Maloney (D-NY), Holding (R-NC), Titus (D-NV), Raskin (D-MD) and Beyer (D-VA)), but we’ve firmed up our relationship with the House Ways and Means Committee (W&MC) which is so critical to progressing a bill to enact Residency Based Taxation (RBT).

    RBT Bill 

    We had a very interesting discussion with the W&MC team working on expat taxation legislation.  While we expected their work to be farther advanced than it is, we now have a clearer understanding of their approach to shaping the bill which has as its foundation the administration of the law once it is in place.  Their emphasis is on ensuring the law can work for the many categories of Americans abroad:  short to medium to decades-long expats; short term corporate placements; love exiles; aid workers; retirees; students of all kinds; healthcare exiles; adventurers; pensioners; and more.  We were pleased to offer our on-going advice and feedback on the design elements of the RBT bill and we are determined to keep pushing the work along.

    Outreach to Congress

    Aside from the in-the-weeds work on the bill, there is of course more work to be done educating members on the problems we need addressed.  As you know, our focus is on persuading members in the all-important W&MC that our problems are serious and urgent.  Aside from the five members noted earlier, we also met in the office of these W&MC members: Rep Larson (D-CT), Rep Murphy (D-FL); Rep Walorski (R-IN), Rep Pascrell (D-NJ) and Rep Westrup (R-OH).  We door-knocked 25 other W&MC members and passed our Leave Behind Pack to the legislative staff.  Our meetings on the Senate side included Sen Brown (D-OH) and Sen Portman (R-OH), both serving on the Senate Finance Committee, as well as Sen Paul (R-KY), known for his determination to block reforms to U.S. tax treaties critical to our experience navigating the intersection of U.S. and residence country taxation.

    We find that the most compelling cases we present are those that profile the constituents of the offices we visit navigating these challenges: the enormous complexity and cost of U.S. tax compliance; bank lockouts; double-taxation of pensions; the obstacles to ordinary investing; and the existential threat the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act “transition taxes” pose for small to medium sized business owners. 

    To that end, we continue to encourage all Americans abroad suffering from the burdens of U.S. taxation to call and/or write to your elected representatives about your experience.  Use our language or use your own.  If there’s any chance you can get to Capitol Hill yourself, then deliver your message in person!  The Senate and House offices are open to all – take advantage of it!  Find your members’ office address, walk right in (after passing through ground-floor metal detectors), introduce yourself, ask for an aide who has time to speak to a constituent for 10 minutes and then tell your story.

    Transition Taxes
    In all of our meetings we discussed the impact the Repat and GILTI taxes have had on small and medium sized American business owners abroad. We had a particularly successful meeting in the House Committee on Small Business.  Officials there confirm that the impact of GILTI is much more widespread than they had initially thought. We will continue to engage with the Committee to keep pressure on Congress and Treasury to establish a solution.

    What's Next

    You can be sure that we will be back on Capitol Hill at least one more time before the end of the calendar year, working in concert with all the other Americans abroad organizations to make the case for a switch to RBT and for other legislative remedies that address the serious discrimination we suffer as non-resident citizens.

    Please send comments and questions to taxationtf@democratsabroad.org.

    Democratically yours,

    Democrats Abroad Taxation Task Force


  • Rep. Maloney and Rep. Beyer re-introduce bills to provide relief and support to Americans Abroad.

    On Tuesday 17 September Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY12) and Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA08) introduced two bills to provide support and relief to Americans Abroad.  They are the Commission on Americans Living Overseas Act and the Overseas Americans Financial Access ActDemocrats Abroad endorses these bills and thanks Rep. Maloney and Rep. Beyer for their on-going interest in and support for the Americans abroad community.

    Commission on Americans Abroad Act

    The Commission on Americans Abroad Act, first introduced by Rep. Maloney and former New York Rep. Charlie Rangel in the 113th Congress, would create a commission to establish the impact of U.S. laws and regulations on Americans living abroad and make reform recommendations.  You can read about it here.

    Overseas Americans Financial Access Act

    The Overseas Americans Financial Access Act, first introduced by Rep. Maloney in the last Congress, provides an exemption for Americans abroad from all Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) reporting for the accounts we hold in the countries where we live.  FATCA was created to discourage and apprehend Americans using foreign financial accounts to hide money from the IRS; it was never intended to track the accounts we use in the places where we live to pay our bills and save for the future.  You can read about it here.

    Democrats Abroad is in Washington DC this week (18-20 September) for more talks about expat tax reform and will be discussing these bills in our meetings.  Expat tax reform activists are encouraged to participate in our Congressional CallStorm this week to tell our elected representatives that we need relief from the unjust burden that the U.S. tax code and other laws and regulations place on Americans abroad.

    Please send comments and questions to taxationtf@democratsabroad.org.


  • DA is in DC next week. Expat Tax Reform Activists, it's time to call Congress.

    Democrats Abroad is back on Capitol Hill again next week to talk to Congress about Residency Based Taxation, FATCA reform, Tax Cuts and Jobs Act fixes and other recommendations aimed at reducing the burden U.S. taxation places uniquely on Americans living abroad.   We especially look forward to meetings we have scheduled with the Ways and Means Committee for updates on their work on legislation to enact a switch from Citizenship Based Taxation to Residency Based Taxation.

    Please help us demonstrate the enormous support that exists across the Americans abroad community for these critical reforms by reaching out to your elected representatives some time between 16 and 20 September.  This campaign guide has all you need to call or write your members of Congress.

    Democrats Abroad UK is hosting a Webinar on 17 September for those who would like a tutorial about how to contact their members of Congress.  Click here for more information and to register.

    As usual,  in the follow-up to next week's expat tax reform meetings we will publish a report on what we learned.  Please send comments or questions to taxationtf@democratsabroad.org.

    DEMOCRATS ABROAD TAXATION TASK FORCE


  • Democrats Abroad Residency Based Taxation FAQs - Update through June 2019

    Happy Fourth of July!

    Best wishes for glorious celebrations of our nation's 243rd birthday, filled with delicious BBQs, refreshing beverages and fabulous fireworks.

    And when the celebrations are over if you are interested in turning your mind to work by Democrats Abroad and the rest of the expat tax reform coalition to persuade Congress to enact a switch from our current system of Citizenship-based Taxation to Residency-based Taxation (RBT), then you might want to see our RBT Frequently Asked Questions doc.  We have updated it for progress achieved through June of 2019 and are hereby publishing it for your reference.  

    Please send comments or questions - or FURTHER questions for us to add to this document! - to taxationtf@democratsabroad.org.

    DEMOCRATS ABROAD TAXATION TASK FORCE


  • US Double Tax Treaties, Expat tax reform coalition at work on the Hill, and More GILTI regs

    Thanks to all who participated in the Congressional CallStorm organized by Democrats Abroad to mark the 2019 International Tax Filing Day. With the help of all you expat tax activists we continue to build the profile of Americans abroad struggling to comply with double taxation and to bring our problems to the attention of members of Congress in both parties and across both chambers. We need the support of all those interested in expat tax reform in order to make it happen. Thanks again for your support.

    Tax Treaties at last on the Congressional agenda

    You may be aware that since Senator Rand Paul took office in 2006 he has blocked all tax treaties from coming to the floor of the U.S. Senate for a vote.  During this time tax treaties between the U.S and Hungary, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Chile, Spain, Poland, Japan and Portugal (at least) have been stuck in limbo, not to mention reforms made to the Model U.S. tax treaty. We recommend that all Americans abroad who vote in Kentucky to contact Sen. Paul and urge him to lift his holds on these treaties.

    This week the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is expected to begin consideration of the treaties with Hungary, Chile, Spain, Japan and Portugal. Double taxation treaties address a range of matters that impact U.S. citizens living abroad, most especially the treatment of savings and retirement plans that receive beneficial tax treatment in our countries of residence but no favorable treatment under the U.S. tax system. When U.S. tax treaties are silent on this matter they leave payments made from foreign pensions, including those to which we may be legally mandated to contribute, subjected to double taxation.

    It’s perhaps too early to anticipate those eight treaties moving closer to a floor vote in the Senate, but reporting suggests Sen. Paul is meeting with Treasury Sec. Steven Mnuchin to discuss his privacy concerns. We are following this issue and look forward to reporting back.

    Americans abroad on Capitol Hill

    Democrats Abroad gives an enormous shout out to our colleagues at Association of Americans Resident Overseas (AARO) and Federation of American Women’s Clubs Overseas (FAWCO) for their amazing week of meetings on Capitol Hill about expat tax reform. DA’s Tax Task Force was pleased to brief some members of their delegation and share with them an extensive list of members of Congress for them to meet (including names of key aides to speak to). We have since de-briefed with them and, to put it very briefly, they learned that: a) our concerns and recommendations are getting through to Congressional tax writers, and b) there remain a few outliers who either CONTINUE to harbor major misunderstandings about the demographics of Americans abroad or have concerns that RBT will open the flood gates to mass exploitation by wealthy Americans using real or faux off-shore residency to move assessable income to low-tax or no-tax countries.

    Yes, we’ve heard it all before but at least these prejudices are well outside the mainstream.

    Big, big THANK YOU to AARO and FAWCO for hitting it hard and fighting the good fight for a switch from citizenship-based taxation to residency-based taxation, financial account reporting reform and more. Heroic work by excellent colleagues (who, like us, are volunteers and) who share our goal of persuading Congress to fix the Internal Revenue Code and other laws and regulations that cause serious personal and financial harm to Americans living abroad.

    Treasury announces more changes to GILTI regs

    It’s been almost 18 months since Americans who own companies registered abroad were shocked to learn of two new taxes in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) that could destroy not only their businesses but also their life savings. Regulations implementing the Repatriation Tax and GILTI Tax announced last year failed to provide material relief to Americans abroad. Last Friday June 14th Treasury issued “final regulations” on GILTI, Subpart F income and tax credits. You can read about them here (IRS and Treasury advice) or here (The Tax Adviser tax blog).

    Disclaimer:

    Democrats Abroad does not provide personal advice on tax matters.

    Tax advice should be obtained from a qualified tax professional (accountant, lawyer, adviser or return preparer) who understands both the U.S. tax system and the tax system of the country where the taxpayer lives (including any applicable tax treaty). 

    If you need tax advice Democrats Abroad recommends the Tax Return Preparer Directory published by our colleagues in expat tax advocacy, American Citizens Abroad. Click here to reference their directory.

    Please send comments or questions to taxationtf@democratsabroad.org.

    DEMOCRATS ABROAD TAXATION TASK FORCE


  • Intl Tax Filing Day CallStorm - Thur June 13 2019 - time to call Congress!!

    The 2019 deadline for U.S. citizens living abroad to file their taxes is Monday June 17 (as the usual international tax filing deadline of June 15 falls on a Saturday this year).  

    In order to draw attention to International Tax Filing Day Democrats Abroad is hosting a Congressional CallStorm.  We invite  U.S. citizens who support expat tax reform to participate in this campaign on Thursday June 13 (neither Friday June 14th nor Monday June 17th are House and Senate sitting days) and call their members of Congress asking for relief.

    Everything you need to participate in the CallStorm is in this guide for campaign participants.

    Date for calls:  Thursday June 13, 2019

    Date for written and electronic messages:  Through the month of June

    Who to contact:  your two Senators and your member of the House of Representatives.  If you don't know who they are advice for finding them and their contact details are in the guide.

    What to say:  scripts for calls and sample language for emails, letters and postcards are in the guide. If you can add your personal story about why expat tax reform is important to you that would be even better.   Specifically, we are asking for -

    • A switch from our current system of citizenship based taxation to residency based taxation, in which we’d still be required to report US-based income to the IRS, but not the income we make in and pay tax on abroad 
    • the Overseas Americans Financial Access Act, which would exempt us  from disclosures of the  financial accounts we hold in our countries of residence which we use to pay bills and save for the future  

    Further details on our tax advocacy ideals, strategy and asks are in the guide.

    Thanks in advance for your support.  As noted in the guide, our work with the House tax writing subcommittee is making serious progress, but we need to build support for expat tax reform right across Congress.  To do that we need all who are seeking relief from the burden of complying with two tax jurisdictions to call your elected representatives and ask for it.

    Please send questions or comments to taxationtf@democratsabroad.org.

    Democrats Abroad Taxation Task Force 


  • Thanks to Rep Dina Titus (D-NV01) for telling Ways & Means that Americans abroad need tax relief

    Democrats Abroad is enormously grateful for the long-standing support that Rep. Dina Titus has extended to the Americans abroad community.  She's always in our corner and never refuses an opportunity to show her concern for our problems - with the U.S. tax system and otherwise - and to push for common-sense reforms to address them.  

    In response to our outreach about the Ways and Means Members Day Hearing, Rep. Titus has published this statement calling upon the Ways & Means Committee to ease the financial burdens placed upon Americans abroad by the U.S. citizenship-based taxation system.  Thank you, Rep. Titus, for noting that Americans abroad have been for too long neglected by Congress and for calling upon Congress to work together to provide us with relief.

    Please also see this statement from Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD08) telling the Ways & Means Committee we need a switch from citizenship-based taxation to residency-based taxation.

    It's not too late for rank and file members of Congress to join their voices to those of Reps Raskin and Titus in raising with the Ways and Means Committee the serious problems facing Americans abroad in complying with the filing obligations of two tax jurisdictions.  Please reach out to your representative and ask him/her to contact Ways & Means Committee Chairman Richie Neal and Ranking Member Kevin Brady about the urgent need for expat tax reform.  This guide will help you do so.

    Please contact us at taxationtf@democratsabroad.org with comments or questions.

    Democrats Abroad Taxation Task Force


  • @Carmelan tweeted link to Thanks to Rep Jamie Raskin (D-MD08) for telling the Ways and Means Committee we need RBT. 2019-06-03 23:06:18 -0400
    Thanks @ RepRaskin for standing by Americans abroad and profiling our taxation problems to the Ways and Means Committee. @DemsAbroad and Americans living right around the world are grateful for your support. https://www.democratsabroad.org/carmelan/thanks_to_rep_jamie_raskin_d-md08_for_telling_the_ways_and_means_committee_we_need_rbt?recruiter_id=1448

    Thanks to Rep Jamie Raskin (D-MD08) for telling the Ways and Means Committee we need RBT

    Further to our report from last week, we are delighted that Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD08), a former member of Democrats Abroad-France, has responded to our request to provide a submission to the June 4 House Ways & Means Committee Members' Day Hearing about the urgent need for expat tax reform.   We send our sincere thanks to the Congressman for his on-going support for our community and for legislation to address the serious personal and financial harm we suffer due to citizenship-based taxation.  Click here to read Rep. Raskin's submission.

    As you will know from DA's previous tax advocacy reports, we now have a bi-partisan team from the House Ways and Means Committee working on the development of a proposal to enact residency-based taxation.  But there's much more work to do to persuade the other 40 members of that committee that this reform is urgently needed and can be sensibly implemented.  We continue our outreach to those important members, educating them on the harm citizenship based taxation causes ordinary, middle-class American families and persuading them to act urgently on our behalf.

    We are counting on all Americans abroad supporting residency-based taxation to reach out to their elected representatives and reinforce our work.   Please call, write or message your members in Congress and tell your personal story about why a switch to residency based taxation is so important to you.   If you have trouble getting started then please refer to this guide to find your representatives and to add your voice to the cause.  It's imperative that members across Congress, in both houses, on all committees and of all political stripes hear from their overseas constituents about the urgent need for a switch to residency based taxation.

    Thanks for your help.  Please contact us on taxationtf@democratsabroad.org with comments or questions.

    Democrats Abroad Taxation Task Force


  • DemsAbroad asks friends of Americans Abroad in Congress to raise RBT at the W&MC Members' Day Hearing

    On Tuesday June 4th the House Ways and Means Committee will hold its Members' Day hearing enabling members of the House to comment on matters within the Committee's jurisdiction.  Democrats Abroad has reached out to members who are important friends of the Americans abroad community asking them to make submissions to the hearing about the need for Residency Based Taxation.  We have written to Rep Carolyn Maloney (D-NY-12), the Democratic co-chair of the Americans Abroad Caucus, Rep Dina Titus (D-NV-01) and Rep Jamie Raskin (D-MD-08), a former member of Democrats Abroad France.  

    As we noted in our last report, we are delighted that there is now a bi-partisan team of Ways & Means Committee members working on a proposal to introduce residency based taxation.  We, in collaboration with the other organisations advocating for expat tax reform, continue to reach out to the all-important members of the Ways and Means Committee to profile the importance of this urgently needed reform.  It's great to have other members of Congress assisting us in this important work.

    We will report back on the hearing.

    In the mean time, it is our understand that an important meeting will take place the week of Monday 3 June between the Beyer-Holding team working on the residency based taxation proposal with legislative counsel.

    Also, the week of Monday 10 June a delegation of members from Association of Americans Resident Overseas and the Federation of American Womens Clubs Overseas will be on Capitol Hill making the case for residency based taxation (as well as likely discussing other matters important to Americans abroad).  We have assisted them with their Congressional outreach and wish them the best in their meetings. 

    You don't have to go all the way to Washington DC to make your views heard - on the matter of residency-based taxation or anything else that may interest you.   Advice for finding your elected representatives and calling or writing to them are included in this guide.   All (courteous and sincere) outreach is helpful.  

    Please send comments and questions to taxationtf@democratsabroad.org.


  • A Step Forward on the Road to Residency Based Taxation

    Americans abroad who support expat tax reform have taken another step forward on the road to Residency Based Taxation (RBT).

    Further to our report on the DA tax advocacy Capital Hill meetings of May 14-16, on Tuesday May 21 a group of Democrats Abroad global leaders who vote in the Virginia 8th Congressional district were scheduled to meet with Rep. Don Beyer, their member of Congress, to discuss expat tax reform (plus to a few other issues uniquely impacting Americans abroad).

    Unfortunately the Congressman was called away to a briefing by Trump administration officials on the escalating tensions with Iran. But the Beyer constituents had a productive exchange with his Legislative Director and learned that the Beyer team has scheduled a meeting about RBT with the Ways and Means Committee Legislative Counsel as a forerunner to a meeting with Rep. George Holding’s team about our keynote reform.

    We, in collaboration with the other organizations advocating for expat tax reform, have made the progress we were hoping for, i.e. bringing the Beyer team into active engagement with the Holding team on the development of RBT legislation. But now begins the in-the-weeds work with Beyer’s team on the Holding RBT legislative design elements. The DA Taxation Task Force, in collaboration with our colleague organizations representing Americans abroad, will continue our work with the Beyer and Holding teams on this important reform.

    Next steps

    As noted in our last post, we expect the Beyer and Holding teams to create, in partnership, a consensus view on draft RBT legislation, send it to the Joint Committee on Taxation to be scored and to Ways and Means Committee Legislative Counsel to be structured into a bill which we can then build support for right across both parties and both chambers. Of course, nothing related to Congressional lawmaking is as simple or as linear as that. There will be zig zags, delays and pitfalls along the way, but there are many groups advocating actively for progress on RBT and working hard to keep the process moving forward.

    What can you do to progress RBT?

    The best thing you can do to progress RBT is to reach out to your elected representatives to remind them of the importance of this reform to you and your family and to ask for their support. Personal stories are the most effective. Include as much detail as you feel comfortable sharing. Call, write or send electronic messages to your House member and Senators. All outreach to those counting on your electoral support is helpful. If you get a boilerplate response that scarcely relates to the message you sent, write again demanding more. If you get an interesting response that you think would be useful for us to know about in progressing our work, please end it through to us.  We will follow up with your member.

    Also happening

    We understand that a bill establishing a Commission on Americans Abroad and the Overseas Americans Financial Access Act, establishing an exemption from all FATCA reporting for the foreign financial accounts of Americans abroad in their countries of residence, are soon to be re-introduced in the House of Representatives. We will let you know when those bills drop and what you can do to demonstrate your support for them.

    Send questions or comments to taxationtf@democratsabroad.org.

    Democrats Abroad Taxation Task Force 


  • Dems Abroad residency based taxation meetings with Congress 14-16 May - Time to call your members

    The Democrats Abroad Taxation Task Force is back on Capitol Hill on 14, 15 and 16 May putting tax reform for Americans abroad at the center of discussions with Congress.   We have meetings scheduled with members in both Houses of Congress and on both sides of politics.  We will be discussing the need for residency based taxation and the design elements of the proposed legislation to enact it.  

    We need those determined to see this important reform enacted to reach out to their members of Congress this week and next week to demand it.  Please consult this grassroots campaign guide for background on our advocacy work and for sample language you can use to call or write to Congress.

    Please send questions to taxationtf@democratsabroad.org.


  • donated 2019-05-02 11:57:35 -0400

  • Democrats Abroad publishes 2019 Expat Tax Research Datapack

    Democrats Abroad is pleased to make public the data obtained in our 2019 research into the experience of Americans abroad complying with U.S. tax filing and financial account reporting requirements.

    Click here to download the DATAPACK of the Tax Filing From Abroad Report.

    Click here for the full Tax Filing From Abroad report. 

    Click here for a summary of the findings.

    We hope this information will be useful to the many organisations and individuals working hard to persuade Congress to make urgently needed reforms to the way the U.S. tax code impacts Americans living outside the U.S.

    Read more

  • March 2019 meetings with Congress about expat tax reform

    The DemsAbroad Taxation Task Force is pleased to report back about our expat tax reform meetings last week (the week commencing 4 March 2019) on Capitol Hill.  Thanks to Carol Moore of DAUK for joining us for the meetings.

    Work continues on a bill implementing a switch to Residency Based Taxation

    As followers of this issue know, the residency-based taxation (RBT) bill introduced by Rep George Holding on the last sitting day of Congress in 2018 was lacking in the detail needed to generate the support it needs to be enacted.  However it was a great milestone for RBT activists and an important signal to us all that a powerful member of Congress is committed to an expat tax reform that would provide genuine relief to ordinary Americans living and working abroad.

    We understand from Holding’s team that they are back at work with the Ways and Means Committee lawyers drafting the bill, and with the analysts on the Joint Committee on Taxation who are scoring the proposal (to establish the impact on the federal budget).  Holding's team expects to introduce another version of the Tax Fairness for Americans Abroad Act in the 116th Congress in the coming months and we support their work to see more of the detail we spent so much time developing through 2018 in the next version of the bill.

    But you don’t have to take our word for it.  Rep Holding’s tax counsel, Matt Stross, will feature in a Webcast about the Tax Fairness for Americans Abroad Act hosted by our colleagues at American Citizens Abroad taking place on Wed 13 March and Thurs 14 March.  Click here for information and to register to attend.  Bring your questions and don’t forget to thank Matt.  He has worked very hard on this proposal and deserves our gratitude for his endeavors and his commitment to getting it done!

    Building support for RBT across the House

    We also met with the other members of the House who we know are our allies in expat tax reform:  Rep Carolyn Maloney (Americans Abroad Caucus co-chair); Rep Jamie Raskin (former member of DA France); Rep Dina Titus (former American abroad, very good friend to Democrats Abroad and featured speaker at our 2016 Global meeting in Berlin); and Rep Don Beyer (former U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland).  They are fully across work on the bill and, now that Democrats have control of the House, we expect them to become more hands-on with it.

    Meetings with other members of the tax writing subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee suggests our band of mission-critical allies is about to grow.  We will give those members some time to develop an understanding of the reform and will be happy to share their names in due course.

    What else

    We understand that Rep Carolyn Maloney will be reintroducing the Overseas Americans Financial Access Act which would exempt from FATCA reporting all accounts of Americans abroad in their countries of residence and also reintroducing her bill proposing the establishment of an Americans Abroad Commission to examine the range of U.S. laws and regulations that have an unfair, adverse impact on Americans abroad.   If such a commission were in place then Congress might avoid inadvertently enacting laws that harm Americans who live outside the U.S., such as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) which gave rise to the Transition Taxes which are seriously hurting Americans who own foreign registered companies.[i] 

    The TCJA introduces two Transition Taxes: the Repatriation Tax and Global Intangible Low Tax Income (GILTI) tax.  Despite a year of activism, we are still waiting for some Repatriation Tax relief, other than the one-year deferral to start making payment.  The GILTI Tax, however, was the subject of new Treasury regulations introduced when we were on the Hill last week.   The rules change gives individual owners of foreign registered companies access to the same offsets and discounts afforded to US-based corporate owners of foreign registered companies.  Electing to be taxed as a corporation, however, could for some result in greater levels of taxation in the long run.  American owners of foreign-registered companies should consult their tax professional.

    What’s next

    Our expat tax advocacy team is back on Capitol Hill the week of Monday 8 April and again the week of Monday 13 May, having more meetings with law makers key to the development of the bill and the development of support for it.  Whilst normally we see members in both houses, the March 2019 meetings focused on the House where the in-the-weeds work on RBT is going on.  Our outreach will accordion out again to include the Senate next month. 

    We can’t underestimate the importance of outreach by Americans abroad to your elected officials about expat tax reform.  If you’re looking for advice on how to contact your member please refer to this Guide.  It gives you everything to know about how to contact your member and what to say/write to them once you do.

    Democrats Abroad Taxation Task Force

    Taxationtf@democratsabroad.org

     

     

     

    [i] The TCJA introduced territorial taxation for corporations giving them a deeply discounted tax rate on the repatriation of unrepatriated of profits.  It also imposed deemed repatriation of profits on Americans abroad who own foreign registered companies, many of whom never intended to repatriate the profits (and who are already paying taxes in the jurisdiction where the company is registered.)   These business owners living and working abroad are having to put their hand on many thousands of dollars to pay the retroactive Repatriation Tax on profits going back to 1986.  Catastrophic for many.

    The TCJA also places a new tax on the future profits of foreign registered companies, with offsets and discounts for US-based corporate owners of foreign registered companies but none for Americans abroad who own foreign registered companies. 


  • Democrats Abroad is back on Capitol Hill to discuss tax reform for Americans abroad this week.

    A delegation of Democrats Abroad is in Washington DC this week meeting with members of Congress to share the results of our 2019 research on Americans abroad facing US taxation and continue discussions about legislation enacting a switch from our current system of citizenship based taxation to residency based taxation.

    In our Leave Behind Pack is a summary of the findings of the research and a document making the case for RBT.  

    Residency Based Taxation activists are asked to reach out this week to their members of Congress in support of expat tax reform.  Please refer to this grassroots campaign guide for reaching out to Congress about expat tax reform, which has scripts for calls and language for writing messages.

    Please send questions and comments to taxationtf@democratsabroad.org.


  • Democrats Abroad supports a remedy for "Accidental Americans"

    Democrats Abroad has written to Congressional leaders in support of a citizenship renunciation mechanism for "Accidental Americans".   Download the letter here.

    Please send questions or comments to taxationtf@democratsabroad.org


  • Tax Filing From Abroad: 2019 Research on Non-Resident Americans and U.S. Taxation

    Democrats Abroad is pleased to present its fourth major research project on the experience of Americans living and working abroad facing the challenges of a range of U.S. tax, financial account reporting, banking, securities and other laws that discriminate against them as non-resident citizens:  Tax Filing From Abroad:  Research on Non-Resident Americans and U.S. Taxation.

    The key findings of the research are summarized below. The report includes not only the survey data but also comments from research participants that expand on the numbers. Download the full report here.

    We will use the findings to profile the Americans abroad community to lawmakers and regulators in discussions aimed at persuading them to enact reforms to laws and regulations that place an unfair and undo burden on Americans abroad.  We hope the data is useful to all those advocating on behalf of the Americans abroad community.  To that end we will be publishing a Datapack of the raw data collected in the survey undertaken in January 2019.

    Please send questions and comments to taxationtf@democratsabroad.org.

     

    Key findings of the Democrats Abroad 2019 research on Non-Resident Americans and U.S. taxation:

     

    55%

     moved outside the U.S. for marriage/a relationship or work/employment

    64% 

    are living abroad indefinitely

    97%

     have serious problems addressing their US tax filing obligations

    55%

     hire tax return professionals to prepare their filings

    61%

     pay more than $500 for tax filing services, 34% pay more than $1,000

     

    One in three incur personal and financial harm by discriminatory tax code treatment

    30%

     receive foreign government social welfare payments, which are fully US taxable even if they are not taxed locally

    31% 

    have been refused foreign financial products

    28% 

    have been denied U.S. investment/brokerage products

    2%

     employed by a company in which they own a majority interest; these are entities are affected by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) Repatriation Tax and GILTI tax

    4%

     Indicate they are personally impacted by the TCJA Transition Taxes, suggesting the impact is felt by the spouses/family of the business owners.

    20%

     Receive U.S. social security benefits

    One in six SS beneficiaries have their benefits reduced by the Windfall Elimination Provision

    56%

     Have payments reduced by more than 25%

    57%

     Say WEP reductions make a modest to very big impact on their household budget

    2.5% 

    Identify as Accidental Americans

    50%+

     of them would like to renounce their U.S. citizenship, but most would only do so if they could renounce at a reasonable cost, effort


  • In memory of Lucy Stensland Laederich, champion for Americans Abroad

    Democrats Abroad wishes to express heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Lucy Stensland Laederich, of the Association of Americans Resident Overseas, Paris (AARO) and the Federation of American Women's Clubs Overseas (FAWCO) and to acknowledge Lucy's profound contribution to the Americans abroad community. Lucy was a greatly respected and valued colleague of all those working to advance the interests of Americans living and working outside the U.S., especially in the area of tax reform for Americans abroad. We celebrate her life and achievements and recognize the contribution she made to our community.


  • 2019 Non-Resident Taxation Research - SURVEY NOW CLOSED

    Many thanks to all those who have made submissions to our 2019 Non-Resident Taxation Research Project over the two week study period.  The survey was closed at midnight on Sunday February 3, 2019.  We look forward to publishing a full report on the findings of the research by the end of February.  

    *****

    Democrats Abroad is launching our 2019 Non-Resident Taxation Research Project to generate information we will use to advocate for reforms to relieve the burden of tax, banking, financial account reporting, securities and other laws that discriminate against Americans living abroad. Please contribute to our research by filling out this questionnaire. It will be open for submissions for 2 weeks, closing at midnight US EDT on Sunday February 3, 2019.

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  • Democrats Abroad Expat Tax Reform Advocacy - 2018 Year in Review

    As each year passes our list of expat tax issues grows.  As followers of expat tax matters know, there was nothing good for Americans living abroad in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.  Not only did the law fail to address any of the tax problems Americans abroad endure, it also placed a further serious - and for many existential - tax burden on Americans who own small to medium sized businesses overseas.  For these reasons you could say 2018 was the most challenging year yet for expat tax reform activists, many of whom invested enormous energy advocating on behalf of the Americans abroad community during the 2017 tax writing process.

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Social justice advocate and campaigner. On a work assignment in New York. Home is Sydney. Votes in Pennsylvania.