Taxation Task Force Chair

  • 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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    Read more

  • 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.

    Read more

  • Dems Abroad on Offshore Account Disclosure, Anti-Abuse mechanisms and Treasury Regulations

    Democrats Abroad has written to Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Representative Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), sponsors of the 2017 Stop Tax Haven Abuse bill, in relation to measures in the bill involving offshore account disclosure.   Americans abroad face serious problems obtaining everyday banking products and services in their countries of residence (as well as in the United States [1]) arising from foreign financial account disclosure requirements.   In our letter we have outlined our concerns about the 2017 bill and, in anticipation of its re-introduction in the 116th Congress, have offered a range of recommendations for anti-abuse mechanisms to curb tax evasion PLUS protect the ordinary and entirely legitimate financial accounts held by Americans abroad in the countries where we live and work.  This is our letter.

    More Treasury Regulations proposed for implementing the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA)

    On Thursday 13 December 2018 Treasury published proposed guidance on the Base Erosion and Anti-Abuse Tax in the 2017 TCJA.  An easing of rules governing the way foreign financial institutions and U.S. banks should deal with foreign account disclosure laws also factors into the proposed regulations.  Reporting on the proposed rules is herehere and here.

    Democrats Abroad is pleased that Treasury, in providing relief for U.S. corporations abroad, has also given consideration to foreign financial account reporting; this is an issue that significantly impacts U.S. citizens abroad.  We strongly urge Treasury to not only consider regulatory changes to benefit companies that operate outside the U.S. but also to consider further changes that would benefit ordinary American citizens who live and work outside the country.   

    Democrats Abroad Taxation Task Force

     

    [1] Provisions in the USA PATRIOT Act requires holders of U.S. financial accounts to have a U.S. address. Americans living abroad without one are not able to open or retain accounts back home.


  • Dems Abroad requests Congressional Leaders hold hearings on Americans abroad issues early in 2019

    Democrats Abroad has reached out to Democratic members of Congress expect to lead in the House of Representatives on key committees to request hearings early in the 116th Congress examining laws and regulations that harm and discriminate against Americans living outside the U.S.  Our letter is here.  We expect to follow up on this letter once the 116th Congress is seated and especially during a Congressional Door Knock to be held in conjunction with the Democrats Abroad 2019 Annual Global Meeting to be held the first half of the year.

    Further more detailed information about the matters raised in this letter and other grievous discriminations against U.S. citizens abroad that Democrats Abroad has and will continue to bring to the attention of our elected representatives please see the Democrats Abroad 2016 Platform which is posted here.


  • DA demands expat tax reform in the lame duck session

    Democrats Abroad has written to Senator Orrin Hatch, Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Ron Wyden, Ranking Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, Rep Kevin Brady, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee and Rep Richard Neal, Ranking Democrat of the House Ways and Means Committee, asking for our transition tax reform recommendations to be included in any technical corrections bill moved in the lame duck session to remedy serious problems arising from the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act rushed through Congress in December of last year.  Click here to download the letter.

    Our letter goes on to ask for their support for an urgent switch from citizenship based taxation to residency based taxation (RBT).  

    We continue to monitor developments in work by Rep George Holding on RBT and to support that work by educating Congress about the need for expat tax reform and the merits of a switch from citizenship-based taxation to RBT. Our fervent hope is that Holding's year-long work will result in a bill introduced before the end of the 115th Congress. Even though the chance of the bill progressing to a vote is very slim, it will be a major milestone to have an RBT bill to work with going forward.  

    The Democrats Abroad Taxation Task Force is very much looking forward, in the next year, to reaching out to the 116th Congress, so many members of which have the overseas vote to thank for their seats. We will make a special effort to engage with them and continue to persuade the all-important tax writing committees about the need for urgent action on expat tax reform.


  • Tax Advocacy Update as we enter the 2018 Midterm Election Congressional Recess

    Last week the U.S. Senate followed the U.S. House of Representatives into recess until after the 6 November midterm elections. Here are some updates on the advocacy work of the DemsAbroad Taxation Task Force as we leave the regular session of the 115th Congress behind and anticipate the “lame duck” session.

    · The Residency Based Taxation (RBT) proposal being championed by Rep George Holding (R-NC) has been at a standstill since August. We are told that further work on the scoring analysis by the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) awaits 1) further releases of regulatory guidance by Treasury on the implementation of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, specifically the 2 new “transition taxes” it introduced that impact American business owners abroad (Repatriation Tax and GILTI Tax), and 2) new definitions for what qualifies as a Passive Foreign Investment Company (PFIC), which are subject to highly punitive tax treatment.

    Our hope is that these matters will be resolved in time for JCT to complete its cost analysis and for House Ways & Means Committee staffers to produce a RBT bill to be introduced in the “lame duck” session. We understand that there will be a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act “technical corrections” bill between Election Day and the end of the calendar year, but we do not expect a fix for the “transition taxes” to be a part of that bill.

    We liaise continuously with key members of the House and with our colleague organisations who are also working in support of RBT. If there is any progress made on the RBT proposal we will surely pass it along.

    · Treasury released guidelines for implementing the transition taxes in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on 1 August 2018 and opened a 60 day comment period for submissions in response to the guidance. Indications suggest Treasury was inundated with comments from individual and corporate owners of businesses abroad. Thanks to all who made submissions in response to our call for comments. The IRS has very abruptly announced it is holding hearings on the regulations this coming Tuesday 22 October, with witnesses invited to speak for 10 minutes. We anticipate a lively exchange of comments and hope thereafter that the IRS embraces the need for relief for American individuals who own foreign businesses. We will forward any developments.

    · Democrats Abroad has been to Capitol Hill twice since the end of the August recess for meetings with members of Congress about expat tax reform. Our outreach, at this point, is concentrated on a) Democrats on the important House Ways & Means Committee, b) members of the House Americans Abroad caucus or who have a connection to the Americans abroad community, and c) members who are friends of Democrats Abroad or have themselves lived outside the U.S. As Congressional Democrats were fully and completely locked out of the 2017 tax reform process we are finding ourselves spending a lot of time educating members about the new taxes on Americans abroad introduced in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. We use it to reiterate our support for a switch from Citizenship Based Taxation to Residency Based Taxation (RBT), with the goal of finding Democrats who will act as RBT bill co-sponsors when the bill is finally produced.

    Important Democrats Abroad tax reform position papers we leave behind at meetings on Capitol Hill are here and here. Our discussions about the issues are often fruitful and encouraging. On Capitol Hill, however, attention has well and truly shifted to the midterm elections. House offices are manned by a skeleton staff - aides having been re-deployed to electoral efforts in the district - and meaningful responses to policy queries are not forthcoming.

    The most high potency outreach to Congress, however, is from you to your elected officials. And there’s no better time to generate attention from candidates for office than when they are asking for your vote. Our expat tax reform campaign guide provides language for phone calls and written messages of all kinds and we encourage you to consult it for support to communicate with your member of the House of Representatives or Senators.

    Lastly, the other very very important thing you can do to support and progress the tax advocacy work of Democrats Abroad and others to enact a switch to Residency Based Taxation IS TO VOTE. A strong, blue, voter abroad turnout is critical to making our concerns a priority for members of Congress. If you haven’t yet voted for many states it is not too late; go to votefromabroad.org to request a ballot. If you have voted, thanks so much for expanding the profile of voters living abroad and for helping to build that blue wave.

    Please contact us at any time with questions or comments.

    Democrats Abroad Taxation Task Force

    taxationtf@democratsabroad.org


  • ADDITIONAL Repatriation Tax Guidelines - Still no relief. Write to Congress and Treasury today.

    Following on from guidelines published on August 1, Treasury has issued yet another set of guidelines to tax advisers on the Repatriation Tax passed in the GOP 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.  You can read reporting on the guidelines here or read the guidelines themselves here, but don't expect to find in them ANY RELIEF for American business owners abroad.  

    We continue to hear from members who own non-US companies about the financial (and psychological) havoc these new taxes are wreaking on their businesses - and their families.  We carry those tragic stories and case studies with us when we meet with lawmakers about tax reform, so please keep sending us messages about how you, your family and your company are experiencing the new taxes RUSHED into place in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.  

    More importantly, however, please keep sending messages to your members of Congress!!  Your Senators and Representative need to hear from you.   You can use the language in this updated campaign guide to reach out to your elected representatives.   The guide also includes a list of members of Congress and key aides driving tax policy writing.  You can write to them as well but nothing is as effective as outreach to your elected representatives.

    REMINDER:   The Open Comment period on Treasury's August 1, 2018 Repatriation Tax and GILTI Tax guidelines closes on Tuesday, October 9, 2018.  Transition Tax campaigner Monte Silver has prepared this advice to assist those who wish to make a submission to Treasury.   We urge all owners of foreign companies, whether they live in the US or outside the US, to make a submission.  

    IMPORTANT:  There are 2 further sets of Repatriation and GILTI Tax guidelines coming from Treasury!  We don't know as yet whether those guidelines will include relief for individuals who are shareholders in foreign corporations.  Hearing from those gravely impacted by these "transition taxes" reminds Treasury that relief is desperately needed.

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


  • September 2018 Residency Based Taxation Campaign Guide for Congressional Outreach - call now!

    Summer 2018 is ending with House Republicans announcing Tax Cuts 2.0. It's a bill that makes permanent the 2017 Tax Act’s temporary cuts to individual tax rates, expands tax-free savings options and adds incentives for investing in start up businesses. It does not, at this point, include a provision to enact Residency Based Taxation (RBT).  Call or write Congress and demand one!

    Those working on the RBT bill that was meant to be a component of Tax Cuts 2.0 told us last week that it was incomplete* and so we are disappointed but not surprised by the announcement.

    Democrats Abroad will be on Capitol Hill next week to keep up the pressure on lawmakers. We will be making the case for these reforms critical to the Americans abroad community:

    • Residency Based Taxation;
    • an exemption from the “transition taxes” in the 2017 tax law to prevent the destruction of many thousand of companies owned by Americans living abroad;
    • HR 2136, the “Overseas Financial Access Act” – to eliminate the foreign financial accounts of Americans living abroad from reporting under FATCA;
    • HR 1205, the “Social Security Fairness Act” - to repeal the Windfall Elimination Provision that prevents Americans abroad with pensions in their countries of residence from claiming the full amount of Social Security payments owed to them;
    • a remedy for Accidental Americans who want only to shed unwanted U.S. citizenship without lengthy procedures and undo penalties.

    You can support our work by calling your elected representatives this week and asking for their support. ALL YOU NEED IS IN THIS CAMPAIGN GUIDE.

    Send questions or comments to the Taxation Task Force:  taxationtf@democratsabroad.org

    * New Passive Foreign Investment Company (PFIC) definitions are coming from Ways & Means Committee staffers and new Transition Tax regulations are coming from Treasury. These will dovetail with provisions in the RBT bill.   


  • posted about Residency Based Taxation Campaign Pamphlet for your 2018 GOTV and resistance events on Facebook 2018-07-18 06:10:43 -0400
    Residency Based Taxation Campaign Pamphlet for your 2018 GOTV and resistance events

    Residency Based Taxation Campaign Pamphlet for your 2018 GOTV and resistance events

    The Taxation Task Force encourages Democrats Abroad Country Committees and Local Chapters to print some of these tri-fold, double-sided pamphlets about our Residency Based Taxation advocacy campaign to distribute at your events.  It explains our campaign and provides languagesupporters can use to call or write to their elected representatives.

    You can download a PDF version here.

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

    Thanks for your on-going support!

    Democrats Abroad Taxation Task Force


  • posted about Democrats Abroad Statement in Support of Accidental Americans on Facebook 2018-07-13 11:51:07 -0400
    Democrats Abroad Statement in Support of Accidental Americans

    Democrats Abroad Statement in Support of Accidental Americans

    Democrats Abroad was invited to be a part of a roundtable convened by Dutch politician and member of the European Parliament, Sophie In’t Veld, to discuss issues raised in a paper examining the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and its application to the international community and European affairs.   Democrats Abroad does NOT involve itself in host country politics or policies and so has declined the invitation.

    Democrats Abroad acts as the Democratic voice of all Americans abroad. The community of Americans abroad is as diverse in age, economic status, race, marital status, sexual identity and political persuasion as any other American community.

    Uniquely, however, the community of Americans abroad also includes a cohort of U.S. citizens who have little or no connection to the United States other than by accident of birth - "Accidental Americans."  Having no association or affiliation with U.S. culture or identity, nor a desire to maintain such artificial and bureaucratic ties, Accidental Americans bear the consequences of a citizenship condition that was not of their making.

    Democrats Abroad acknowledges that the only remedy on offer to Accidentals currently requires them to incur significant effort and considerable, material cost to renounce their American citizenship.  This is an effort no other nation on Earth imposes.

    Democrats Abroad takes an interest in all Americans living abroad – those who are living abroad temporarily; those who are living abroad indefinitely; and those whose lives have always been firmly rooted in countries other than the U.S.  We support policies that free and empower Americans to make responsible migration and citizenship decisions in the interest of themselves and their families.  Democrats Abroad supports a citizenship renunciation remedy for Accidental Americans consistent with this view and we stand with Accidental Americans in their work to secure one.


  • posted about On 15 June Intl Tax Filing Day tell Congress we're double taxed, we vote and we're not happy. Call! on Facebook 2018-06-08 12:43:47 -0400
    On 15 June Intl Tax Filing Day tell Congress we're double taxed, we vote and we're not happy. Call!

    On 15 June Intl Tax Filing Day tell Congress we're double taxed, we vote and we're not happy. Call!

    The 15 June U.S. tax filing deadline for non-resident citizens is upon us - making this the perfect time to raise our voices and remind Congress that we’re NOT HAPPY that the Americans abroad community was completely forgotten in the 2017 "tax reform". And worse, we were subjected to yet another punitive tax provision because tax writers, once again, didn’t stop to consider the impact of complex new tax provisions on Americans abroad.

    Let’s call Washington and remind Congress that we’re out here, we vote and we need their support for -

    • the Residency Based Taxation proposal under development in the Ways & Means Committee;
    • an exemption from the “transition taxes” in the 2017 tax law to prevent the destruction of many thousand of businesses owned by Americans living abroad;
    • HR 2136, the “Overseas Financial Access Act” – to eliminate the foreign financial accounts of Americans living abroad from reporting under FATCA;
    • HR 1205, the “Social Security Fairness Act” - to repeal the Windfall Elimination Provision that prevents Americans abroad with pensions in their countries of residence from claiming the full amount of Social Security payments owed to them;
    • a remedy for Accidental Americans who want only to shed unwanted U.S. citizenship without lengthy procedures and undo penalties.

    We all need to call Congress and make our voices heard.

    All you need to make your voice heard on 15 June - International Tax Filing day is in this Campaign Guide.

    Send any questions or comments to the DA Taxation Task Force at taxationtf@democratsabroad.org.


  • posted about New IRS rules for Transition Tax filing, gives us more time to fight for a full exemption on Facebook 2018-06-04 18:41:08 -0400
    New IRS rules for Transition Tax filing, gives us more time to fight for a full exemption

    New IRS rules for Transition Tax filing, gives us more time to fight for a full exemption

    On Monday 4 June the IRS made an announcement regarding new rules for Americans who must include Repatriation Taxes in their 2017 tax filing, due next Friday 15 June.  On advice from international tax lawyer Monte Silver, our understanding of the impact of the change is as follows:  As long as the taxpayer has less than $1m in Repatriation tax liability (which covers persons with about $6.5m in cash or $12.5m in non-cash or a mix of cash and non-cash non-repatriated profits) then they can delay their first payment by 1 year without incurring penalties (though there will be interest accruing) or having the entire liability accelerated (due and payable immediately).  That gives us another year to work on a remedy before the worst of the transition taxes cut in for those who can least afford to pay.

    Whilst this relief is welcome, it was a grave mistake for the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to impose "transition taxes" on American business owners abroad.  The provisions were enacted with no thought given to the impact on Americans living abroad.  These taxes will cause enormous financial harm and force many Americans abroad to close their businesses.

    Democrats Abroad, in association with the other Americans abroad advocacy groups, have been working for months to draw attention to this serious situation and demand a remedy.  Nothing less than an amendment by Congress granting a full exemption for Americans abroad from the TCJA transition taxes will be acceptable.  The law is double-taxing American business owners abroad - which does nothing to expand job growth and create economic opportunity.

    It's not just unfair.  It is damaging to U.S. business interests.  Errors in tax policy writing like this underscore the urgent need for Congress to act decisively by passing a bill to enact a switch from Citizenship-based Taxation to Residency Based Taxation (RBT).

    Under RBT Americans abroad will continue to report their U.S.-based income to the IRS, but will not report the income they earn and already pay tax on in their countries of residence.  THAT'S what we have been working so very hard on.  And then these new taxes came along!  RBT remains the reform Americans abroad are waiting on.  

    Fortunately there is serious work going on in the House Ways & Means Committee on an RBT bill.  We look forward to seeing our RBT advocacy work result in a bill on the floor of the House of Representatives this year.  We are working hard to see that happen.

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


  • posted about DA seeks clarification on the use of Social Security numbers provided on passport applications on Facebook 2018-05-29 11:46:31 -0400
    DA seeks clarification on the use of Social Security numbers provided on passport applications

    DA seeks clarification on the use of Social Security numbers provided on passport applications

    In March 2018 the IRS issued a notice on how it will implement the Passport Revocation Provision passed by Congress in 2015 as part of the FAST Act.  Democrats Abroad and other groups representing Americans living outside of the U.S. provided input into the establishment of the rules and are generally pleased at the way the due process provisions protect Americans living abroad, especially those in conflict or otherwise unstable zones or in vulnerable positions.   

    Provisions in the code implementing the passport revocation provision also require Americans to include their Social Security numbers (SSNs) on passport and passport renewal applications or face a $500 fine.  We have some concerns and questions about the use of SSNs and other and they are reflected in this submission to the House Ways & Means Social Security Subcommittee hearing on Social Security numbers and securing Americans' identities.  We call on Congress to help us seek clarification from the State Department, Treasury, the IRS and Social Security Administration on: the use of SSNs; sharing of SSNs; obtaining SSNs from abroad; SSNs as federal ID; protection of expat Americans' SSNs from theft; and process for expat Americans for obtaining and challenging SS reports. 

    We hope for responses to our questions and will report back with comments from Congress or the agencies relevant to this inquiry.

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

     


  • Democrats Abroad leaders to seek formal support for RBT from the Democratic Party

    At the DA annual meeting the leaders of the Democratic Party Committee Abroad (DPCA or Democrats Abroad) ratified this resolution to call upon the Democratic Party to provide formal support for a switch from the current U.S. system of Citizenship Based Taxation to Residency Based Taxation.   Next a resolution signalling that support will be submitted to the Democratic National Committee for presentation at their next meeting of party leaders (August).

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


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