October 13, 2020

CARES Act and Americans Abroad research project - SURVEY NOW CLOSED

THANK YOU to all who made submissions to this research into the experience of Americans abroad accessing the aid in the CARES Act.  A mighty 4,363 Americans abroad participated in the research, which will result in robust findings.  Democrats Abroad will publish a report on the research by mid November then use it to support our recommendations for improving access to the aid in a future COVID pandemic aid package for Americans abroad.


This year the Democrats Abroad Taxation Task Force has addressed the concerns of thousands of Americans abroad related to the financial aid available to eligible U.S. citizens under the COVID pandemic stimulus bill passed in March.  Our experience indicates the resources of the IRS fell far short of serving the needs of eligible Americans abroad.  (This fact is particularly vexing today, 15 October, the IRS extension deadline for U.S. tax filing and foreign financial account reporting.) 

Today we are launching an Americans Abroad and the CARES Act research project to compile data to describe your experience accessing the aid and make recommendations to the IRS for improving the delivery of the next aid package.

Please take the survey yourself.  Please share the survey with other Americans abroad and please post it on your social media platforms.  It will be open for submissions from 15 to 31 October 2020.  We expect to publish our findings in mid-November.


Democrats Abroad has provided on-going support and assistance to Americans abroad in navigating the aid programs in the Caronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act since it was passed on 27 March 2020.  We have also been in on-going contact with the IRS and Treasury about the issues Americans abroad have encountered, with the goal of improving IRS service to and engagement with Americans living abroad and helping eligible citizens get aid as quickly as possible.  Our letters to the U.S. Treasury are posted on the Democrats Abroad taxation blog.

All indications suggest there will be no new round of COVID pandemic aid in place before Election Day.*  We expect Congress will pass a further pandemic support package in the Lame Duck Session.  Our ambition is to provide advice and recommendations to Congress, the IRS and Treasury so that the problems Americans abroad encountered with the CARES Act are not repeated.

Democrats Abroad is compiling research into the experience of Americans abroad eligible to receive aid and support under the CARES Act, specifically related to these 3 components:

  • the Economic Impact Payment,
  • Federal Student Loan support and
  • aid to small businesses.

If you were or may have been in a position to benefit from these programs please take this survey on Americans Abroad and the CARES Act. 

The survey opens today and will close on Saturday 31 October.

The findings and all the underlying data will be published within the following 2-3 weeks.

We urge you to share this link to the CARES Act survey (insert link to survey on website) with others and on your social media platforms as well so that we can reach as many Americans abroad as possible.

Please send questions or comments to [email protected].