November 15, 2019

EU Parliament FATCA hearing shows the body is listening

On Tuesday 12 November the European Parliament held a public hearing (video here) exploring the impact of FATCA on citizens of Europe who also have U.S. citizenship, including data privacy violations, banking discrimination and more.  The hearing was organized in response to a petition filed on behalf of a collective of European citizens who are adversely affected by FATCA, including Accidental Americans.  (See below.)

Our friends in the Accidental Americans Association who testified at the hearing tell us that EU Parliamentarians and others are genuinely starting to grasp the issues and the injustice.  Some national politicians are speaking out, notably in France, The Netherlands and the UK.  And the EU Parliament has demonstrated its belief that relief from the harm FATCA is doing to Accidentals is urgently needed.  The European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union, however, has not and, to the frustration of Accidentals, shows no signs of wanting to get involved.

European Parliament TV has published this video of the hearing.  Deliberations not in English are translated; it is essential viewing for those who are following or interested in the progress of challenges to FATCA through European legislative bodies.

Coverage of the hearing has been published by Tax Notes and International Advisor.

Accidental Americans – Advocacy Update

Followers of Democrats Abroad’s tax advocacy will know that we support a renunciation remedy for Accidental Americans to shed their unwanted U.S. citizenship without lengthy procedures or undo penalties.  So far the U.S. government has provided no indication that such a remedy is forthcoming.  Renouncing U.S. citizenship involves application fees, administrative hurdles and tax compliance that puts the cost beyond the reach of many.

On September 6 of this year, purportedly in recognition of the FATCA problems outlined by Accidentals, the IRS published new procedures providing tax relief to former American citizens who relinquished their U.S. citizenship without becoming tax compliant.  The relief – no tax payable if the liability is less than $25,000 – is going to be relevant and of use to only a very small band of former citizens. The details are here.  

Please send comments or questions to [email protected].