A new bill - H.R. 6057 the Tax Simplification For Americans Abroad Act – has just been introduced in Congress by Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA08). It’s currently building support in the House and Senate. If we want the provisions in this bill to be enacted into law, it’s up to us to fight for it. If you support tax simplification for Americans abroad, then there is no more important time to make your voice heard back in DC. Read on for how to call or message your members of Congress and what to say.
Tax reform will happen when enough Americans abroad reach out to our members of Congress and demand it.
If passed, H.R. 6057 the Tax Simplification for Americans Abroad Act of 2021 (click here for more information) will greatly simplify tax filing for Americans abroad, and expand the definition of the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion. Its introduction is a tremendous milestone in our journey to achieving tax fairness for Americans abroad. In order for it to get made into law, we must ask for specific next steps:
- The Senate needs to include the bill’s provisions in the Senate version of the Build Back Better Bill.
- We need further sponsors* from both the Senate and the House.
* Your outreach to Congress is especially valuable if your Representative serves on the House Ways and Means Committee, Financial Services Committee or Appropriations or if one of your Senators serves on the Senate Finance Committee or Senate Banking Committee. The rest of Congress looks to these members for direction.
CALLSTORM FOR THE TAX SIMPLIFICATION FOR AMERICANS ABROAD ACT
We’ve outlined steps below to help you contact Congress. Any questions? Just ask.
1. IDENTIFY WHO REPRESENTS YOU IN CONGRESS
Find your representative HERE (enter the Zip Code of your U.S.A. voting address, you do not have to reside there currently)
Find your senators HERE.
2. CALL CONGRESS
Here’s a sample script you can use to ask for support for the Americans abroad tax filing simplification:
My name is [_____ ]. I’m a constituent from [name of U.S. town where you vote] and I currently live in [town or city, Country]. I am calling to ask Rep/Senator [name of Congress member] to support tax filing relief for me and other Americans abroad. This reform to greatly simplify tax filing for Americans abroad already has support in the Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee. The reform is in Rep. Don Beyer’s House Bill H.R. 6057 – the TAX SIMPLIFICATION FOR AMERICANS ABROAD ACT. We need the provision in the bill to be included in the budget reconciliation bill.
[HERE is where you get to tell your tax story!! Specific information about what you have personally experienced is VERY POWERFUL. The cost, the time, the confusion, the stress. The impact on your family, your career, your finances, your future. Think about it. Write it down. Keep it brief. Make it real.]
Please tell Rep/Sen [ ] I am asking for his/her support to simplify tax filing for U.S. citizens abroad. Repeat this. My name is [_____ ]. I live in [city, country] and I vote as often as I am legally able to in [town, state]. Thank you and thank you for your service to [name of Congress member] and the nation.
Warning: Many offices are modestly staffed due to COVID. You may get an answering machine. And, sadly, many VoiceMail message boxes, especially in the Senate, fill up soon during the day. If the message box is full, try again the next day at an earlier time.
3. MESSAGE CONGRESS ONLINE
Leave a written message on the “Contact” or “Contact Me” page of your representatives' Congressional webpages. The links in Step 1 will include a link to your members’ webpages but you can easily find them with a Google search. Depending upon your elected rep, they will require your U.S.A. voting address zip code, possibly your full voting address, and possibly a USA phone number* (though zeros in the phone number field often suffices).
Either go directly to your members’ websites or use the www.democracy.io website to send your elected reps an electronic message. IMPORTANT: If you have no US phone number put zeros in the phone number field. Remember to use a USA voting address NOT a non-USA address.
You can use this language to ask for support for the TAX SIMPLIFICATION FOR AMERICANS ABROAD ACT:
I live in [town or city, Country] and I vote in [town, State]. Rep/Senator [name of Congress member], I am asking for your support for tax filing relief for me and other Americans abroad. A reform to greatly simplify tax filing for Americans abroad already has support in the Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee. The reform is the subject of Rep. Don Beyer’s House Bill H.R. 6057 – the TAX SIMPLIFICATION FOR AMERICANS ABROAD ACT. We need the provisions in the bill to be included in the budget reconciliation bill.
[Tell your tax story here! Messages providing specific information about what you have personally experienced are the most POWERFUL. Make the pain real by including details about the complexity, cost and stress of filing from abroad, especially if you are going to all this trouble and expense to demonstrate that you owe nothing in U.S. tax. You should talk about the impact on your family, your career, your finances, your future and your children’s future.]
Rep/Sen [ ], I am asking for your support for including in legislation this year the provisions in HR #6057 - the TAX SIMPLIFICATION FOR AMERICANS ABROAD ACT.
Optional: I would be happy to speak to you further. You can contact me here: [phone or email].
Lives in (City, Country)
Votes in (Town, State)
4. CONTACT CONGRESS VIA SOCIAL MEDIA
Ping your Members of Congress: Here’s a Congress Outreach graphic.
@SenSomebody - Put Americans Abroad in the Build Back Better Bill. #TaxSimplificationAct #AmericansAbroad #HR6057
@RepSomebody, tax filing from abroad is costly & complex. Your constituents abroad need your help. #TaxSimplificationAct #AmericansAbroad #HR6057
Promote this CallStorm: Here’s a CallStorm graphic.
File from abroad without accounting fees? We have a bill for that! Call your Congress people and ask for the #TaxSimplificationAct #AmericansAbroad bit.ly/SimplifyFilingAct
Shout out our Legislation’s champion, Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA08):
Thank you @RepDonBeyer for the #TaxSimplificationAct - Tax Relief for #AmericansAbroad
5. NEED MORE HELP? Watch our Webinar.
Democrats Abroad hosted this webinar about contacting Congress if you want some formal instruction.
DEMOCRATS ABROAD TAX REFORM - RESOURCES
Tax Simplification for Americans Abroad Act of 2021: H.R. #6057 - introduced by Rep. Beyer to greatly simplify tax filing for Americans abroad and expand the definition of the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion
What Are We Fighting For: Democrats Abroad 2021 Tax Reform Recommendations.
Expat Tax Reform Recommendations for the Biden Agenda: Democrats Abroad March 2021 submission to the Senate Finance Committee “Creating Opportunity Through a Fairer Tax Code” hearing.
Recommendations for Including Americans Abroad in 2021 Spending: Democrats Abroad May 2021 submission to the House Ways and Means Committee tax subcommittee “Funding Our Priorities” hearing.
GILTI Tax and American Businesses Abroad: Democrats Abroad September 2021 research on GILTI Tax and Americans Abroad.
Americans Abroad and the CARES Act Aide Programs: Democrats Abroad November 2020 research and recommendations for improving pandemic aid to Americans abroad.
Making the Case for a Switch to Residency Based Taxation: Democrats Abroad November 2019 Position Paper on RBT.
Tax Filing From Abroad: 2019 Research on Non-Resident Americans and U.S. Taxation
23 Tax Problems for Americans Abroad and 3 Solutions: April 2019 Briefing Note on areas of the Internal Revenue Code that discriminate against Americans Abroad.