I’d like to share a recent communication from Shaun Barnes who is the Regional Vice Chair, Asia Pacific - Hong Kong, Democrats Abroad.
The post is lengthy but well worth your time and attention...
Thanks for reading!
Chair, NSW Chapter, DAA
"I've recently seen several social media posts on AP Facebook pages with links to a petition for the new Territorial Taxation for Individuals (TTFI) proposal being pushed by Republicans Overseas. Carmelan Polce and the Taxation Task Force have circulated several messages on this, but I wanted to make it absolutely clear for all our CC leaders that TTFI is not the same as the Residency Based Taxation (RBT) plan advocated by DA and does not promote Democratic principles.You may have seen a table produced by RO that compares TTFI to RBT. The key difference that emerges is that under TTFI the offshore earnings of Americans living in the US will not be taxable. RO's plan would provide a windfall to the wealthiest of US-based Americans who are the most likely to be generating income abroad (or who can afford complex tax-structuring to make it appear that they are earning income abroad). This does not help ordinary, middle class Americans. But it is a tax loophole just waiting to be exploited.
Of course, TTFI also benefits Americans abroad like our members who generate all or most of their income in their countries of residency - but this tax reform, which is so important to our financial lives, shouldn't be held hostage to the tax ambitions of the top 1% of US income earners.
These are the criteria we have established for a tax reform package and RBT model that we can support:
Our support for any package of tax reforms will depend on how it aligns with our Democratic Party values.
We will support common sense reforms that clarify and simplify filing and make the tax code fairer for all Americans.
The provisions of the tax package must help reduce inequality, boost opportunity and raise revenue predominantly from those with the greatest ability to pay.
The advantages of changing from Citizenship Based Taxation to RBT must primarily benefit ordinary Americans living and working abroad.
The policy must include straightforward criteria for Americans abroad to use in establishing eligibility and should not obstruct freedom of movement.
RBT should be revenue-neutral to the federal government and not significantly add to the federal deficit.
RBT must not open tax avoidance loopholes or otherwise include avenues for high net worth taxpayers to abuse for the purposes of tax avoidance.
We will not support reforms that restructure the federal government by starving programs that are important to national, community or individual well-being.
TTFI obviously fails more than one of these criteria.
Thankfully, DA has provided its members with lots of resources on RBT to reach out directly to your members of Congress and share with other interested Americans abroad. If you see posts on social media channels you manage advocating for TTFI or linking to the RO petition, please make it clear your members that this is not DA's position and please point your members to the materials for DA's RBT campaign, which our tax team is working tirelessly to promote. (Including by knocking doors in Congress this week!)
Our RBT campaign materials include:
RBT Campaign in a Box: http://bit.ly/2zi4XuP
RBT Pamphlet: http://bit.ly/2zijRkT
RBT Frequently Asked Questions: http://bit.ly/2zhiWkx
Also of interest may be this recent survey DA conducted on the impact of current tax law on Americans overseas and our policy proposals for fixing these issues: http://bit.ly/2yhegND
Please share these resources and survey results with your members, both to engage them in the campaign for RBT and so they understand the effort that DA's tax team is making on their behalf to advocate for tax reform.