Democrats Abroad Tax Advocacy Year in Review - 2020

When we turned our calendars to welcome in 2020 we looked forward to the challenging and exciting year of the most important presidential election of our lifetime.  Little did we know what was in store and how it would affect our tax reform advocacy. Although we continued to advocate for tax reform at every opportunity, a matter of more immediate urgency arose as we all faced the personal and economic upheaval brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As you will see in the review below we spent the better part of 2020 helping the global community of Americans abroad gain access to desperately needed pandemic relief funds. That work goes on as our expectation is that there will be further pandemic aid needed in 2021.

We look forward to the exciting change that will arrive with the inauguration of President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris and we look forward to a less chaotic, more productive, more progressive 2021.

Read on for a review of our work in 2020.

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DemsAbroad speaking to lawmakers next week about CARES Act Aid research to Americans abroad

Further to the publication of our October research into the experience of Americans abroad access the aid in the 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act Democrats Abroad has scheduled a series of meetings with lawmakers in a position to help us implement our recommendations to improve the delivery of aid such as the economic impact payments.  

We have also written to the U.S. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, IRS Commissioner Rettig, Speaker Pelosi, Leader McConnell, Americans Abroad Caucus co-chair Carolyn Maloney, Senate Finance Committee Chair Grassley, House Ways and Means Committee Chair Neal, Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Wyden and House Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Brady to share the research findings and recommendations.  Download the correspondence here.

We will report out on our meetings after next week.


Dems Abroad publishes Americans Abroad and CARES Act Aid Research and Recommendations

Democrats Abroad is pleased to present our research on the experience of Americans Abroad access the aid programs in the CARES Act.  Click here to download the report,  here for the Summary of Findings and Recommendations and here for the research project Datapack.  We are using the research in meetings with lawmakers to advocate for improvements to the administration and delivery of pandemic aid to Americans living abroad.  We anticipate another package of supports will be passed by Congress and will work to ensure our recommendations are embraced and implemented.


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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.

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An Executive Order that might materially reduce the harm of US tax on Americans abroad

We note this  letter to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows requesting Trump sign an Executive Order implementing a range of reforms to provide regulatory relief for Americans abroad.
We have this response to the initiative. 
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There's no better time to ask for tax reform. Send your Voice From Abroad with your Vote From Abroad.


There is no better time to ask for tax reform for Americans abroad than when candidates are asking for your vote. Click here to send your Voice From Abroad along with your Vote From Abroad.


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Help us get RBT into the Democratic Party's 2020 Platform

As part of efforts to make the Democratic Party's convention the most inclusive and engaging yet, the Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) has launched a digital engagement campaign inviting everyone to share what ideas, values, and beliefs they want to see reflected in the 2020 Party Platform.

The main ways to participate in this campaign are by:

Democrats Abroad is working to see Residency Based Taxation (RBT) included in the 2020 Party Platform, so that it helps us gain more support in Congress to make RBT a reality.

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Are you waiting for your CARES Act aid payment?

More than ten weeks have passed since Congress passed the CARES Act, providing, among other things, aid to low income Americans to supplement their household income during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. According the House Ways and Means Committee the IRS has sent out nearly 160 million Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) – some by direct deposit (120 million), some by check sent by traditional mail, (35 million) and some by mailed Visa debit card (4 million).

If you are eligible for an EIP but have not received it, it might still be coming.

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Coronavirus Aid Debit Cards and Helpline coming

On Monday 18 May the US Treasury announced it would be sending CARES Act aid, known as the Economic Impact Payments, to eligible Americans who have no bank account details on file with the IRS and who file their returns at either Austin, TX or Andover, MA.  Americans abroad who file Form 2555 to claim the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion file their tax returns at the IRS processing center in Andover.

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Democrats Abroad recommends ways for the IRS to expedite CARES Act aid to Americans Abroad

Democrats Abroad has written to Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and IRS Commissioner Rettig yet again to report problems being experienced by Americans abroad accessing coronavirus aid and making recommendations for improvement.  Download our letter here.


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