Great and interesting post about U.S. citizenship abroad. Some familiar faces. The post includes:
” I also am deeply concerned about the lack of information available to Americans already abroad or those who wish to go abroad,” she said. “Because both the IRS and the State Department do not communicate at all to this population, many are still ignorant about the U.S. filing and reporting requirements. “
The cost of filing her taxes can run to $1,000 or higher. She’s also forced to navigate other potential financial minefields due to FBAR and FATCA.
“The real panic for me was when I found out about the FBAR,” Ferauge said. “The fines for not filing were unbelievable, $10,000 US per year. Then, finding out about FATCA on the heels of that just increased my anxiety, especially when I started hearing rumors among Americans abroad about draconian fines for non-compliance — even inadvertent and innocent non-compliance — and that some banks in certain countries were starting to close the accounts of their American clients.”
Like Swanson she started her own blog, The Franco-American Flophouse, to talk about the issues they believe are on the horizon. In addition to large numbers of middle class workers being caught in an inescapable net, they think the law itself will not be as effective at its mission as lawmakers propose.
She said she would tell most Americans, “that FATCA doesn’t stand a chance in hell of catching those tax evaders. People who are rich enough to move their money from one country to another and do it to escape taxes have many ways of getting around this law. All FATCA will do is cause a lot of damage to the innocent and destroy the ability of Americans to enjoy the fruits of globalization – to be as mobile as the British or the French or the Chinese.”
The underground movement that spawned Swanson and Ferauge is growing, they say. Like most movements it’s a decentralized effort. Ferauge says she believes that is its strength.
“The movement has no real center or appointed leaders but it is becoming a powerful network” Ferauge, who successful battled cancer, said. “Google recent articles about Americans abroad and FATCA online and you will see hundreds of comments. This is the Diaspora in action. No sooner does an article come out then it is emailed, tweeted and posted all around the globe. The response is almost immediate with people weighing in from Thailand, Mexico, Europe, South America and many other places. It’s quite extraordinary.”
This group of advocates has sprung up relatively recently. There have always been advocacy organizations working on behalf of expatriates. They have also been assertive in their opposition to FATCA. Their battle has been more on the political front than their loosely formed counterparts.
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