8 thoughts on “The two faces of #FATCA: Public for the banks and private for #Americansabroad

  1. Em

    It’s all totally irrational and quite impossible isn’t it. Thank you for summarizing what this past year in FATCA hell has been like. I think you are probably right that most Americans would comply with their U.S. tax and form filings, if it were possible, but to score a bullseye, in most cases to even come close to hitting the complete compliance target, is not possible. The IRS with its never ending revisions, layers upon layers of complexities and a terrible tendency to double down on penalties shows no interest in making it possible either. Obviously the modus operandi here is not about tax collection, it is about something else which I strongly suggest is control for the purpose of confiscation and ultimately enslavement. The U.S. government cares not that along with the fear it is instilling, comes the loathing. After all, these are overseas Americans what can they do? Eventually they will not even dare to return to their homeland, even for a visit. I’m not American and more “over the border” from the USA than “overseas” but having a U.S. connection means this insanity will continue to affect me, probably for the rest of my life. I don’t know who first said, “Stop the world. I want to get off.” but that’s how I feel right now too.

    1. monalisa1776

      @Em, this is also what I fear. I don’t know if any of us will ever be truly safe because they could argue some obscure technicality to claim that we weren’t fully compliant, and thus still come after some former citizens even after the official statutes of limitations have run. It’s why I am concerned that some people who are openly protesting could face reprisals. However, I suspect that the fear is fueled even more by the compliance industry and attorneys who live off our fear.

  2. Blaze

    Excellent post.
    @MonaLisa: I also don’t trust US not to change the rules of the game whenever they feel like it. Many of us were told decades ago we were “permanently and irrevocably” relinquishing US citizenship when we became citizens of other countries decades ago.

    Now, they try to reclaim us as “US persons” or make us travel to US Consulates to prove we are not “US persons” for FATCA. Most of us are now seniors. In my case, travel to a US Consulate is impractical for health reasons. Other people are in nursing homes and travel is impossible.

    In any case, I am not prepared to go anywhere near a US Consulate. Based on past experience, I don’t trust them–no matter how polite, respectful or friendly staff may or may not be.

    1. monalisa1776

      @Blaze, I share your fears though take comfort knowing that, because the IRS are understaffed and underfunded, I suspect that that they aren’t (at least at present) going to have the resources to go after every single person who renounces. I still am cynical enough to believe that the real winners will be all the accountants and attorneys. They feed off our fear. They have lobbied Congress to retain the status quo so we have to essentially pay them ransom money to keep us safe from the IRS; it’s a racket!

      I’ll be munching popcorn over the next six or seven years as I watch with fascinated horror or hopefully relief how all this will unfold. I could see whales being their main focus though also large numbers of minnow cases too just to prove that no one is safe. After all, it would be so easy for them to start hitting Expats with FBAR and non-filing fines and quite straightforward to argue if they start discovering multitudes of undeclared foreign accounts through FATCA, especially as non-filers of tax returns have completely open statutes of limitation.

      But what I can’t determine is whether they’ll want to add new legislation to effectively reclassify many former citizens as US Persons once again. I could see them doing so by stealth, such as by reducing the number of days allowed inside the US before being deemed to have sufficient substantial presence to, once again, be liable for US taxation on worldwide income (as could already start happening to many Canadian Snowbirds). At this stage, now that my assets are out of the US, my biggest fear is of the Reed Amendment or some form of Ex-Patriot act being widely enforced to deter more renunciations. I also worry that they might also find some sort of nasty way to seize or heavily taxany future US-sourced inheritance from my parents, for instance…

      1. monalisa1776

        Another obvious way they could try to deter a further surge in renounciations would be to vastly lower the threshold at which covered status would begin from the present two million to perhaps just a couple hundred thousand in assets! They might also raise the renunciation fee to $5000 or even $50,000, etc.

        But to be honest, I feel their biggest fear is of the very wealthy leaving, so would think it more likely that they’ll continue to focus on punishing the very rich with perhaps a higher exit Tax of of maybe 40-50% of any assets over a couple million.

  3. Pingback: Good report from @NPRnews explaining #FATCA and #Americansabroad | Citizenship Counselling For U.S. Citizens in Canada and Abroad

  4. Pingback: FATCA: France-US to Ratify Agreement | FrenchNewsOnline

  5. Pingback: FATCA is Not Going Away, US Expats in France Should Take Note | FrenchNewsOnline

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