James Fallows has written an article in the Atlantic about FATCA. He has indicated he will write more about its unintended consequences on US citizens abroad in the future, based on the hundreds of links he’s gotten from people in Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and Europe.
The link is: Fatca – The Menace You’ll Hear About in 2012
I noticed he didn’t mention Canada, so I have just written him to make sure he knows about the huge effect and consequences FATCA is having here.
Here is what I wrote:
“Dear Mr. Fallows,
Thank you for writing about this issue which is affecting as many as 6 million American citizens who live outside of the US.
You stated that you have many links to the problems that FATCA is causing in “Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and Europe about people and institutions going crazy over this law. ”
You didn’t mention Canada, which has more expats than any other country. Due to the fact that Canada shares the longest undefended border in the world, Canadian expats are more deeply enmeshed in the US economy than expats anywhere else, and therefore have suffered some of the most horrendous personal pain and financial damage due to the effects of FATCA, and citizen-based taxation in general.
We also have a large and growing protest constituency. You can find many of our stories on expat sites such as expatforum.com, where we have an entire sub-forum dealing exclusively with the issues raised in the past four months by the effects of FATCA on our personal and professional lives. The link to the subforum is here: http://www.expatforum.com/expats/expat-tax/
The expat forum led directly to the creation of the Isaac Brock Society ( http://isaacbrocksociety.com/ ) , a public blog that is gathering information and resources to help Canadian expats find answers to their questions and provide support for those caught in the myriad dilemmas into which FATCA and citizen-based taxation has thrown them. An astonishing number of these people are “accidental Americans” who did not know they were Americans, or thought that they had lost their US citizenship long ago. And many many more are “US persons” who, as a result of FATCA, are renouncing their US citizenship in such large numbers that some US embassies in Canada have had to carry out official renunciation ceremonies en masse.
Isaac Brock, you may know, is considered a Canadian hero for defending Canada against US incursions during the War of 1812. There is an ironic symbolism felt on this side of the border that two hundred years later, Canadians once again are uniting to fight off the threat of a US invasion that threatens their property and their future.
Thank you once again for publicizing this issue. We are aware that most Americans know nothing about the enormous impact that FATCA is having on US citizens who live normal lives abroad but are being treated as if we are criminals guilty of willful tax evasion. I have found that, in general, Americans know virtually nothing about how deeply offensive their government’s action are perceived by those outside the US, especially in countries that consider themselves friends and allies of America. Not even the world’s greatest power and largest economy can survive alone.
I’m encouraged by the increasing number of media figures who are telling our story to Americans within the US. Very few people within the US are aware of the effects their government is having on fellow citizens abroad. Americans want to be liked. Government doesn’t have a very good image in the US right now. I’m still looking for a change I can believe in.