Thought you would be interested in this headline that I found yesterday on International Securities Services Magazine online. The title caught my eye, and when I began to read the article and saw these comments, I began to boil.
Operations and IT executives at some of the world’s largest banks, brokerage firms and fund managers are breathing a sigh of relief now that the U.S. Treasury and Internal Revenue Service have cut them some slack in how they should help catch American tax dodgers living overseas.
The goal of the controversial legislation: to help Uncle Sam earn more revenues from taxes not currently paid by U.S. taxpayers living abroad.
….must still sign agreements with the IRS and follow its policies on how they will monitor and report information on US taxpayers living abroad.
In the latest incarnation of FATCA, the U.S. Treasury and IRS say they will allow financial firms which become PFFIs in five European countries — France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK — to report information about U.S. taxpayers in those countries to their local tax authorities.
So, after sleeping on it to cool down, I had to write him the first this morning when I got up. Since it has been a quiet day for posts, Petros asked that I put it up for your reading entertainment.
Here was my email….
Your headline is a stunner….
FATCA Take II: Finding U.S. Tax Evaders Abroad Gets Easier
I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at your most recent headline and article. Is this an Onion story, or is it deliberate mis-characterization on your part? I guess it could represent ignorance, but the other components of the story are detailed and accurate enough, that there is intelligence at work here, so I am genuinely mystified.
I don’t mean to insult you, but this is the most egregious headline and by extension the greatest mis-characterization of assertions within the story I have ever seen to date. And,….I have read hundreds of stories on FATCA.
Surely you are mistaking the “effects” of FATCA from the “intention” of FATCA. You do understand the difference, right?
It is true, that this misguided legislation is definitely effecting millions of ordinary middle class Expats living around the world for a host of reasons, but they are not living overseas to escape US taxes. That was not the factor in those decisions to live abroad. This is not about tax evasion of US Expats. It is all about tax evasion by Homeland Americans.
When this bill was created by those lovely folks in Congress, (IE Senator Levin in conjunction with a team of IRS lawyers and management), I would dare say that Expats were never considered. Hell, America hardly even knows they exist, as they have no representation in Congress. Expats are not where the money is. It is right there on the East Coast, amongst the American financial professionals is those great wealth entices them to try to search out UBS type evasion schemes
This has all started on the backs of the USB prosecution, and that had nothing to do with Expats! Here, read it yourself from the DOJ’s own website.
I think you will find that most if not all of these prosecutions are Homeland Americans, not Expats!
I would kindly request that you correct your story, as anyone who has been following this story knows, FATCA was passed primarily to crack down on Homeland Americans who were using the benefits of secrecy and offshore accounts to escape US taxes at home. It had nothing to do with Expats living overseas. That is just the most unfortunate and unintended consequence of this misguided world-wide policy..
Here is another view you might consider. It more accurately characterizes the story.
The Despicable Truth About The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act:
I look forward to reading your correction when it comes out.
PS…BTW, just wondering. Where is your home? Have you ever lived overseas? Do you have any family members who are not US citizens? Have you ever really thought about or considered the concept of citizenship taxation and how unique America is in the world with the assertion of its rights to tax “US Persons” anywhere in the world or universe for that matter? Only America and Eritrea practice it.. (oh maybe North Korea too in perverted sort of way, but then they never let citizens leave home, so hardly counts, now does it? ) What if other countries, like a few of those in dire straights in Europe, decided to tax their citizens the same way? What would be the consequences of that? Read this below and give it a thought!
Good work! Have to keep sending in the SWAT teams every time one of these misleading and misinformed articles comes out. The only slack I might cut to some of these “journalists” is to recognize that they rarely write their own headlines. This is a job usually left up to senior staff who are so burnt-out and/or booze and/or narcotics-addled that they can’t contribute anything else anymore except snarky, cynical, too-clever-by-half or just plain dumb headlines that often bear no relationship to the story itself. Beyond that, sheer laziness seems to be rampant in most MSM organizations today. All they do is copy-paste from press releases, like the ridiculous missives that come out of Carl Levin’s office or those stunning works of fiction emanating from the IRS itself.
I take your point, but when I read the comments inside the article, and recognized that he was the Editor, there was no excuse! LOL
I sent him this e-mail:
“Shame on you on the International Securities Services Magazine Online. It incredible that people should know better continue to spread the damaging notion that Americans Living and Working Abroad are THE tax cheaters who deserve to be chased. If you took you time to learn about us and about the initial intent of FATCA you would not be spreading this lie. You would know that we are suffering from FATCA because we are being lumped together with Americans Living and Working in the US who have hided foreign accounts. This has created a hardship for all of us that you can´t believe. Please do your research before spreading lies around”
Ahh.. it never stops. I feel like I’m talking to a brick wall.
I say “I don’t owe anything.”
The US says “Yes you do.”
I say “What? Show me.”
The US says “Yes you do.”
I say “Really, show me. If I owe, I will pay.”
The US says “Yes you do.”
Yes you do. Yes you do. Yes you do.
It never stops! I think that the vast majority of Americans are REALLY too ignorant to know what is like to live overseas.
My wife said “just a few more small papers to get here” and then I’ll going in with my citizenship petition. Hopefully this month. I just want far away from that place and this blue passport.