Tax reform is now at the top of the Congressional agenda. It’s success could well be in the hands of six men who have taken up the task of developing a tax reform bill that can actually pass both houses of government. With the month of August upon us we need to remind ourselves that we still have a chance to influence the content of the bill by sending letters, emails and tweets to the “Big Six”.
Please see this link to my earlier post which will lead you, in turn, to the list of contact addresses.
Another person we should be adding to our contacts list is Shahira Knight of the National Economic Council who is working closely with the “Big Six”. In an article by Nancy Cook and Josh Dawsey, Shahira Knight is said to have been acting as “the face of the administration’s tax push”.
UPDATE: In fact, Shahira Knight has a title. She is “Special Advisor to the President for Tax and Retirement Policy”. You bet she needs to hear from us!
You can address letters to her at:
Shahira Knight, National Economic Council, The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, D.C. 2050
List of the correct Zip Codes:
@MuzzledNoMore: I think we all appreciate your diligence in this matter. But instead of linking to a post which links to a post which links to yet another post, it will be easier for everybody to simply repeat the list of addresses to write to. Here they are, with the latest one added (and corrected to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue SE, not NW; I looked it up).
Paul Ryan, Speaker
H-232 The Capitol
Washington, D.C. 20515
Ph (202) 225-0600; FAX (202) 225-2012
Congressman Kevin Brady, Chairman, Ways and Means Committee,
1011 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Ph (202) 225-4901; FAX (202) 225-5524
Senator Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader
317 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Ph (202) 224-2541
Senator Orrin Hatch, Chairman, Senate Finance Committee
104 Hart Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Ph (202) 224-5251; FAX (202) 224-6331
Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of the Treasury
Department of the Treasury
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20220-0002
National Economic Council
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave., SE
Washington, D.C. 20003-3228
Gary Cohn, Chief Economic Advisor to the President
(no contact info found so far – except Twitter)
@WhiteHouse (Gary Cohn)
On twitter we are after the hashtag #taxreform. We have done fairly well with top positions on TOP. There will be more activity there in September after the Congressional recess.
I appreciate all that you are doing to get FATCA repealed and hope that you get somewhere in your efforts. I sadly don’t hold out much hope with this administration, nor any other at this point. The FATCA steamroller continues unabated. A lawyer friend of mine, who is very well versed in this matter, showed me many articles from the past weeks, announcing new FATCA agreements being signed and he told me that the Treasury Department hasn’t slowed down their FATCA machine, but are actually stepping up their efforts to get every single country in the world onboard. Delegations from the Treasury Department are still travelling extensively around the world negotiating renewals of FATCA agreements, modifications of existing IGAs or arm twisting and threatening nations that have been holding out and have not yet signed one of their illegal non congressionally approved IGAs. Just this week the following appeared on one country’s US embassy website, as well as in the press of a neighboring country:
If there was even the slightest chance that this entire criminal operation would be getting shut down anytime soon, I would strongly doubt that efforts to add additional countries and ramp up enforcement would be taking place as we speak. It speaks volumes of what the real intentions are and repealing FATCA wouldn’t appear to be one of them.
Still, best of luck in all of your efforts, but remember that you are not dealing with a healthy democracy, where representatives listen and react to the needs of their constituents, let alone to people living far away from the country who are deemed by the vast majority of these legislators as traitors deserving of their plight.
Strongly recommend that you read this article at tax connections:
“Include a shift to a territorial system. Senator Hatch noted recently that this has bipartisan support and was part of both the House plan and President Trump’s 1-page plan.”
This is extremely significant – it is possible that a shift to “territorial” would include individuals.
Republicans Overseas has proposed the shift to “territorial” for individuals. See:
There is nothing lost by writing these people. But, it seems the focus should be on the “territorial taxation” component.
Thanks for putting the addresses in the comment stream, Barbara.
Also, my thanks to Pacifica for locating Shahira Knight’s official title: “Special Advisor to the President for Tax and Retirement Policy”.
USC Abroad: Thank you for those very positive links! Hope is still alive! However, I do note that the quote about the shift to territorial taxation is Annette Nellen’s interpretation of Ryan’s words. I hope she’s right!
Just heard someone (American) from Commbank got one searched on Facebook saw this I·
My wife received a ‘Foreign Tax Status Self-Certification’ form.
Questions on this for are ‘What are your countries of Citizenship’, ‘What are your countries of Residence’, ‘What are your countries of Tax Residence’ and ‘What is the purpose for opening an Australian banking account/facility? (if not an Australian Resident)’
After a few phone-calls to BankWest and some online investigation it turns out that the form is a result of an agreement between the US and Australian government. (see also http://www.moneymanagement.com.au/…/australia-and-us-seal-f… )
Further investigations learn that some of the Dutch banks are also asking their account holders similar questions. However their questions are a lot more specific. Basically asking “Are you a US citizen?”.
The form Bankwest send me was an open question asking for all countries of Citizenship/Residence. I find that very intrusive. A second phone-call to BankWest confirmed that they had no obligation to ask about any other citizenship or residence status, they just thought it was handy to have that ‘on file’ just in case the ATO wants to know about other citizenships in the future!
This is clearly overstepping a line in privacy and I have refused to return this form. I call on BankWest to change the form so they only ask the minimum information required by law.
Australia and US seal FACTA pact
Australia and the United States have signed an agreement to reduce the burden on Australian financial institutions in adhering to the US’s Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act.
That sounds like the CRS protocol, to list all countries of tax residence (which with the exception of the US is of course quite different from citizenship). Some months ago we talked about a similar Canadian form that might be rolled out this year.
No doubt banks may err on the side of collecting too much, and if it’s anything like Canada they won’t validate the answers so feel free to “forget” any inconvenient citizenships.
According to Jim Jatras of http://repealfatca.com/, re FATCA repeal as it stands today,
“It’s just that things are moving so slowly and this is just not a top priority issue. When
the wheels start to turn, I am confident we’ll be in the mix. I know many
people looking at it from outside see lack of movement as an indication
we’ve failed or the fix is in. (“They signed a new IGA! They support
FATCA!”) But the old regime is still largely in place. It will take some
To my query to Jim that FATCA repeal won’t get the necessary votes in the Senate and what the best way forward might be, Jim wrote:
“I don’t know how anyone could possibly know that. First, nothing is
passing the Senate, even the obvious big name items like Obamacare repeal and
infrastructure. Even tax reform is far from a given. Second, FATCA is on
the radar screen of nobody, there’s not even a hint of what the full Senate
would think of it, where 90% of the members have never even heard of it.
Best way forward is twofold. First, that the administration act on the
recommendations in the Meadows-Paul April letter. That would gut FATCA,
repeal would then just be a formality. The danger is that with the slow pace
of Senate confirmations of Trump appointees there’s no way to know yet if
the eventual response will be what we asked for and what the GOP Platform
promises, or if the bureaucrats in place will give us an Obama-rehash
answer. To an astounding extent, the old administration is still
functionally in place. However, if one key appointment I am birddogging
gets in, we could be in business.
Second of course if the House tucking repeal into some other convenient
Must Pass vehicle. We are still looking for opportunities. But with deadlock in
the Senate, it’s hard to know how that can be managed. Still trying
From what I’ve read, American competitiveness seems to be a priority when it comes to tax reform and territorial taxation for individuals seems to dovetail nicely with this. It’s pretty clear CBT and FATCA are clearly inhibiting Americans on a global basis. This should be our focus.
Jatras also thought Trump would make a good president. Enough said.
Maybe it will change, maybe it won’t. Focus on what you can do. Maybe shoot down the IGA on Charter grounds. More importantly, spread the word that there’s nothing to fear. Lie to your bank and stay off the IRS radar, there’s nothing they can do to you. Or renounce if you’re having trouble sleeping nights.
Takeaway: Momentum toward a tax reform package is building as congressional Republicans continue their outreach to the White House and the private sector. Expect an outline of the proposal to be released sometime in September. Note, the future of various Affordable Care Act tax provisions and any potential effects on the federal budget of health reform will have a significant impact on the fiscal baseline and potential timeline for tax reform legislation.
Whether you like Jatras or not, he’s against FATCA.
I don’t see how anything he said is detrimental to your suggestion to do what we can, do you?
Yes, we must do what we can. If we just sit back and let stuff happen TO us we haven’t a leg to stand on. Yes, there are weird signs out there that perhaps nothing is going to be done. But there seem to be an equal number of indicators that movement is truly about to happen. One thing is for certain. If we, the people being imprisoned by FATCA/CBT, don’t let the head honchos know what the score is, it’s *guaranteed* that our cause will fail. Let’s not let negativity prevent us from getting the job done.
Write to your representatives
I just sent a thick packet to Shahira Knight, stuffed with printed documents, selected from the 2015 Senate Finance Committee submissions. I figured her staff might actually read such things as the analysis in the Houston Law Review and a number of others. I did not include ACA proposals for FATCA Same Country Exemption, nor anything that was solely about FACTA. My aim is to push a bit harder on the TBT/RBT angle, with FATCA as an addendum.
I also didn’t send the huge set of documents written by Stephen Kish and John Richardson, since I didn’t want to scare them off with too much stuff, and that report dwarfs everything else in size. If either of those gentlemen is reading this, may I encourage you to send a printed copy of your excellent work to these Big Six dudes and Ms. Knight?
Fabulous, Barbara! Absolutely GREAT!! 🙂
Thank you for organizing this writing project to repeal CBT. I’ve sent letters to the 6 addresses by snail mail (perhaps more of a chance of being read by someone on the staff than if sent by Twitter or fax ?). For Gary Cohn’s address, I used the White House (someone there must be able to forward it to his office).
Jayneire: Thank you so much!!! Great that you used snail mail. I do think it has a better chance of being noticed above the flood of tweets and texts these guys must wade through every day. May our words finally strike home!