This Is an Urgent Campaign to Repeal FATCA ALERT!
Support the Paul Amendment to Repeal FATCA!
November 29, 2017
This week the Senate version of the tax reform bill will come to the Senate
floor. The Campaign to Repeal FATCA has learned that Senator Rand Paul
(R-Kentucky) plans to offer as a floor amendment his bill S. 869 to repeal
the so-called “Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).
The Campaign to Repeal FATCA is asking everyone immediately to contact your
Senators with this simple message:
“Support the Paul Amendment to Repeal FATCA!”
You can find the contact information for your state’s two Senators
here. Given the partisan divide
in the Senate, it is especially important to contact Republican Senators. If
your state has one from each party, contact the Republican first!
Here is a suggested draft message you can use via the email contact. (NOTE:
If you are contacting a Democratic Senator, please delete the sentence in
red referring to the Platform.):
Dear Senator [Name]:
As your constituent, I strongly urge you to support the floor amendment to
be offered by Senator Rand Paul to repeal the so-called Foreign Account Tax
Compliance Act, or FATCA. Despite the claims of its sponsors when it was
passed in 2010, FATCA is a failure in its supposed aim to recover offshore
tax assets hidden by “fat cats.” Instead, it has imposed massive costs on
middle class Americans, violated Americans’ privacy without probable cause,
and led to a huge increase in U.S. citizenship renunciations. The 2016 GOP
Platform called for the repeal of this wrongheaded Obama-era law – and the
Republican Party should keep its promises! Please support the Paul Amendment
to repeal FATCA!
In addition, if you represent an organization, please issue a statement in
support of the Paul Amendment to repeal FATCA and send it to Senate offices
and distribute via social media.
Time is of the essence. Thank you for your help at this critical moment!
Nigel Green and Jim Jatras
Co-Leaders, Campaign to Repeal FATCA
Further information points on why FATCA must be repealed follow:
The GOP called for repeal in its 2016 Platform. “The Foreign Account Tax
Compliance Act (FATCA) and the Foreign Bank and Asset Reporting Requirements
result in government’s warrantless seizure of personal financial information
without reasonable suspicion or probable cause. Americans overseas should
enjoy the same rights as Americans residing in the United States, whose
private financial information is not subject to disclosure to the government
except as to interest earned. The requirement for all banks around the world
to provide detailed information to the IRS about American account holders
outside the United States has resulted in banks refusing service to them.
Thus, FATCA not only allows ‘unreasonable search and seizures’ but also
threatens the ability of overseas Americans to lead normal lives. We call
for its repeal and for a change to residency-based taxation for U.S.
FATCA fails in its stated purpose of recovering tax revenues. On enactment
in 2010, FATCA was scored as raising about $800M per year. According to
Texas A&M law professor William Byrnes, actual recoveries are closer to
$100-200M per year and falling. FATCA will soon cost more than it brings in.
FATCA is an indiscriminate violation of privacy. FATCA data reporting
requires no probable cause or even suspicion. Unlike domestic 1099s and W2s,
no taxable event is required. Compliance burdens fall disproportionately
upon people of moderate means, few of whom are engaged in evasion or owe any
tax. Foreign banks’ denying services to Americans leads to increased U.S
FATCA is costly. Estimates of global compliance spending rely on aggregation
of per-institution costs: millions for each small bank, hundreds of millions
for a big one. One projection puts cumulative cost at $58 to $170 billion.
This is an order of magnitude greater than any recoveries from FATCA.
FATCA relies on Obama-era Executive overreach. Because of other countries’
privacy laws, FATCA is unenforceable without so-called “intergovernmental
agreements” (IGAs) invented by Tim Geithner’s Treasury Department. The IGAs
are not authorized by statute or submitted to the U.S. Senate as treaties.
FATCA threatens our domestic financial industry. Reciprocal “Model 1” IGAs
promise “reciprocity” from U.S. domestic banks. This threatens massive
FATCA-like costs on U.S. banks and consumers.
Keeping FATCA on the books risks future harm. The OECD, which for years has
sought to extinguish personal financial privacy and create a worldwide
financial data fishbowl, has praised the IGAs as a “catalyst” to that end.
If FATCA remains on the books, the next Democrat Administration and Congress
may press reciprocity on domestic American financial firms to create a
global FATCA – or “GATCA.” This is the opposite of what the GOP Platform
Transparency is when citizens monitor government.
When government monitors citizens, that’s tyranny.
Plaxy, you need to read this too
To whom it may concern, at,
and at, isaacbrocksociety.ca
Thank you for your fight against CBT on behalf of my family and those throughout the world who this affects. I will not sign any petitions until my minor children have renounced, but I would like to add a concept that so far, may not have been addressed in your UN human rights violation complaint and this is the purpose of my message.
Some Background on my grievance –
My family and I live in Mexico, a developing country. You may or may not know that since candidate Trump was put fourth, the Mexican peso nearly crashed against all currencies. It was already on its way down due to the price of oil declining, but when President Trump was sworn in, the peso value compared with the USD literally crashed. Its current more stable rate (for now) remains a 75% devaluation against the USD since before candidate Trump tossed in his hat to run for president in late spring of 2016. With this said, I am not making any statement for or against President Trump, but how his presence in politics has affected the exchange rate between the Mexican peso and the US Dollar.
Mexico, as you know is the birthplace of many immigrants (tens of millions) that have entered into the USA over the last several decades. Many immigrant Mexicans were born here (not in US) and are living illegally in USA. They are working in USA and most are paying into employment taxes, sales taxes and social security, disability, state, local, etc unless they are being paid under the table in cash. Many of these same people brought small children with them who have now grown up in the USA and are referred to as “Dreamers”. Many of these Mexican immigrants and dreamers have themselves given birth in the USA, making their children US citizens.
Mexican immigrant workers are an important labor pool in the USA used to fund social current and future security recipients while these same Mexicans, mostly young adults, will likely never see any of the benefits that the current generation of recipients enjoy. Young USA people have not kept up the birth rate to maintain and care for the aging “baby boomer and silent” generations. Low paid unskilled immigrant populations working in the USA have been introduced to boost the birthrate (future taxpayers).
The threat of deportation weighs heavily on on undocumented Mexican USA families who have established roots in their communities. The Mexican government has actively pushed its citizens into going up north where “they will make a better living”, and will be able to “send money to their family in Mexico”. The decades long push to the north has been caused by neoliberalism, regional violence, land disputes, a horrible education system, a huge wealth disparity, corruption and a decades long weak national economy (mostly due to NAFTA). Dollars that are sent South from the USA into Mexico are called remittances here or “remisas” and this money is the SECOND most important contributor to the Mexican economy. International financial institutions enrich themselves greatly on these one way cross border wire transfers, on the backs of poor working class immigrants.
Mexico’s elite NEED this money to keep coming because it has so far prevented widespread civil unrest. Mexico’s elite own ALL forms of the media and continue to push this very visible and viable option on its young people to “leave Mexico” and settle in USA (now Canada!) if they want a better life. Our own government and corrupt elite have failed to warn our young citizens as to what will happen after they become owned by the IRS. Thousands and thousands of young Mexicans receive no advice and no help with such important facts that are for all intents and purposes being hidden from their view; just “go North and send us the money!”
This dangerous programmed sentiment to go north where there’s “more money and freedom”, is pushed endlessly in telenovelas (Mexican soap operas), children’s shows, in the “news”, blogs, advertisements, social media and the like. When the deported come back to live in Mexico, either self deportees or forced deportees, those with obvious US indica showing they were born in USA will be screwed. At this point in time, very few have comprehended this serious life-changing concept, very few are bilingual and can follow isaacbrocksociety.ca and the other information that’s out there.
The Human Rights Violation Related in Mexican Terms –
In Mexico, the minimum wage has just risen to $88 Mexican pesos per day. Even this small increment of less than 8 Mex pesos has caused our central banker, Augustin Carstens to say that we are likely to see an economic recession and inflation for 2018! Everything in Mexico revolves around the federal minimum wage. All laws, fines, tariffs, fees, appraisals and the like here are based on and state the number of work days at the federal minimum wage as to what they cost. Most productive (sane) people in Mexico are small business owners, because they know that they will never “get ahead” on this embarrassingly low minimum wage AND in addition~ in Mexico it is widely practiced and LEGAL to discriminate based on AGE (and sex, and marital status, and looks!) for hiring. Most people once they reach 35 years of age are unemployable unless they posses a highly sought-after and marketable special skill.
Considering all that I have written, my family’s input to the UN complaint is how the US state department is violating every Mexican citizen’s human rights! Here’s why ~
For a Mexican to pay the $2,350 US Dollar renunciation fee as a worker being paid the federal minimum wage of $88 Mexican pesos (which is is LESS THAN $4.88 US Dollars) .… It will take
481 and a half days of full time work!
If they also need to eat, pay rent/housing, school fees, pay for basic medical expenses then of course it will take much longer to pay the renunciation extortion. Imagine, regular Mexicans being ENSLAVED for 481.5 days of their already difficult lifetimes to pay an inhumane and probably internationally illegal extortion fee to imperialist USA!
ONE AND ONE THIRD YEARS!!!!! Of SLAVERY to pay the US Government to be FREE again! Slavery is a violation of human rights and this is our complaint, one and one third YEARS to pay this onerous and unjust renunciation fee. We refuse to be enslaved any longer.
I thank you for your time in considering this and perhaps using this information to help add evidence to the US human rights complaint.
Thank you Canada and isaacbrocksociety.ca
PLEASE DO NOT consider this a “heartbreaking letter” because it is not. This letter is intended to strengthen the UN human rights complaint. Thank you!
Thanks for the links George. That’s about the Common Reporting Standard, yes? Which the US does not do “because we have FATCA.”
The Multilateral Treaty model does include an Article on collection but as I understand it, it’s a kind of pick’n’mix template which countries can choose bits from when negotiating the bilateral treaties through which the CRS gets implemented. The really novel bit is that they all agree that when the model is changed, the changes ripple out to become binding in all the treaties incorporating the changed sections. A bit like the Model 1 IGA provision on changes being offered to all, except with the Multilateral Treaty the changes come into force automatically. So it’s not hard to guess that the US would never sign up to that in a month of Sundays. 🙂
Interesting to see the JCT document.
@escapedslave, thank you for adding that very valuable perspective to educate us on how these US extraterritorial issues harm those in Mexico. That has been a gap here because though we know that the largest population of USPs outside the US is in Mexico, and that there are substantial populations of people affected on both sides of the shared border, (Canada is second in numbers ‘abroad’) we have not had commenters writing here about that context, though we have sometimes posted links to webpages with information as people have found them re Mexico and FATCA and the harms caused by US extraterritorial CBT as applied to those in Mexico ex. http://isaacbrocksociety.ca/fatca-and-mexico/ .
As only an anglophone I myself have not been of much use in searching for useful information and articles from contexts outside my own knowledge, and especially from non-English media.
¡Hola escaped slave (one of the many)!
I want to thank you very much for your valuable input that MNM will be able to add to the UN Human Rights Complaint. It is well understood by me why you have to choose not to sign but give this instead.
I have sent this on to MuzzledNoMore in a separate email. I am sure MNM will be here in time to thank you as well.
@ All and George (GB) in particular
I haven’t been able to access Keith’s American Expatriates FB for awhile now (not even substituting “m” for “www”). (I won’t join FB because … well just because.) Has he or FB made it a personal page where only logging in gives you access? If so, I wonder why. If there is a FB user here willing, would you mind asking Keith about this? I’m sure he wants to keep spreading the word as far as possible, so it seems counterintuitive to block so many people from the site. OR, is it possible I’m the only one experiencing this block?
Me, too. I can’t get access to it using www.
I also can’t get it by substituting m. for www using Firefox. But I tried using Edge and the m. prefix worked with that browser. However, doing this I can only see the posts, not the comments, which is frustrating as the comments are usually very informative too.
It’s seems counter-intuitive to me, too, to restrict viewing to members only, as it strikes me as the type of group where they’d really want to get the info out to as many people as possible. And personally I really miss being able to read it.
I thought maybe it was some new FB policy, but I have been able to access other groups which I’m not a member of. So, I guess it was either Keith’s decision or maybe something is screwed up and he isn’t aware of it. So, good idea you had to ask if someone reading your comment here would ask him about it. Thanks.
Escaped slave: Yes, indeed, I add my thanks to Calgary’s and Badger’s for your very timely comment about the effect of the renunciation fee on Mexicans in particular. While the current Complaint is directed specifically against CBT, FATCA and FBAR, the renunciation fee (which many people are feeling forced to pay *because* of those three policies) is definitely an issue that must come before the UN also. I will add your concern to the Support Document for the Complaint that will be sent to the UN on December 15. I will be putting up a new UN Complaint posting very soon.
INCOME TAX TREATY 2000
8. No assistance shall be provided under this Article for a revenue claim in respect of a taxpayer to the extent that the taxpayer can demonstrate that a) where the taxpayer is an individual, the revenue claim relates to a taxable period in which the taxpayer was a citizen of the requested State, and b) where the taxpayer is an entity that is a company, estate or trust, the revenue claim relates to a taxable period in which the taxpayer derived its status as such an entity from the laws in force in the requested State.
I read this to mean that Denmark will not provide any assistance for a claim in which a Danish taxpayer was a Danish citizen at the time the tax was incurred.
I tried our other 2 browsers and no go. We don’t have Edge. I think it might be FB’s fault because they want to censor anti-establishment discussion and American exceptionalism, which Keith challenges, is definitely establishment. Google and YouTube are into this sort of nonsense too. Hopefully someone will get us an answer.
Patricia Moon – yes, that’s how I interpret it.
I’ve since realized I was misinterpreting the Canadian treaty. Canada also will collect from a resident who became a citizen after the time during which rhe US liability arose, is that correct?
If so, that would mean
Sweden, the Netherlands and France will only collect from non-citizen residents,
while Canada will only collect from residents who were not Canadian citizens when the US liability arose, or residents who became citizens since 1995 (?)
and Denmark will only collect from residents who were not Danish citizens when the US liability arose
Appreciate correction if I’ve misinterpreted again. The treaty language does my head in.
This is consistent with the US having no intention of trying to enforce CBT on citizens of other countries. There is apparently no US tax treaty which commits either State to collect the other State’s taxes from a person who was a citizen of the requested State at the time the liability arose.
The Canada-US Tax Treaty currently reads as follows, with no reference to 1995:
IIRC, mutual assistance was not in the original Treaty, and it was put in in the 1995 Protocol (becoming s. XXVI A of the Treaty and including protection for citizens (at the time the tax debt arose) against mutual assistance). The reference to 1995 was then put in the 1997 Protocol to clearly include the protection to those who were citizens and whose tax debt arose prior to the coming into force of s. XXVI A in 1995, presumably because laws are generally interpreted as being prospective as opposed to retroactive, unless otherwise stated.
Thanks, Pacifica777 – got it.
It’s good to know that no country will collect US taxes from citizens who don’t file US tax returns.
But doesn’t help in cases where the enforcing is basically outsourced to banks or tax advisors.
What does this mean? Daniel just posted this on the Facebook group:
“The manager’s amendment was incorporated into the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1). It includes Rand Paul’s Repeal FATCA.”
Does the list on the Senate page simply include a list of all submitted amendments, or does it mean they are all swept into the bill now unless specifically eliminated? Dare we hope again?
@Barbara: Links below to the Senate bill version that actually passed. Nothing about FATCA in either one.
Unsearchable PDF version released by Senate
Searchable version being circulated by samizdat on Twitter
That rpc.senate.gov page shows all submitted amendments. Paul’s amendment is listed in the same status as all the Democrat amendments which also had 0% chance of making it into the final bill: “Introduced”.
News coverage: http://www.internationalinvestment.net/products/tax/us-expat-groups-vow-continue-fight-end-citizenship-based-tax-regime-repeal-fatca/
@Eric: Understood. But my question remains: why are these amendments listed on the “Reconciliation Tracker”? Are they still up for consideration during Senate-House reconciliation proceedings?
@Barbara: sorry for my earlier answer, I misunderstood the question & context.
As I understand it, now that House & Senate go to conference with their respective versions of the bills, it would be extremely difficult to get something like FATCA repeal inserted in conference, when it wasn’t in either of the original bills.
Specifically, once the bill goes back to the Senate after conference, a single Senator can raise a point of order against the insertion of “matter not committed to them by either House”, and then the Republicans would need a three-fifths majority vote to override the point of order and pass the bill.
Since their whole game is to ram the legislation through with the 51 votes they can gather so they can say they’ve done something, I doubt they’d risk it on something as unimportant to them as FATCA repeal.
Brock was created (in part) in response to the scaremongering via the US govt, the media and above all, the tax compliance community. We might not be able to do much about the banks but we CAN continue to challenge the misinformation that is emphasized by the you-know-whos…….
What a powerful comment! I often think I have heard it all but we really cannot even begin to imagine how this perverse policy plays out in every situation. Thank you for alerting us to this.
In your opinion, would there be a way (and if so, how) to connect your community?
I have posted your comment as a complete post on citizenshiptaxation.ca as well as numerous FB groups. I think other expats will want to be aware of what is happening…
Patricia Moon – I was thinking not so much about the scare-mongering as situations in which the USC’s financial affairs may end up being handled or heavily controlled by lawyers, accountants, etc.
Probate, for instance, which generally requires payment of “all taxes due”; or legal guardianship. Situations in which US tax law will not be ignored, regardless of what the USC would have wished.
@EmBee & Pacifica
I was just speaking to Keith and remembered your comments. He has not changed anything regarding the group’s settings nor has he heard/observed anything concerning policies against criticizing the US. (Not having any problem doing that on citizenship taxation group….) Anyways, he asked if you were having the same problem is using a different device? You can’t access on ur PC but can you on phone, etc?
@ Patricia Moon
My only phone is a landline. Maybe Pacifica has a smart phone. I’m not a FB member but I used to be able to read Keith’s site … now it demands a log in. Here’s the URL for the icon I have on my desktop that used to get me there.
HOWEVER, I just did a search for AE and it gave me this URL which works.
@ pacifica777 — See if using this URL works for you.
I think the problem is solved. It’s possible my husband might have messed up my public access when he used his FB log in on this computer. Thanks Tricia for checking … my ken of all things computer is subpar to say the least.
Thank you, Patricia.
I use a couple of laptop computers (don’t have a smart phone).
As mentioned I can’t get it using the www. prefix on either browser.
Using the m prefix, I can get it on one browser (Edge) but not the other (Firefox). However, I can’t see the comments.
Today, using the m. prefix on Edge, I noticed that the site actually says at the top of the page (below the group’s logo and above the comments):
Anyone can see the group, its members and its their posts”