Thank you to all those who worked so hard to make this hearing a reality, and in particular to witnesses Daniel Kuettel and Mark Crawford for putting a human face on the FATCA disaster. Here’s a brief overview of what happens during each section of the hearing. Longer and more detailed notes after the jump. See also the official webpage for the hearing.
|Quick introduction by Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC-11)
Meadows is the chairman of the Subcommittee on Government Operations
|Testimony by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)
Mentions that FATCA gathers far more information on foreign accounts than Form 1099 does on domestic accounts (I’ll call this “8966 vs. 1099” for short). States that he hopes to get FATCA repeal done as part of tax reform.
|Opening statement by Meadows
Mentions poor return-on-investment from money spent on enforcing FATCA.
|Video by Donna-Lane Nelson
Discusses her renunciation. Mentions that she’s a lifelong Democrat and not rich.
|Meadows continues opening statement
|Opening statement by Rep. Gerald Connolly (D-VA-11)
Connolly is the ranking member of the subcommittee. Makes incorrect statement that most countries tax worldwide income of citizens. Notes FATCA implementation difficulties.
|Introduction and swearing-in of witnesses
|Testimony by James Bopp
Lawyer for Republicans Overseas. Mentions Democrats Abroad survey showing FATCA’s effects, and that U.S. is one of only two countries which tax citizens abroad. See written submission.
|Testimony by Mark Crawford
American businessman in Europe. Mentions how Same-Country Exception (SCE) would not have solved his business banking issues. See written submission.
|Testimony by Daniel Kuettel
Ex-American who renounced to save his mortgage. Mentions that his daughter will eventually face the same choice he did, of having U.S. citizenship or having a normal life where she lives. See written submission.
|Interstitial remarks by Crawford and Connolly
|Testimony by Elise Bean
Former Carl Levin counsel. Says Forms 8966 and 1099 are equivalent, and that the number of citizens renouncing is not a concern because more immigrants are naturalising. See written submission.
|Meadows questions Bean
Asks about U.S. banks’ views of FATCA reciprocity, if revenue from OVDP was taxes or penalties, if suspicion of wrongdoing is sufficient justification for FATCA.
|Connolly questions Bean
Asks about FATCA implementation difficulties. Bean denies that FATCA is the problem, pointing instead to CBT and the lengthy renunciation process.
|Connolly asks Bopp for response to Bean
Bopp says that FATCA is causing problems for large numbers of people, not just renunciants; rebuts Bean’s earlier point about 8966 vs. 1099; notes that penalties are not tax penalties but FBAR penalties.
Microphones left on, pick up some chatter at 1:22:00 regarding the Democrats Abroad survey.
|Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA-10) questions Bean
Asks Bean how much revenue is lost to offshore tax evasion, how much FATCA recovers; Bean not familiar with JCT $870 million recovery estimate. Hice expresses concern at such poor results for potentially law which has both Fourth Amendment and separation-of-powers issues.
|Hice questions Bopp
Asks whether FATCA should be repealed or modified. Bopp responds proposed fixes (probably means SCE) don’t solve problems. Kuettel and Crawford also support repeal. Bean supports modification.
|Statement by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY-12)
Mentions membership in Americans Abroad Caucus, concerns about terrorism financing, disappointment at Treasury’s non-response to SCE (actually, Treasury said no). Notes she has introduced a bill to require SCE implementation.
|Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) questions Bopp and Bean
Asks Bopp about SCE; Bopp says SCE will not relieve burdens. Asks Bean whether repealing FATCA and joining CRS would get same information; Bean unsure. Criticises Bopp, Crawford, and Kuettel’s call for repeal.
|Meadows questions Bopp and Bean
If nothing else, watch this. Meadows comes to the conclusion, based on Bean’s statements regarding 8966 vs. 1099, that FATCA was intended to circumvent the protections of the subpoena process.
|Maloney questions Kuettel about SCE
Kuettel responds that SCE would not have solved his problems because “the damage has already been done”, the banks are terrified of America, and that SCE still puts a burden on the banks themselves.
|Closing statement by Meadows
Rebuts remarks by Democratic members stating that FATCA addresses terrorism financing, noting that a Hezbollah sanctions bill he sponsored used different tools. Asks each witness to give him three suggestions for modifying FATCA if there is not bipartisan support for repeal.