(International Investment) -- The chief executive of global financial advisory and wealth management firm deVere Nigel Green and US policy expert Jim Jatras have renewed calls for the Trump administration to scrap a controversial personal data reporting law by calling on US citizens to lobby their senators.
Green and Jatras have been lobbying for the repeal of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and to that end co-founded The Campaign to Repeal FATCA.
In a letter a fortnight ago to US Treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin the duo described FATCA as the “worst law most Americans have never heard of.”
They said that the law makes “financial pariahs” of eight million US citizens that live overseas.
Green and Jatras said that it was a betrayal of the eight million American citizens who live overseas, the inaction “coming despite promises in the election campaign that, should they win, the Republicans would ‘call for repeal’ of FATCA”.
FATCA is a US law that was brought into force during the Obama administration, and sought to ensure Americans who were making use of overseas bank accounts to avoid their US tax obligations by having these overseas banks – or “foreign financial institutions” – report to the IRS all the relevant details of any accounts held by Americans.
“FATCA is virtually unknown to most Americans but has been wreaking havoc with the global financial system outside the US,” deVere said in a statement alongside the release of the letter to Mnuchin.
“Touted as a weapon against ‘fat cat’ tax evaders stashing funds offshore, FATCA is instead an indiscriminate information dragnet requiring all non-US financial institutions (banks, credit unions, insurance companies, investment and pension funds, etc.) in every country in the world to report data on all specified US accounts to the IRS [Inland Revenue Service].
If any country refuses to comply, the statement went on, FATCA provides for its financial sector to be hit with “crippling penalties”.
Now Green and Jatras are pointing to the fact that in the coming week, the Senate version of the tax reform bill will come to the Senate floor.
A call to action for US voters
In an open letter to US citizens, they say, “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!’
“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!”
The Campaign issued a suggested draft message for voters to lobby their senators, the body of which says, “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.
“Please support the Paul Amendment to repeal FATCA!”
Jatras signs off the letter by saying: “Time is of the essence. This is an urgent call to arms to have this useless and dangerous law scrapped.
“Thank you for your help at this critical moment.
“Transparency is when citizens monitor government. When government monitors citizens, that’s tyranny.”