FATCA: Expats in UAE Fighting Regulation.

As published on internationalinvestment.net, Thursday February 6, 2020.


American expats in the United Arab Emirates have joined forces to call for the end of FATCA in the tax-free Gulf nation.

FATCA was passed in 2010 and forces banks wanting to operate in the US to report any assets held by American citizens overseas. While the measure is aimed at tax avoidance, it has created problems for many American expats and dual nationals who have been rejected by retail banks seeking to avoid hassle and risk.

"The overwhelming majority of Americans, including most members of Congress, don't understand this is a global anomaly that needs to be reformed," Tony Graham, an executive committee member and the spokesman of Democrats Abroad UAE told local news outlet Arabian Business.

Steven Anderson, a former chairman of Republicans Overseas UAE chapter, said that while progress on repealing the legislation has been slow, many Republicans believe he will do away with FATCA in the event that he is re-elected in the upcoming American elections.

"Certain candidates come out and say they'll address it. Trump did the same. He says he's addressing it," he said. "I'm hoping something will happen. It has to change."

It is estimated that over 9 million Americans live overseas, not including accidental Americans. Many are opting to renounce their US citizenship, which involves filing six years of back taxes, rather than go through the costly accounting process every year.

The EU has urged the US to cut the $2,350 (£1,785) bill for renouncing American citizenship, and to simplify tax filing requirements.

The US is the only country aside from Eritrea that taxes non-resident citizens on their global income.