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FATCA relief?
Old 07-29-2015, 11:10 AM   #1
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FATCA relief?

I thought this WSJ article was interesting for any who plan to live overseas as US citizens:

Fatca Relief Coming for U.S. Expats Via ‘Same Country Exception’? – Opinion - Expat - WSJ

In short it discusses efforts to pass a "same country exception" to FATCA: you would not have to comply with FATCA rules if you are a resident of the other country. The idea being that FATCA would target overseas accounts (to stop US citizens hidng money offshore) but not hinder those who wish to base themselves long-term overseas in a single country.

Sounds like a good fix. Let's hope it goes forward!
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Old 07-29-2015, 11:20 AM   #2
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Interesting article. Not sure there has been any legislation introduced, but it does sound like a good idea and would be very beneficial to many of the expats here.
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Old 07-29-2015, 11:43 AM   #3
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A friendly word of warning, the moderators may want to move this thread to the political forum. The letter being circulated in Congress is bi-lateral, but FATCA has become a huge political debate between the overseas branches of the two parties. One party is promoting the "Safe Harbour" view whilst the other has filed a lawsuit in the Ohio Federal Court challenging the legality of FATCA. Both are claiming the others' solution is undesirable. It's a big topic on many of the expat sites with mixed reactions.
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Old 07-29-2015, 11:56 AM   #4
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Thanks for the friendly warning. This topic can be discussed without getting into politics.
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Old 07-29-2015, 12:03 PM   #5
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It was tough enough getting a bank account overseas when we were expats in the 1990s, so this certainly seems sensible.
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Old 07-29-2015, 12:17 PM   #6
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As an aside, i had to threaten the WSJ today with legal action just to cancel my home delivery. Was very cable-company-esque

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Old 07-29-2015, 05:36 PM   #7
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It sounds far too sensible to get passed. I'm not holding my breath.
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Old 07-30-2015, 09:12 AM   #8
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Not that many will be interested, but I’ll close out this thread with an explanation as to why this is a hot topic abroad by the parties regards US expats. The only tangible benefit derived of being a permanent US expat abroad (other than consulate contact in case of emergency) is the retention of the right to vote in US elections, and I understand there may be a rather important one coming up in a year or so!

From another article in the WSJ:
“………there’s actually another group of eligible voters who collectively make up a larger population than Rhode Island, Montana, Delaware, South Dakota, North Dakota, Alaska, the District of Columbia, Vermont and Wyoming combined. This group of 7.6 million people, called U.S. expats (aka Americans living abroad), comprise a significant voting population that could have a material impact on the 2016 Presidential election."

"The largest concern for U.S. expats is Fatca (the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act).”

As was stated previously, the safe harbour (Same Country Exception) is being proposed by one of the parties. Every US expat would be glad to see such a proposal succeed due to concerns of long lists of “Americans” (and containing all their personal details), held by all sorts of FFI’s, floating around most countries in the world. In terms of financial security (or even personal security in some countries), it would be best not to have such lists available for exploitation by less desirable elements. The US refuses to be responsible for the security of such lists until they are actually held in US Treasury computers, even though they are demanding the assemblage of the lists in the foreign countries.

It sounds very good, but in reality, it takes what is now a large problem for expats, and more specifically, FFI’s (Foreign Financial Institutions) and foreign governments who passed laws allowing local privacy laws to be circumvented for complying with FATCA, and makes things even more complicated for the FFI’s. (Long explanation, but logical. I’ll expand if requested. Or, read the comments to the original article in the first post.) It’s a great campaign tactic, but implementation could well be a nightmare due to the detail. It’s possible it may result in even more account closures for US expats abroad since the FFI’s will now have even more headaches sorting out those eligible to be considered for the exception.

The actions of the other party are also equally derided, but for different reasons, but the subject of this thread was the SCE.

In truth, expats could care less about the politics involved. They just want a viable resolution to the real problem. The opinion of one person, and there are 7,599,999 others out there.
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Old 07-30-2015, 12:55 PM   #9
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A huge Amen to getting this fixed somehow. My accountant fees went up to $3,000 because of all the complexity

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