FATCA and the Presidential Race
Post by Veronica Pamoukaghlian, Senior Tax Writer
The FIFA scandal and some other high profile prosecutions of tax evaders have brought FATCA to the foreground of US news. Suddenly our treaties with foreign nations and agreements with international banks to disclose information about US taxpayers are becoming common knowledge.
Because people are starting to have an opinion about FATCA, whether it affects them or not, presidential candidates` views on the matter are becoming increasingly important. In fact, certain anti-FATCA advocates are actively trying to make FATCA a key issue for every candidate´s electoral platform.
Rand Paul to Challenge FATCA?
Senator Rand Paul has challenged FATCA in the past, and in the eve of his candidacy for the presidential election, he is expected to do it again. For Rand Paul, like for some other politicians and activists, FATCA is unconstitutional.
The basis of his challenge is the fact that the Obama administration has not presented IGAs (Inter Governmental Agreements) for a vote before the Senate. While this may seem like a questionable argument for some, it presents an opportunity for many Republican organizations and expatriate groups, who have unsuccessfully been trying to get rid of FATCA for good.
According to Solomon Yue, vice chairman of Republicans Overseas, Senator Rand Paul will participate as one of the plaintiffs in a lawsuit against FATCA, which is to be filed in southern Ohio.
Whether Rand Paul will be the lawsuit´s face or not, it is safe to assume that the plaintiffs will focus on the fact that treaties with other countries are allegedly required by the US Constitution to be presented before the Senate before being approved. Under FATCA, the US has speedily signed over 100 agreements with large and small countries alike. FATCA has become part of a growing trend of agreements between countries all over the world seeking better financial transparency.
Challenging FATCA as a Political Move
While “Presidential Candidate to Sue the Government” can make big headlines that can quickly become viral on the Internet, it remains to be seen whether Paul’s anti-FATCA stance will make any difference.
Either way, the 8.7 million Americans living abroad will be watching intently, as the outcome of the lawsuit can have a dramatic effect on their lives. In fact, with polls that show a staggering 79% percent of expats considering renouncing citizenship because of FATCA, this appears to be the most important issue for Americans living abroad right now. As for the rest of the US taxpayers living in the homeland, it remains to be seen whether opposing FATCA can boost anyone´s presidential campaign.
For someone looking to secure Republican votes, opposing FATCA may be a good move. However, in the long run, because the top world economies have signed IGAs with the US and the rest of the world has quickly embraced FATCA in the few years since its inception, getting rid of FATCA seems difficult at this point. While we feel should fix the law, tax transparency appears here to stay.
If you have unreported foreign accounts with an aggregate value of $10,000 (in U.S. dollars or U.S. dollar equivalents), speak to an experienced tax lawyer immediately. Failure to report foreign accounts can be a felony and usually always involves high IRS civil penalties.
There are reporting options but only for those who come forward before the IRS finds them or obtains their names from cooperating banks.
To learn about your responsibilities and option, give us a call. Our initial consultation is free and informative. Our IRS legal services are available worldwide and all inquiries are protected by the attorney – client privilege and kept strictly confidential.
For more information, contact attorney Beth Canfield at or by telephone at (414) 223-0464.
MahanyLaw – America’s FATCA lawyers