FATCA may place undue burden on Americans living abroad.
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations are notoriously difficult for many taxpayers to decipher. For Americans abroad, they face the added difficulty of also complying with the tax rules of their country of residency. Complexity has now increased with the passage of the U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) which will require foreign financial institutions to disclose account information of United States citizens.
While FATCA is intended to find Americans who are willfully engaging in tax evasion, it may place an undue burden on law-abiding citizens who happen to live outside of the country. According to a report to Congress by the National Taxpayer Advocate, an independent organization within the IRS, "the complexity of international tax law, combined with the administrative burden placed on these taxpayers, creates an environment where taxpayers who are trying their best to comply simply cannot.''
Without a strong understanding of multiple tax laws, some Americans find themselves subject to double taxation. With these difficulties, some have taken the drastic step of renouncing their citizenship. According to the Boston Globe, 932 people gave up their U.S. citizenship in 2012. While this is a very small percentage of the over seven million Americans living outside of the country, this may increase as tax laws for expatriates are unlikely to change.
All U.S. citizens who hold funds in foreign accounts are required to report their assets to the IRS. If you are unsure of how FATCA will affect you, or want to learn how to come into compliance with the IRS, you should seek advice from an experienced tax attorney. The knowledgeable staff at Moskowitz LLP are available to help you with state, federal and international tax matters. Contact us today for more information.
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