European FATCA-letter to the US does not solve problems for Accidental Americans

On 11 December 2019  a letter regarding FATCA in the EU was sent by the Council of the EU to the US Treasury. This letter includes text on the ‘Accidental Americans’, people who only through FATCA discovered they are ‘US Person‘ (a US Person is someone who has to file tax returns in the US):

This does not solve the problems of the Accidental Americans, they still have to obtain a TIN and still have to file US tax returns.

Who are these ‘Accidental Americans’
The accidentals Americans are born in the US and left soon after that or are not born in the US but have a parent with American nationality. The US is one of the few countries in the world that includes this group of people in its tax base. Read on this the study for the European PETI committee of May 2018, written by Carlo Garbarino. In the executive summary he writes:

More explaination is to be found on page 28 of the report:

Further explaination:

The report explains that the Accidental Americans only through FATCA discovered their fate:

Garbarino clearly explaines the negative consequences for Accidental Americans, they are denied banking and confronted with onerous compliance.

It shows that the US and the EU pretend to respect human rights, but that reality is different. The US is imposing tax duties on European citizens, the Accidental Americans, in violation of their human rights and the EU is only asking to make the compliance less onerous.


More information:

  • The letter (pdf) of 11 December 2019 by the Finnish EU Presidency of the Council of the European Union to the US Secretary
  • The study (pdf) by Carlo Garbarino for the PETI committee of May 2018.

Over Ellen Timmer, advocaat ondernemingsrecht @Pellicaan

Verbonden aan Pellicaan Advocaten,, kantoor Rotterdam, telefoon 088-6272287, fax 088-6272280, e-mail ||| Weblogs: algemeen: || modernisering ondernemingsrecht: ||| Motto: goede bedoelingen rechtvaardigen geen slechte regels
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Een reactie op European FATCA-letter to the US does not solve problems for Accidental Americans

  1. Gaëlle Royer zegt:

    Dear Ellen,

    The 2 million dollar (1,8m Euro) threshold for the Exit Tax can be highly unfair for Senior AA particularly if they are only children.

    Example: You are a 75 year old AA.
    – You started buying your first apartment (with a credit) in a European capital 50 years ago. You sold it, bought a bigger one, had 3 kids bought another bigger one.

    The price of real estate in some European capitals has exploded over the last 50 years such as in my native Paris. A 100 square meter in Paris is worth on average 1,200,000 million euro.

    – Over 50 years you manage to save some money. Say 600,000 Euro.

    – Then because of your age your parents are dead and let us say you inherited an apartment in Paris on your father’s side and an old farmhouse in Dordogne which the Dutch love and where real estate has also gone up prodigiously. (I know cases)

    At age 75 your net worth can easily be 3,000,000 Euro.

    Should you pay the difference to the IRS or give it to your European kids and grand kids so they can buy a place to live?

    Please think about it. Our financial situation varies greatly according to our age.

    Many thanks,


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