The tax and compliance rules the US slaps on its own expats | FATCA, FBAR

Andreas Kluth for Bloomberg wrote: Next, the Supreme Court Decides How to Punish US Expats. The article starts with:

Alexandru Bittner v. United States is about some of the tax and compliance rules the US slaps on its own expats. These can be so draconian as to amount to criminalizing the sheer act of living outside the US.

In the article Kluth explains the difficulties all Americans living outside the US [*] have with American law.

The case mentioned (Bittner) is of someone who is a dual citizen of the US and Romania and did not know that he had to declare his financial accounts in Romania to the U.S. authorities, through the ‘FBAR’ form. This person was fined by the US Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and now disputes the liability for that fine.

Kluth also informs the public on the public indecency of the US government, which requires citizens living outside the US who already report their world income in their country of residence to do the same in the US (‘Citizenship Based Taxation’), a complicated and expensive matter and most of the time not leading to the payment of tax. Kluth:

Americans abroad suffer a long list of indignities in trying to comply with US laws. Most of them don’t owe the IRS any actual tax (because they usually pay at higher rates to their host countries, and subtract those amounts from their American liabilities). But they must still fill out incomprehensible forms demanding information that’s often unavailable or ambiguous — at great cost of time, worry and money. 

He also explains that Americans are refused financial accounts outside the US because of the reporting obligations financial institutions have under American and (extorted by the US) local law.

Read the article and shudder at how the Americans treat their citizens.


[*] There are special problems for those who are ‘Accidental Americans’, born in the U.S. and left soon after that, special page (Dutch).

Over Ellen Timmer

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