The Voice of Americans Overseas
ACA is the premier advocacy organization for Americans overseas
ACA is the premier advocacy organization for Americans overseas
What is it and how might it impact me?
US tax legislation is complicated, burdensome, unfair and makes Americans uncompetitive
US legislation is resulting in denial of financial services to Americans residing overseas
All Americans should have the right to transmit US citizenship to their children
What American Citizens Abroad, Inc. (ACA) heard in meetings it held with the legislature in February 2015 is now a reality. Washington is working on tax reform. The most recent news on tax reform is the announcement by the Senate Finance Committee that it has created five working groups for tax reform that are ready to accept input and suggestions from groups and individuals. ACA will formally submit its Residence-based taxation (RBT) proposal to the Committee but individuals also have the opportunity to be heard directly.
The most important way to influence Washington is to submit your individual thoughts on tax reform. Congress is sensitive to public opinion and reception of multiple submissions on the taxation of Americans abroad will impact their reform efforts. Form letters and templates may seem an easy way to communicate with Washington but these offices want to know they are hearing from individuals with specific, personal issues and suggestions. Take a few minutes and submit your own personal message.
ACA suggests that you highlight the specific difficulties you face with the current Citizenship-based taxation policy. You may want to highlight issues such as cost and time involved for compliance including tax preparer, complexity of filing and uncertainty on how to file, instances of double taxation, penalization caused by US taxation of foreign pension funds, foreign exchange risk and fiscal burden related to filing taxes with the US dollar as the functional currency when income and expenses are in another currency, difficulties with access to foreign banking due to FATCA.
Provide Washington with your ideas of tax reform and if Residence-based taxation (RBT) is one of them you can reference ACA proposal found here: rbt-and-tax-reform-feb-2015-final.pdf
ACA encourages individuals to submit their comments on tax reform to both the Individual Income tax working group at: email@example.com and, the International Tax working group at: firstname.lastname@example.org
ACA recommends that you keep you submissions to a minimum - one page, not longer than two. The submissions must be filed by April 15th 2015. Requirements for submission can be found here: http://www.finance.senate.gov/newsroom/chairman/release/?id=3bcf1fcf-9dd8-47d4-9202-21a0870cd8d6
Over time, the US Social Security Number (SSN) has evolved from merely the number of your account for retirement savings to something akin to a single national identification number that follows you throughout your US administrative life. It is indispensable on passport applications, tax returns, financial account reporting and numerous other business forms. And now it has gone international: under FATCA (the Financial Account Tax Compliance Act) banks and other financial institutions around the world are compelled to ask American citizen clients for an IRS Form W-9 (Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification), which includes their SSN.
For many American citizens (or green card holders) living abroad such requests occasion panic. They haven’t thought of their SSN for years (if ever). Some never had one; some have lost theirs, don’t remember the number, or don’t even know if they ever had one. Read more...
Please take the 2015 Expat Survey. Data on the community of overseas Americans and their issues are key to ACA’s work in Congress. Educating Congress on the community of Americans overseas helps with our advocacy work so please take the time to give your input. To participate in the survey click here: www.greenbacktaxservices.com/us-expat-opinion-survey/
ACA is calling for nominations for its 2015 Thomas Jefferson Award honoring State Department employees who have given exemplary service to American citizens residing abroad. ACA launched the Thomas Jefferson Award in 1994 to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the birth of Thomas Jefferson, America's first Secretary of State. The impressive nominations submitted for prior Awards testify to deep appreciation by US citizens abroad for exceptional service received from State Department employees.
US taxpayers both in the US and abroad should be aware of the latest foreign bank account reporting requirements which are now in effect. Read more....
The Affordable Care Act now requires all Americans to have "essential coverage" for health care insurance. US citizens living overseas, subject to US income tax, can be exempted from the "essential coverage" provision if they satisfy certain requirements. Read more...
The National Taxpayer Advocate Report for 2014 highlights some serious concerns that the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) has for overseas filing requirements. Read more...
ACA is pleased to see members of the Senate Finance Committee joining the growing chorus of supporters for Residence Based Taxation. In a new policy paper (full report here), Republican staff of the Senate Finance Committee have proposed major changes to the way the United States taxes its citizens overseas. According to the report, “The United States needs to rethink its taxing rules for nonresident U.S. citizens.” Read the ACA press release dated December 19, 2014...
For once it’s not US tax policy. ACA Executive Committee and Board member, Jonathan Lachowitz explains why the landscape has changed for Americans overseas with US based mutual fund accounts. Read more...
ACA has released a short (90 seconds) educational video on FATCA highlighting how the legislation is affecting Americans legitimately living and working overseas. ACA encourages all members and supporters to write to their representatives in Congress and educate them on FATCA. Please let others know about FATCA by sharing the ACA video.
The IRS has listened to ACA, the Taxpayer Advocate and tax professionals and included our suggestions and recommendations in their new Streamlined Foreign Offshore Procedures program (SFOP). The program emphasizes simplicity over complexity and allows individuals to come into compliance without being subject to typical tax penalties (failure-to-file, failure-to-pay, accuracy-related, etc.). This is a great step forward and shows that the IRS is aware that the community of Americans overseas are not criminal tax evaders. This is in great part due to ACA’s efforts in Washington, DC, the Voice of Americans Overseas working to bring about positive change for Americans overseas. See the link to our June 23, 2014, press release here .