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December 18, 2015

NEW CAMPAIGN: Why you should help repeal FATCA

Will you be able to open a bank account overseas? #RepealFATCA Retweet

Have you ever dreamed of living overseas? If so, then the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) may make that difficult, or even impossible. Downsize DC has started a campaign to repeal this bad law. The hardwired message to Congress reads simply…

Repeal the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).

Then, copy or edit the following sample letter to use for your personal comments to Congress…

The U.S. is the only country that taxes its citizens no matter where they live, and no matter where their income is earned. That’s bad enough, but in 2010 Congress tightened the screws further with the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).

FATCA treats 8.7 million Americans living abroad as presumed tax cheats and money launderers. It also puts such heavy reporting burdens on foreign banks and other institutions that many will no longer deal with Americans.

Americans abroad are now viewed as financially “toxic” thanks to FATCA. Many find it difficult and sometimes impossible to open a bank account in the country where they’re living, or to conduct other business. It even harms Americans in the U.S. who have a legitimate need for a foreign account.

Under FATCA…

  • Every foreign financial institution (bank, stock broker, insurance company, etc.) must report the identities of its American customers and their assets to the IRS, or pay a 30% withholding tax on all of the institution’s transactions and investments in the U.S.
  • All U.S. citizens (abroad or at home) having foreign financial assets above certain limits must report those assets every year on a new form filed with their 1040. Those who don’t comply, whether wilfully or accidentally, can be hit with heavy penalties and further scrutiny and invasion of privacy by the U.S.’s tax bullies.

Billed as a tool for fighting money laundering and tax evasion, the main effect of FATCA has been to make life harder for innocent Americans abroad trying to go about their daily lives. Many financial institutions now consider their American clients not worth the hassle, and are closing their accounts in large numbers.

It is outrageous that Americans are tracked and spied upon by their government even to the ends of the earth. FATCA is tax bullying on steroids, shredding notions such as privacy rights, probable cause, presumption of innocence and due process – all for the “crime” of living or doing business outside the U.S. border.

FATCA hurts the millions of Americans who choose to live abroad, for retirement, study, adventure or business. It hurts those of modest means as well as those with significant, legitimately held assets. It treats them as criminals in the eyes of the government and makes them financial untouchables in their host countries.

Repeal FATCA now.


Thank you for being a DC Downsizer,

Jim Babka


Downsize DC

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