My Big Fatca IRS

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Why assume that Americans overseas are tax cheats?

Wall Street Journal (editorial)

Almost since the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (Fatca) became law in 2010 to go after fat cats stashing money abroad, these pages have reported that it has led the IRS to treat law-abiding Americans as criminals. Turns out we have allies—at the IRS.

Buried within the most recent report the IRS taxpayer advocate submitted to Congress in January is a section taking issue with Fatca. “The IRS,” says the report, “has adopted an enforcement-oriented regime with respect to international taxpayers. Its operative assumption appears to be that all such taxpayers should be suspected of fraudulent activity, unless proven otherwise.”

[ . . . ]

In sum, the IRS application of Fatca is “unsystematic, unjustified, and unsuccessful.”

The taxpayer advocate isn’t in the business of calling for laws to be overturned, so it recommends fixes around the edges. By contrast, the new “Campaign to Repeal FATCA” initiative launched last month by Nigel Green of the deVere Group—an international financial consulting firm—argues for nixing the law that turns Americans overseas into financial “pariahs.”

With the GOP controlling Congress and White House, the time is ripe for Republicans to make good on their pledge and give Fatca the heave-ho.

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