Accidental Americans want out

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Thousands of ‘accidental Americans’ who face surprise US tax demands and intrusive investigations of bank accounts have called on the new French MP for North America to help them end their problems.

Anyone born in the US has US nationality – and an obligation to pay US tax – even though they may have no links other than the accident of birth.

The Association des Am­ér­icains Accidentels was founded by Fabien Lehagre, who was born in the US in 1984 and left when he was 18 months. It calls on French banks to stop applying the so-called Fatca legislation where they pass account details to the US tax office.

The legislation is meant to stop money-laundering but can stop people from carrying out usual banking business until they conform and, possibly, pay an unknown US tax demand.

They have spoken to French and European politicians and Mr Lehagre said they raised their concerns with Roland Les­cure, the new French MP for North America, to find a simple way to renounce US nationality.