Americans avoiding US taxes and stashing cash abroad are in trouble from July 1, when a new law forces institutions hiding money to report on their clients. The law will make business with Americans harder, but the US hopes it will raise billions.
The US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or FATCA, comes into force on July 1 and requires foreign banks to hand over data on clients to the US International Revenue Service (IRS). If a bank does not report such information, it could be subject to a 30 percent withholding tax.
FATCA legislation, signed into law in 2010, requires overseas financial institutions to identify their American customers to the IRS. The law applies to any account with more than $50,000. Continue reading
“Your options are to ignore the IRS and stick your head in the sand; take your name off of all the accounts and live in a completely cash economy; divorce; or renounce U.S. citizenship,” Laederich says. “We’ve seen all of these things happen.”
Genette Eysselinck, a friend of Laederich’s, renounced early this year. Her husband, a European Union civil servant, saw no good reason to share his account information with the IRS, she says. And after considering all her options, Eysselinck decided that renouncing was the best path.
“It created a lot of tensions around here,” she says. “Divorce seemed a little extreme, so I asked myself, ‘What am I gaining as an American?’ And the cons outweighed the pros.”
Eysselinck was born in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and says she grew up on military bases all over the world. Her father, she says, was an Air Force pilot. Eysselinck has lived abroad for decades and no longer has any close connections in the United States.
She spent her final months as an American collecting paperwork and filing tax returns from the past five years, even though she says she owed nothing. Her last act as a citizen was to swear before an American flag that she renounced all ties with the United States. She called the process “gut wrenching.”
“I grew up in a military family where patriotic feeling was very strong” Eysselinck says. “I’m amazed at how terrible I felt renouncing. But it was the only way to get them off my back. It’s very distressing and time consuming to keep up with all the paperwork. But if it’s this bad when I’m 64, how bad will it be when I’m 74?”
Full article: Taxes Prompt More Americans to Renounce Citizenship (CNBC)