Thursday, March 16, 2017

FATCA again

The bank service rep was apologetic as she tried to explain FATCA to us and was relieved when I told her how involved I was in fighting it.

Rick and I have two accounts. We had already signed forms: he was American and was tax compliant: I was not American and had no US tax obligations.

Never the less, under FATCA my financial information, which should be personal, will be transferred to the US. The choice would be not to have a joint account with my husband which does not meet other financial needs we have.

Despite that, the bank needed verification. AGAIN!

The service rep was young, beautiful and charming. She explained how she'd spent hundreds of hours learning about FATCA, she said, in courses and thru e-learning. I think of all the banks in the world that have had to train their people and the huge productive waste that only cost banks money which were passed onto their clients that have nothing to do with the US.

The IRS assumes all expats are rich tax cheats. Rick and I are neither Rich nor tax cheats.

FATCA, the alleged solution, is an agreement signed with the majority of countries that all banks have to report all US citizen accounts to the IRS. Failure can result in a 30% of asset penalty and being shut out of the international financial market. The US is bully that can carry out the threat. Reciprocity, which is part of most of the agreements, is not happening.

Although I am not a big fan of the big banks, I feel sorry for them as well as sorry that as group they did not tell where the US to go.

This is the third time I've had to verify my US non-connection. The first was to explain why I sent $300 to my daughter in the States. The second was to preserve my life insurance. The implied threat was to be dropped as a client.

When I renounced I felt I had a choice between being American and having a normal financial life. I did not think my birth nationality would continue to make my life difficult.

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