Mister Taxman: Why Some Americans Working Abroad Are Ditching Their Citizenships

Tina Turner says she’s turning Swiss because she’s lived in Switzerland for years now. But there are tax benefits for giving up an American passport

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Why is Tina Turner switching from American to Swiss citizenship? The legendary singer, a longtime Zurich resident, told the Blick newspaper that she has been very happy in Switzerland and “can’t imagine a better place to live.” But some observers believe she may be one of thousands of American expatriates who have taken the drastic and irrevocable step of giving up their citizenship because of what they consider to be the unjust and discriminatory taxation practices of their government.

While Turner has indicated nothing other than a practical decision behind the switch, it comes at a time when American expats all over the world are turning in their passports in record numbers to avoid double taxation and other financial burdens imposed on them by Uncle Sam. According to government figures, nearly 1,800 Americans relinquished their passports in 2011, a process that requires a special application and a $450 exit fee. True, that number is just a drop in the bucket, considering that an estimated 6 million U.S. citizens live abroad. But the numbers are growing dramatically — a sevenfold increase since 2008, and that is not counting thousands of applications waiting to be processed in U.S. consulates and embassies around the world.

(MORE: Renouncing Your U.S. Citizenship to Stick It to the Tax Man? Not as Easy as It Looks)

The U.S. is the world’s only industrialized nation that taxes citizens who live overseas, even if their income is generated in a foreign country and they never return to America. And while high-profile cases like that of Turner or that of Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin (who renounced his American citizenship last year to become a resident of Singapore) catch public attention, the vast majority of expatriates affected by double taxation and increasingly draconian filing rules are middle-class or retired, or those who have never lived or worked in the U.S. at all but were born to American parents overseas.

Even though expatriates can claim a $97,000 exclusion on their U.S. taxes, most Americans who work in high-cost nations earn salaries far exceeding this amount, for which they already pay hefty income taxes in their countries of residence.

“I became increasingly frustrated by the necessity to file in two countries,” says Peter Dunn, an Anchorage native who now lives in Toronto and renounced his U.S. citizenship in 2011. Dunn became even more outraged when the IRS insisted on taxing his Canadian Tax-Free Savings Accounts, which are similar to the tax-free Roth IRAs in the U.S. “I could not live with the abuse of America taxing me even though I could not receive any services or benefits of living in the U.S.,” he adds.

In addition to the burden of double taxation, expats must deal with a myriad of increasingly complex and confusing IRS rules, like the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts, which requires expatriates to report all foreign accounts exceeding $10,000, including those held jointly with their non-American spouses. Stiff financial penalties are imposed for noncompliance.

(MORE: Switzerland: Are Its Days as a Tax Haven for Foreigners Over?)

While filling out this form, Genette Eysselinck, a North Carolina native who lives in France, included the details of her accounts held jointly with her Belgian husband, as required by the IRS. “When I realized how distressed he was over my breach of confidence, I decided the only recourse left was to renounce my nationality,” she says. Eysselinck gave up her American citizenship last year.

Another law that affects expatriates is the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), which will go into effect in July and require all foreign banks to report to the IRS information about accounts held by Americans. While this new regulation aims to prevent tax evasion, it also makes life difficult for millions of law-abiding expats.

“FATCA is the straw that broke the camel’s back,” says Jackie Bugnon, director of American Citizens Abroad (ACA), a Geneva-based expatriate advocacy group. Because this legislation forces local banks to invest in expensive new infrastructure in order to comply with the IRS rules, “access to foreign financial institutions is being shut off and Americans abroad are treated like criminals,” she adds.

Switzerland-based Amy Webster experienced the bias firsthand when she and her Swiss husband encountered difficulties getting a mortgage because of her U.S. citizenship. “This was infuriating and humiliating,” she says. “These unfair regulations imposed by the U.S. government are having adverse effects on the lives and well-being of U.S. citizens living in this country.”

(MORE: Why the Swiss Aren’t Neutral: Chocolate and the CIA)

Webster notes that while she understands “the political motivation of the current Administration to chase tax evaders and punish banks that contributed to such transactions, I am outraged that these regulations have impacted honest and hardworking citizens.”

One way to stave off the surge in renunciations, ACA’s Bugnon points out, is to tax expatriates on the same basis as nonresident aliens, who maintain a tax home in a foreign country and benefit from the same tax laws as American citizens within U.S. territory. That’s the proposal the ACA will push during the Overseas Americans Week, to be held in Washington, D.C., the week of Feb. 11.

Unless this change happens soon, disgruntled expats will continue to turn their backs on America, perhaps singing Tina Turner’s old hit, aptly titled, “Goodbye, So Long.”

MORE: Why More U.S. Expatriates Are Turning in Their Passports

155 comments
kmcj22
kmcj22

No taxation without representation, eh yanks?

MarkAreReynolds
MarkAreReynolds

Taxes on labor are slavery. And taxes in many countries are a joke because the all operate on fiat currency and can create all they want out of thin air. HELLO?

wanshousi
wanshousi

Already balking at applying for a US citizenship now. Even in French or Sweden they pay double tax to IRS, how much it would be for a Chinese to be double-taxed, Chinese tax rate is way lower than European industrial countries.  As RMB appreciating, $97,000 is an easy sum to break thru. Ah, the good news is Chinese government/banks don't give a darn to this FATCA thing.

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brownsmithfinancialhelp

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kimmels
kimmels

I followed Mr Dunn's decision and took the same route in Toronto for the same reasons. Maybe we were both at the same Democrats Abroad tax update presentation. The foreign bank rules was the last straw. Of course I became Canadian twenty years prior.. It was no problem renouncing at the US Consul in Toronto (Fort USA). It took 1.5 years to get confirmation from the US gov after submitting my last tax return.

JSN
JSN

The USA is the most corrupt country in the planet - the big difference is it is a legalized corruption.  Extorsion of taxes by non-residents. Looting 401k money of non-citizen workers in the USA and not returning the money when they leave the country.  It may happen that the day would come that even US companies start leaving and moving their head offices to other countries.

cspcyfen
cspcyfen

I'm an American living and working abroad, and can empathize with the sentiment behind the decision many have taken to surrender their US citizenship. While I treasure my US citizenship and don't plan to give it up, it has been difficult to reconcile the bizarre and complex extraterritorial tax laws that the US forces upon it's citizens living abroad with our supposed veneration of liberty. Embarrassingly and hypocritically, the US is one of only two countries in the world (along with Eritrea) that attempts to collect income taxes based on citizenship, not residence. Yet despite being the world's most aggressive taxer of citizens abroad, the US had the gall to censure Eritrea in Security Council Resolution SC/10471 for it's implementation of a global tax built on the same principle. Hopefully, Congress sees sense one day...but given that Americans abroad have no unified means of exerting influence in Congress, it's hard to feel hopeful. The Tyranny of the Majority lives on for now...

brooke.e.nichols
brooke.e.nichols

A petition has recently been started to address this issue. Please sign and share! We petition the Obama administration to: not require American expats residing permanently abroad to file U.S. tax returns and pay U.S. taxes. You can sign the petition here: http://wh.gov/lcccP

mkc0124
mkc0124

Truth be told, given the choice that comes with financial means, the attraction to places outside of the U.S. has everything to do with a better quality of life, first and foremost.  For many, it is simply a matter of what you want the world around you to look, sound and feel like every day when you awake and for many people that are able to seek life abroad, the choices are just so much more rewarding...present company included.

NoahClaypole
NoahClaypole

The converse is true too. For example, non-citizens who live in the USA and paid Social Security and Medicare don't ever get to see that money back. Other developed countries, keep a tab and when the non-citizen decides to leave the country for good, he/she gets whatever he/she is entitled too. Its not written off like in USA!

ShawnNoneya
ShawnNoneya

you can go into any usa consulate and renounce your citizenship its easy and not hard-

they want the full protection of the usa -but without paying for it

just like the teaparty and libertarians they can claim absolute tax excempt status-

but they would have to work for themselves and trade amongst themselves

"the amish do it and its quite legal"


Apurath
Apurath

Hello.

i came accross this article while researching the subject of having to pay US self-employment tax eventhough the individual is permanently living and working overseas. In case you were wondering, i am a tax preparer that specializes in preparing US tax returns for expats overseas, or foreigners coming to the US on assignment. I am a foreigner myself (German) who has been living in the US for 10+ years now.

I would like to state the following: 1. Yes, I agree that it seems unfair that the US government (IRS) keeps all the filing and more so reporting requirements for their citizens overseas. I am not aware of any other country that makes you file a tax return unless you are actually living or working within this country's boundries. Some people seem to be so happy when they receive a green card or citizinship, my comment to them always is that "good for you, now get ready to file a US tax return for the rest of your life no matter where you go. sorry getting of topic. 2. The article above seems to miss the fact that besides the mentioned Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE) there is also the possibility to use Foreign Tax Credits (FTC) instead or in addition (in parts). So if you are a high earning individual that is already paying high income taxes in a foreign country, chances are there will be no US tax lilability. However the burden of filing and reporting still remains and can be very frustrating.

AtticusinCanada
AtticusinCanada

My Canadian spouse told his company to take any investments he had in his RRSP in the U.S. out of there. He no longer wishes to invest through his company in the U.S. because of FATCA and FBAR fines upon our family due to his being married to an American. I will renounce to protect his bank accounts and our children's too. It's the ONLY choice left under this ridiculous witch hunt. Foreign citizens should not be subjected to this just because they are married to an American. I can renounce or divorce him and I'm not divorcing a man who has supported me for over thirty years. Here I'd like to insert some choice words about Obama passing this with zero regard to what it's doing to honest Americans abroad who have always represented the U.S. in a positive light outside the country. And the U.S. press who has refused to tell the story of what this is doing to lower and middle income ex pats who have lived abroad for decades due to family reasons. I will always remember Obama as the president who drove those who would never, ever have considered renouncing to have to make that choice to protect their families abroad. The "Hire" legislation, FATCA and FBAR fines are draconian horrendous legislation trumped up to dig fines out of ex pats no matter if they are poor or not. The U.S. knew no one in the homeland would care what is happening to us and they need $$$. God knows they can't get it from the REAL "tax cheats" like Timmy Geither and Wall St. fraudsters. This is one of the most despicable things I've seen the U.S. do against it's own citizens. 

BeenThereSawIt
BeenThereSawIt

@arielle_maia Hi Arielle, thanks for the follow, By the way, I had Australia friends, they told me they get taxed overseas even more.

moniquevalcour
moniquevalcour

@andymolinsky I know this only too well from personal experience :(

LynneBlaze
LynneBlaze

@FATCA_Fallout @TIME @planetmoney @MarketplaceAPM Mr. Taxman: It's not about taxes. It's about being able to have a normal life outside US.

bubblebustin
bubblebustin

"Jackie Bugnion, ACA’s Tax Team Director. “Our tax code makes Americans too expensive to hire, so US and foreign firms understandably replace them with qualified professionals from other countries without income tax, FBAR or FATCA filing requirements and the immense legal and financial jeopardy they entail. How can you work effectively when FATCA prevents you from opening a bank account?”

http://genevalunch.com/tag/fatca/

bubblebustin
bubblebustin

i don't think I'd be going out on a limb to predict that in within the next generation we will witness the extinction of the United States Person permanently living abroad .

JeffersonTomas
JeffersonTomas

It is hard to say that Tina would actually renounce for tax reasons. In fact it is more likely that middle class people with high rents and high expenses who might be squeezed by a few percent of extra tax would renounce for tax reasons. Not to mention the heavy burden of filling out all of the US tax forms correctly, which can by itself cost thousands of francs. Tina Turner is so rich that an extra few percent of tax will not take food off of her table. But people with lesser means, especially those with so called "unearned income" such as pension benefits, unemployment benefits, welfare, disability benefits can get squeezed out of their ability to meet their basic expenses by the US double tax burden, and as such would tend to renounce to avoid the additional tax, though the reason would not just be for tax reasons, but for survival reasons. 

Another reason to renounce is for privacy reasons. FATCA and FBAR regulations violate privacy, amount to a general warrant in violation of the 4th amendment, and put people at the risk of identity fraud. Spouses, other family members and business partners may also object to the disclosure of their information to the US, and even sue or press criminal charges against the US person who is compliant with US reporting requirements.

PatrickTaw
PatrickTaw

I agree it is best for expats to accept their new country and relinquish their US citizenship. They made a choice to immigrate, they should go all the way. If they complain their money doesn't belong to the US, then they should also give up the protections and benefits of US power and expertise. My parents immigrated to the US and happily gave up their original citizenship to become US citizens. You cannot have two loyalties and immigration is a statement of switching loyalties. Expats that live temporarily out of the US don't worry about the tax laws since they don't deal with it for the rest of their lives and only for a few years.

cpid
cpid

@wanshousi Stay away from the US it sucks here go to Australia.

N2TroubleAgain
N2TroubleAgain

@JSN Many US companies have left and many have already moved their head offices to other countries.  This is one of the reasons that nothing is made in the USA anymore.  So is the USA is the most corrupt country on the planet? They are corrupt; not just to non-residents but to residents as well!  The IRS itself is corrupt, just like many other agencies in the US.  The government plays favorites.  They tax to death their citizens.  They are taking away the peoples basic freedoms.  They are making people dependent upon government, not self reliant.  Does anybody really blame those for leaving the country?  I don't!

The government  borrows enormous amounts of money and wastes it.  This is not a responsible government, and when the bottom falls out, everyone is going to pay all around the world for the massive corruption in America's government.  So I guess if you say that the USA is the most corrupt country on the planet, I would have to agree with you!

MarkAreReynolds
MarkAreReynolds

@cspcyfenMaybe everyone on the planet should turn in their citizenship's to their respective "countries" and all become citizens of Earth. We could be called "Earthlings". How novel!

N2TroubleAgain
N2TroubleAgain

@cspcyfen The effects of the US taxation is being felt on businesses.  They are leaving the country to more safe havens.  So it does affect those citizens that still live in the US!  There isn't much left that isn't corrupt in government any more. 

oldschoolggsex
oldschoolggsex

@CharlzInchargeConnor Us citizens has to pay taxes,or end up homeless,care to find out how many United States end up homeless for losing their jobs, not able to pay for mortage or rent ,which means taxes,and ends up on the street? Tina Turner got out while the getting was still good..clich'e here is when rats knows something is wrong on a ship, the rat jumps ship: basic survival at its best

mkc0124
mkc0124

@ShawnNoneya It's unfair to paint with such a wide brush stroke.  Not everyone's motives are questionable.

P.d.Holloman
P.d.Holloman

First off as an American in Sweden. no we do not. I want To keep My US citizenship so i do not have To go though the hassle without it To visit My family in Oregon. I am in Sweden why would i need US protection.? I live here full time except the 2 weeks i take To bring My family To the US To visit My Mom and Dad. I do not make a ton of money. I am middle class blue collar here in Sweden. Why would i need To pay tax To a country that does nothing To offer me any service whatsoever. I pay tax in Sweden cause i use there roads, My daughter goes To Their schools, i use there medial and emergency services. Yet the US says sorry you were bron here pay me! f u mate.

Lothar
Lothar

@Apurath Hi, your comment fits exactly my needs. I'm  a german citizen living in the US in need of a help. How can I contact you? Greatly appreciate your reply. You can contact me LJancke @ hotmail . com

thefrenchdude
thefrenchdude

@Apurath Hello, I am in France and I am self-employed. I draw a letter to the IRS, each year, stating that I pay mandatory social charges in France and therefore do not need to pay social security in the US. This is all fair and fine. The IRS is fine with this.

However, as self-employed I pay employer and employee social taxes (like in the US). If I was an employee in France, the employer portion of social charges would be entirely deductible as you declare what is after the employer social charges to the US. But I cannot seem to find ways as freelancer to place where the employer social charges part should be allocated. In the US they deduct half of self-employed tax in the specific 1040 line for it. But mine is not US social security but foreign social security tax. As you are US self-employed in Germany, you might have an opinion.

The French tax specialist dude (famous and always listed on NY times), I believe, stated that half of the French social security charges can be deductible as self-employed for that matter. I cannot seem to know where he deducts this in the 1040. 

What is your opinion on that topic and where in the 1040 would you remove half of it, if you believe you can deduct it.


AtticusinCanada
AtticusinCanada

@Apurath Filing when you haven't even met the requirement to have to file as told to me directly by the IRS is ridiculously expensive every year. Yes, the fact is most ex pats in high tax countries would end up owing zero tax to the U.S. but, international tax preparers where I live are not cheap. And FBAR forms? Forget it. The more FATCA gets pushed the more people charge here in Canada to deal with this piece of paper. Don't file the FBAR? Get fined a huge fee on your local checking account. Since it's not taxes, it seems a big fat penalty grab on foreign citizens just for a form to the treasury. Further the problem is a lot of this reporting is on people who are not now, nor have they ever been American citizens at all. My spouse makes every penny of our income here in Canada yet the U.S. wants his account numbers, balances, and all transactions on those accounts of HIS just because I might share the right to pay a bill out of our checking account with him. He objects to sending such personal data to the United States of America since he is not American and I don't blame him. MANY spouse around the world feel exactly the same way. The Untied States is not only attempting to collect data on citizens abroad but, their entire family American or not. If a person has not lived or worked or had any gain whatsoever from the U.S. then such a person needs to be let go of. FATCA was NOT intended when it was passed by congress hidden in the HIRE Act to go after innocent citizen abroad. It was meant to go after people LIVING IN THE U.S. who were sending huge amounts off shore like drug lords and criminals. What it has ended up doing is putting millions of innocent ex pats in the same boat as those people. It has threatened people with huge fines on FBAR, it has ruined lives. It has caused nothing but, ill will all over the world. A simple solution would be to allow long term ex pats to elect to be taxed the same as foreign citizens. If you get gain from the U.S. you are then taxed the same as a foreign citizen would be. If you do not get any gain from the U.S. you no longer have any filing obligation. That way FATCA could be used to go after those it was originally intended to go after. The way it is now it is just simply ruining the lives of innocent people just for living outside the boundaries of the U.S. It's  a SIN law against ex pats.

SwissTechie
SwissTechie

@LynneBlaze it is not only about having a normal life outside of the US, but also about the fact that Americans are shooting themselves in the feet, destroying their beloved country simply because they don't want to think ahead and care about the damage American policy causes beyond US borders.  America needs to learn to become a team player which works with other nations instead of being a selfish snob who enjoys being hated so that it can cry and complain about the terrorist response while alienating itself from its friends, allies and loyalists by bankrupting itself with reckless and excessive spending on all wrong self-destructive things that money can buy.  These days, nobody hates America greater than the American nationalist who condemns Americans abroad simply because they pay their taxes and want to live a normal life.

ARiley
ARiley

@bubblebustin WIth any luck, it will just be the extinction of the United States.

pyridine
pyridine

@PatrickTaw You have no idea what you are even talking about.  Most of us who go abroad for work cannot renounce our US citizenship because we do not have the RIGHT to citizenship in the country we are working in.  Most people affected by this are probably only temporarily working abroad, like myself on just a 2 year contract.  I only have a right to stay in this foreign country subject to my employment contract, which has an end date.  When it ends, unless I can find another job and apply for an extension of my residence permit, I have no choice but to return to the US.  And I'm not sure why you think this doesn't affect Americans temporarily living abroad - if you read the article, you would see that one problem is that Americans living abroad in many countries are being refused a bank account because of the new FATCA legislation.  Without a local bank account, it is not possible to conduct anything required for daily life in most places, such as receiving a paycheck and paying bills, and imagine the hassle and extra cost just buying groceries (yeah let's just tack on a 15% currency exchange fee every frickin time I buy a bag of potatoes using my US credit card).  So please explain to me how people living abroad temporarily don't have to worry about the tax laws?  It also took me 48 hours of hell reading incomprehensible tax documents just to even figure out what I was supposed to do to avoid double taxation on my salary here for a partial year, when I am already paying 50% tax here while being ineligible for most social benefits due to my non-citizenship.

mkc0124
mkc0124

@PatrickTaw Sure you can.  Transnational corporations have set the precedent.  Why should they be the only ones to enjoy a borderless world?  By the way, as a veteran of two branches of our military and someone with dual citizenship and living abroad, I find it a little offensive when someone suggests that I should have to give up my citizenship based on what you personally believe my loyalties might be.

AtticusinCanada
AtticusinCanada

@PatrickTaw  I don't CARE if "MY" money belongs to the U.S. but, a ton of these fines and fees are coming out of our foreign spouses and childrens pockets. They are NOT American. There's the objection. And not everyone "chose" to go outside the country. Circumstances sometimes dictate where you live, such as aging parents abroad or aging in laws with health issues. Children with health issues so expensive you cannot return to the U.S. Nobody has anything against the U.S. in such circumstances and neither should our foreign spouses have their pockets dug into just for marrying an American. This is a LOT more complicated and harming a LOT of innocent people with zero taxes owed. I agree with you about having two loyalties yet the U.S. is one of only two countries that taxes on citizenship instead of where you live and use services. AND who taxes who you are married to whether they are American or not no matter where you live. No modern nation does this except the U.S. And the U.S. teachers its citizens that even though they are the ONLY ones taxing people in this manner that it is right and good to do so. It's not. People who have no representation in government, who do not use any services in the U.S. should not be taxed at all, let alone fined for not filing paper work on zero taxes owed AND have their family fined too. Anyone who thinks this is the right way to treat people is brainwashed. That's like you being born in Iowa but, moving to Oklahoma and marrying there and having children. Then Iowa says to you that you, your spouse and children are obligated to be taxed by Iowa for the rest of your life even if you haven't lived there for decades. Nobody can argue that this is a decent way to behave with honest working people. Nobody reasonable that is. That's why most countries don't do it.

SwissTechie
SwissTechie

@PatrickTaw, In 1975, America had its largest trade surplus ever in American history.  Americans abroad were exporting US products like never before in history.  Yet, then America adopted policy, that you happen to be advocating, which forced hundreds of thousands of Americans to renounce US citizenship or return to the US.  America has never had a trade surplus since.

Your argument is loaded with generalizations, stereotypes and anti-American hate-propaganda.  You are demanding that American patriots who fought for America to renounce US citizenship simply because they are exporting American products in other nations.

William Olenick is one of these American veteran patriots whom you are demanding to no longer export American products:  Packing up, going home: one US citizen in Switzerland vents his anger

Americans work oversees for various reasons such as defending America, representing America, advocating America, exporting US goods, proving US services, teaching US technologies, etc.  Some Americans are forced to live abroad, some volunteer, some seek to advance their careers, etc.  It is incorrect to argue that everyone chose to do what they do, or to condemn of being them of being non-American for the choices they made.

AlishiaGrzegorzek
AlishiaGrzegorzek

@PatrickTaw 97,001 dollars=60% taxes, by the time you pay to both countries. The last time I checked Australia and the US were, and always have been allies so yes I can maintain loyalty to both. I fell in love with an Aussie man. That doesn't make me un-American, and it doesn't make paying a 60% tax rate, right either. 




cgelder2002
cgelder2002

@N2TroubleAgain @JSN So why isn't there a revolution? A rebellion? Why do people accept it all? I think it will take a few generations to develop tax freedom fighters.

N2TroubleAgain
N2TroubleAgain

@mkc0124 @Leftcoastrocky I agree with mkc0124!  If you pay into the system all those years, then you should be able to collect, that is why there is a SS and Medicare taxes!  By the time many people retire, there won't be a social security.  It will be broke from the government wasting all the money that is paid into it!

mkc0124
mkc0124

@P.d.Holloman Good choice!  I love Sweden, having just spent a month there as recently as January and love all of Scandinavia and consider it to be one of the most desirable areas of the world in which to live, despite the winters.

ARiley
ARiley

@SwissTechie I will gladly accept the charge of being "non-American" - I have learned to hate the US passionately while living in civilised countries.  There is a substantial North Korean population here, they have no problem opening bank accounts - only Americans here are persecuted by their own government.

I will not defend the US, because the US is not worth defending.  It is a greedy, self-righteous, terrorist-committing, human-rights-violating entity that the world would be better off without.

MarkAreReynolds
MarkAreReynolds

@N2TroubleAgain@mkc0124@LeftcoastrockyReally? Because their printing presses all break down or what? THEY CAN PRINT ALL THEY WANT! How do you suppose they can pay for trillions of "dollars" worth of military equipment to harass the planet? WITH THE PRINTING PRESS!

AtticusinCanada
AtticusinCanada

@PLEberhart @AtticusinCanada @Apurath No, they didn't even debate it on the floor! It just got passed hidden in the "Hire" act! There was no review, no discussion at all. No it's just wreaking havoc for innocent families who happen to have one American in them all over the world. This isn't who FATCA was intended to go after. Most of these people would owe ZERO tax to the U.S. It's going to be an even bigger mess when it's fully implemented in January 2014. Banks all over the world were bullied into going along, families are livid, Americans abroad who used to constantly stand up for the U.S. are not doing that anymore since they've been the victim of this attack on their family. It's disgusting the mess this has caused yet the U.S.media? Not a peep! Or if they do talk about it they are not telling the truth about what it is doing or will do. Such a mess.