Thursday, February 7, 2013 -Posted by Fadi Bejjani
A Country of Emigrant FATCATS?
"FATCA is the straw that broke the camel's back," says Jackie Bugnon, director of the Geneva-based expatriate advocacy group, American Citizens Abroad."The US 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." Noblesse Oblige! It seems that it is the privilege of being American that is being taxed not one's share of government overhead. I guess that is possible while the demand is high for American citizenship and a large number of potential immigrants is waiting to come in, but what will happen if the word gets out and the tide reverses itself? FATCA might go FAKAKTA (ridiculous in yiddish) then. By the way the only other country that have the same policy is the one and only: NORTH KOREA. So we're in good company!
FATCA, or the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, goes into effect in July 2013. It will require all foreign banks to report to the IRS information about accounts held by all Americans (fat cats or not) anywhere. One bank is exempt The Santa Claus North Pole Regional Bank, because these assets are de facto frozen! Just kidding. Must have a comic relief every once in a while because the news are too depressing.
Because local banks will now have to shell out the money for expensive new infrastructure in order to comply with the IRS rules, not to mention breaching every bit of privacy left, "Access to foreign financial institutions is being shut off and Americans abroad are treated like criminals," Bugnon says.
It all started with the Patriot Act allowing the Feds to forage into bank accounts all over to follow the terrorist money trail. Now this intrusive tool is turned against Americans themselves, just like the drones seemingly are. I wonder what is coming next. We know that removing tax loopholes is in the pipeline. Is that an extension of FATCA or another Double Jeopardy?
The irony is that contemporaneously we are bending over backwards as a nation to provide all kinds of legitimacy and legal rights to 11 million+ illegal immigrants. It looks like Washington is planning to finance this ambitious endeavor by overtaxing the legal emigrants? Are we becoming a country of legal emigrants and illegal immigrants?
I can see the light at the end of that tunnel: At some point most legals, especially fat cats, would have emigrated, so there will be no one left to pay for the illegal immigrants rushing in. The latter will realize that and their tide will stop. Et Voilà! The illegal immigration to the US will peter down miraculously on its own. Border security will only be needed to stem the flow of legal emigrants!
America's dreaded passtime will be playing hide-and-seek with the IRS:
Come out, come out wherever you are....I'm gonna get ya!