INTRODUCTION OF OVERSEAS AMERICANS FINANCIAL ACCESS ACT; Congressional Record Vol. 163, No. 70
(Extensions of Remarks - April 25, 2017)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E532]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




        INTRODUCTION OF OVERSEAS AMERICANS FINANCIAL ACCESS ACT

                                 ______
                                 

                        HON. CAROLYN B. MALONEY

                              of new york

                    in the house of representatives

                        Tuesday, April 25, 2017

  Mrs. CAROLYN B. MALONEY of New York. Mr. Speaker, I rise to introduce 
the Overseas Americans Financial Access Act on behalf of the estimated 
6-8 million American citizens living and working abroad. This bill 
would amend the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) to address 
the unintended consequences it imposes on American citizens overseas 
that make it more difficult to access basic banking products and 
services in their country of residence.
  As co-chair of the Americans Abroad Caucus, for years I have heard 
reports from constituents overseas detailing how FATCA's expensive and 
duplicative reporting requirements have led foreign financial 
institutions to deny basic banking services to American citizens. Some 
Foreign Financial Institutions have simply closed accounts or refused 
to open new ones for U.S. citizens in order to minimize their exposure 
to FATCA reporting requirements, withholding fees and potential 
penalties. This practice leaves law-abiding American citizens without 
access to everyday financial tools such as mortgages, bank accounts, 
insurance policies and pension funds--all of which are critical 
services regardless of place of residence.
  While I recognize the difficult job of the Treasury Department to 
make sure American money around the world remains compliant with the 
U.S. tax code, the current FATCA reporting procedures subject ordinary 
Americans to the same scrutiny as criminal tax evaders and money 
launderers. Revision of these reporting policies is necessary to ensure 
that Americans remain competitive in international business and 
continue to contribute to economies here in the U.S. and around the 
world. Unfortunately, some have resorted to renouncing their American 
citizenship in response. It is now time to act and provide relief.
  The IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) has recognized this problem 
and on April 13, 2015, issued a recommendation that the IRS exclude 
from FATCA reporting financial accounts maintained by a financial 
institution in the country in which the U.S. citizen is a bona fide 
resident. To date, no action has been taken to institute such a policy 
to alleviate the burden on overseas Americans as a result of FATCA. 
That is why I am proud to introduce the Overseas Americans Financial 
Access Act which would implement TAS's recommendation and exempt 
Americans from FATCA reporting if their accounts are held in the same 
country where they are a bona fide resident.
  As Members of Congress, it is our duty to represent our constituents' 
best interests whether they live in the United States or overseas. I 
urge my colleagues to support this bill so that we may fulfill this 
duty and grant our overseas constituents the relief they need.

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