New commission would study effects of US policy on American expats

by Ray Clancy on August 13, 2015

A new Act is being called for in America to create a commission to study the effects of government policy on the eight million Americans living overseas.

According to the Americans Abroad Caucus, they miss out in terms of voting rights, financial reporting and other issues as federal policies do not take into account the unique circumstances of expats who still have to pay taxes in the US.

USAmapCarolyn Maloney and Mike Honda of the Americans Abroad Caucus have introduced new legislation to Congress to establish a commission that would study the variety of ways federal policy fails expats.

“Americans living and working overseas constitute a kind of unsung constituency. They pay taxes and vote, but US policies and laws can have unintended and sometimes damaging consequences on their lives because no entity in Washington is paying attention,” said Maloney. “These hard working citizens are our country’s informal ambassadors around the globe and help strengthen the US economy and promote American influence. Their concerns about how their government interacts with them deserve to be heard and paid attention to here in Washington.”

Honda explained that the Commission on Americans Living Abroad Act would take action to address the concerns of expats who feel disenfranchised.

“Federal laws addressing finance, voting, and access to social programmes often ignore the burdensome impact they have on Americans living overseas,” said Honda. “Setting up this commission is a step forward in ensuring that federal laws that affect these citizens take their concerns into account. Every American deserves to have a voice in our great democracy, regardless of where he or she is living.”

The Commission would look into federal financial reporting requirements for a US citizen living in a foreign country, federal policies and requirements that affect an overseas citizen’s access to foreign and domestic financial institutions, and federal requirements for a spouse, child or another family member of a US citizen living abroad to become a US citizen.

Other issues to be examined include the ability of a US citizen living overseas to vote in Federal, State and local elections in the US, and the process by which they do so and the process by which a US citizen living abroad interacts with Federal programs like Social Security and Medicare.

Also on the agenda is methods to improve collaborations between US citizens abroad and Federal Agencies that oversee programs that serve them.

The legislation creates a 10-member bipartisan Executive Commission to study the impact of US laws and Executive actions on the overseas Americans community. The study would then be used to make recommendations for actions that Congress and the Executive Branch could take to improve collaboration and communication of policies impacting the expat community.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jak August 13, 2015 at 11:39 pm

Hope this happens


JC Double Taxed August 14, 2015 at 12:29 am

My view of such study while needed has terms of reference from a “within the beltway” viewpoint.

This sounds good: “look into federal financial reporting requirements for a US citizen living in a foreign country.” Yet it kind of assumes that it is all proper to double tax and quadruple compliance those living overseas while providing $0 in federal services in exchange for the taxation and compliance.

A term of reference should be this: investigating rising US citizenship renunciations and the role of US government policies involved with this, in regards to: Efficiency, Equity, Fairness, & Simplicity.

Some goals of tax reform are stated by Congress as: Efficiency, Equity, Fairness, & Simplicity. For US persons overseas the one way double taxation with excessive compliance and with excessive compliance penalties without any services in return then, IMO, has nothing to do with: Efficiency, Equity, Fairness, & Simplicity.

Not referenced in the article are the two lawsuits against FATCA and that a court in Canada is currently considering an injunction against the Canadian FATCA IGA, and a court in the US is currently considering and injunction against FATCA. The suit in the US claims that FATCA and FBAR violate the Constitution on 8 claims. For updates of these suits please visit The Isaac Brock Society message boards. www dot isaacbrocksociety dot ca


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