Fascining discussion. In this election season the politicans are agressively courting the vote of Amerians abroad. Yet, they seem unwilling to take the time to understand the problems of Americans abroad and how FATCA has destroyed many life – resulting in many renunications of US citizenship.
Great to see this being put out there
I listened to this second podcast, but didn’t find it very fascinating. There was this same old preoccupation with FATCA, as if fixing that would fix all the other problems with extraterritorial overreach practiced on US citizens.
There have always been a flurry of such media attention paid to US expat problems just before election time. Once the election is over, strictly nothing comes of it.
It’s not really fair to blame the inaction during the Trump era on Trump — he actively encouraged something to be done about this, and there was a bill (though it was very flawed) put forth by George Holding. John Richardson held a big videocast when this bill was introduced at the last minute, so I know he’s aware of this. Holding’s bill essentially died in committee or waiting for a sponsor (why?), and got blindsided by the PAYGO requirements with LegCo refusing to tell anyone the algorithm for PAYGO scoring the bill. None of this insanity is Trump’s fault. George Holding seems to have given up trying to get reelected. He promised to introduce it one more time, but now it looks as if he’s not even going to do that. Congress really do act like a bunch of dysfunctional children most of the time.
I suppose Trump could have issued yet another executive order, but people complain when he does that. Talk about someone damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t, that is Mr. Trump. Treasury could also have issued guidance to leave expats alone, but they didn’t. There may have been good reasons for this, and certainly passing a real law is more durable than issuing an executive order, but people are suffering now because of these institutionalized abuses (including me).
I think it’s more accurate to say that the swamp (and large US donors who don’t want competition to grow) are the obstacles to legislative relief rather than Mr. Trump. It took this pandemic for the electorate at large to experience just with how little respect these entrenched interests treat small businesses and individuals, and how little they like a level playing field. Expats have known this for years. One simply needs to turn this broad-based incredulity into action.
More draining of the swamp is needed, not less, and certainly not a return to the politics of deep state appeasement of the Obama years.
To answer a question which none of the ‘experts’ in the podcast couldn’t answer, pretty much any tax treaty between two nations, neither of which include the US, would be a good model to follow. I was working with the tax treaty between Austria and Poland last year — it seemed pretty clean. I’ve also looked at Austria/Germany, Switzerland/Germany, etc. It’s only the US who gut the frameworks on which these treaties are based.
In term of Trump issuing an executive order on this issue and what level of support he would have or would receive for doing so my view would tend to be that he would receive significant support especially outside of the US for doing so even from people who violently disagree with him on just about any other policy. Someone like Sophie In’t Veld would definitely support an executive order. Now he might get a lot of opposition too actually not might will get however, I don’t think you can blame people like Sophie for not kissing his ring Sophie doesn’t really kiss ring of any US President.
Interesting listen. One initial comment I will make in term of why political and diplomatic figures like Ambassador Hyman or even Biden/Trump themselves don’t want to jump into this issue is that the “tax people” who work for both political parties(i.e. various tax lawyers and tax law professors) are very wedded to American tax exceptionalism and CBT and it is difficult for a non tax person like Hymen, like Biden, like Scaramucci, to go in and overrule someone like Michael Kirsch who has practiced tax for his entire professional career when they themselves lack any professional background in tax law and policy.
Now the second point I would make and I think this shows where someone like Michael Kirsch is politically weak is that many “tax people” really don’t understand these laws and policies either despite claiming to professionally. I can say from talking to Michael Kirsch at a personal level he really only understands the “savings clause” not in terms of what the actual legal mechanics and impacts of it are but that they US govt and US politicians need to fight to the death to keep no matter how hard other countries demand it’s removal.