They Said FATCA Would Work…
Rajat Acharya

I find it really quite odd that you would call declaration of American clientele somehow “acting as the enforcement wing of the IRS” — that’s completely untrue — they enforce nothing and only declare that which they are required to. This isn’t new, FATCA has only consolidated the rule that has been in place since the passage of the PATRIOT Act (Title III), which has already required foreign banks to declare American clients to the IRS for compliance purposes.

You further go on to slander the FATCA by claiming it hurts our relationship with other nations — which is also entirely untrue — FATCA regulations have become the standard in all G-20 countries and dozens others throughout the world, from Australia to India to Saudi Arabia — South Africa to the UK to Chile to China — IGAs have ensured that FATCA’s successes remain rooted in international cooperation against money laundering and tax evasion.

Also, you claim FATCA targets “include green card holders, non-American relatives of US citizens, dual citizens and individuals with a worker’s permit” — I would like a source on “non-American relatives” and “individuals with a workers permit”, because I heavily doubt either are true. FATCA, if you read the piece of legislation, explicitly calls for closer scrutiny on accounts that have these indicia

  • US Citizenship or Permanent Status
  • US Birthplace or Current Residence
  • A US. telephone number.
  • Standing instructions to pay any amounts from the account to an account maintained in the US.
  • An “in care of” address or a “hold mail” address that is the sole address with respect to the client; or
  • A power of attorney or signatory authority granted to a person with a U.S. address.

Now, the thing to understand is that the indicia outlined DO NOT mean that you can just check the account and report it — they are simple guidelines and examples of what might correspond to a US account. Those that do, on investigation, are required to submit a W-9 or W-8BEN, which is (as I explained before) already done since 9/11 as part of PATRIOT act legislation.

But, let’s take a step away from the facts — you are unfairly criticizing FATCA through attempting to turn it into an attack on citizens.

“Given this unique position that Swiss citizens find themselves in, the tyrannies of FATCA have forced them to dispute encroachments upon their financial privacy.”

There is no “encroachment” on the “privacy” of average foreign citizens — FATCA does not monitor the assets of a random Swiss or Frenchman, FATCA, the IRS, and the Treasury don’t monitor anything. These are Bilateral Agreements with which IGAs move to ensure that banks follow proper declaratory procedure with regards to American citizens. You’re erroneously trying to paint this as some attack by the United States on foreign countries when the very implementation of the FATCA requires foreign nations to comply and form IGAs and properly fight tax evasion. This isn’t a US thing, it’s an international cooperation thing.

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