BBC journalist Russell Newlove travelled to Paris last week to document the problems faced by Americans living abroad.
FATCA and American tax policies make it more difficult for Americans abroad to use banking services and save money for their future. Many banks simply reject Americans as account holders rather than face the reporting requirements of FATCA.
Tax accountability should start at home. It's troubling to see the U.S. listed as the world's third most secretive jurisdiction. From the Economist this week:
But America, the country that has arm-twisted so many others to join the transparency revolution, is dragging its feet. It is now the third most secretive jurisdiction, behind Hong Kong and, inevitably, Switzerland (where rumours of the death of bank secrecy have been exaggerated).
America was in the vanguard in the fight against tax havens, first targeting the Swiss, then passing the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or FATCA, which forces financial firms all over the world to spill the beans on their American clients. While demanding concessions from others, however, Washington has made few itself. It has, for instance, failed to engage with the OECD’s data-sharing scheme. Worse, anonymity-friendly incorporation regimes at the state level mean America is unmatched in corporate secrecy.
Listen to the plight of Accidental Americans on BBC World Service – World Business Report: “Becoming Ex-American”