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  • November 21, 2017 10:07 AM | Anonymous

    American Citizens Abroad (ACA) announced today that it has accomplished its goal of $75,000 to fund its efforts for Residency-based taxation (RBT).


    Washington, DC

    November 21, 2017


    ACA’s sister organization, American Citizens Abroad Global Foundation (a section 501(c)(3) charitable organization) began a crowd-funding campaign in March to raise funds for revenue estimation of its RBT approach and to present this work to key offices in the Administration and Congress. On November 7th, District Economics Group (DEG), an independent economic consulting firm, concluded the work and determined that “it would be possible to reach a revenue neutral budget score within the ten-year congressional budget window of 2018 through 2027.” 


    See: https://www.americansabroad.org/media/files/files/dc1e1c4e/DEG_short_memo_on_RBT_proposal_11.06.2017.pdf.


    “Although RBT was not included in the House-passed version of H.R. 1, we believe that offices in the Senate are looking to include RBT language in the Senate’s version of H.R. 1,” said Charles Bruce, ACA Global Foundation Chairman and ACA Legal Counsel.


    ACA’s revenue estimating work is invaluable to the community of Americans overseas. The knowledge gained about the community – size, asset make-up, analysis of tax treatment –helps with ACA’s advocacy work on a variety of issues facing the community, tax policy being merely one of them.


    “ACA thanks the community for its support with the fundraising,” added Marylouise Serrato, ACA Executive Director, “Donations came in all shapes and sizes and clearly showed that the community of overseas Americans appreciates ACA’s advocacy work on tax reform.”


    ACA will continue the important work on tax reform in the next weeks, advocating to the Senate and continuing the conversation with key offices in the House, such as Congressman Holding’s office. Congressman Holding went on the record several times strongly supporting a Residency-based taxation system.


    See: https://www.c-span.org/video/?c4692161/congressman-holdings- comment-rbt.


    “Our fundraising efforts aren’t over,” added Charles Bruce. “For ACA to continue to do the work needed with Congress and the Administration, we absolutely need the support of the community and other interested parties. ACA will continue to raise funds to support this important work. Since ACA Global Foundation is a voluntary organization, all funds go to revenue estimators and the like.”



    Contact: Marylouise Serrato +1 202 322 8441.

  • March 21, 2017 9:00 AM | Anonymous

    March 21, 2017
    Washington, DC
     
    Congress is slated after the summer recess to take up the issue of comprehensive tax reform. The upcoming tax-reform process is focusing on residence-based taxation changes for US foreign businesses, and American Citizens Abroad (ACA) advocates working to persuade Congress that the tax law should include residence-based taxation for individuals as well. Currently, Americans living overseas are taxed in the US based on citizenship.
     
    “Residency-based taxation for individuals is a relatively straightforward exercise and does not risk ‘muddying the water’ for changes regarding corporate international taxation. There are no obvious roadblocks to undertaking this step,” said ACAGF Chairman Charles Bruce.
     
    ACA’s ongoing advocacy efforts have raised awareness of the problems facing Americans living overseas and have provided proposals for treatment to alleviate tax compliancy problems. Now ACAGF is raising funds to commission a professional "scoring" or revenue estimates required to persuade Congress that tax reforms that would benefit individual American expatriate taxpayers are feasible and cost-neutral.
     
    “The tax-writing and other committees and Member offices that ACA has met with are all familiar with ACA’s approach to residency-based taxation of Americans overseas, and meetings in these offices lead us to believe that legislation making this change is eminently doable,” said ACA Executive Director Marylouise Serrato. “The House Republican ‘Blueprint’ for tax reform states that the Ways and Means Committee intends to address the treatment of individuals living and working abroad, opening the door for this important change.”
     
    This urgent "specified-need" fundraising campaign is being conducted by American Citizens Abroad, Inc.’s sister organization, American Citizens Abroad Global Foundation, which is a section 501(c)(3) tax-exempt publicly-supported charity (
    http://acaglobalfoundation.org/donate). Donations to ACAGF are tax-deductible. Details about the work are found here on ACA’s website at: https://www.americansabroad.org/nows-the-time-for-rbt-donate-today/
     
    For more information contact:  Marylouise Serrato +1 202 322 8441 or
    info@americansabroad.org.

  • March 13, 2017 2:37 PM | Anonymous

    Now’s The Time – Start Taxing Americans Abroad Like Other Countries Tax Their Citizens

     

    Donate today to this important work.  Your donation is tax deductible.  Donate today.


    The United States taxes on the basis of citizenship. This means it taxes American citizens on their worldwide income regardless where they live. An American citizen living in London, or Toronto, or Tokyo, or Johannesburg, generally must file U.S. tax returns and pay U.S. tax, even if he or she does not live in or travel to the U.S.  Taxation is not based on any physical presence test.  The source of the income makes no difference either: income exclusively earned and additionally taxed abroad is also subject to U.S. reporting. Moreover, Americans abroad are commonly taxed twice, for example on some types of investment income and certain retirement-savings vehicles.  In some cases, where an individual was born in the U.S. to foreign parents on a student or temporary work visa who then returned to their home country, those subject to the tax law and its penalties may not have not been aware of their status as an American birthright citizen.


    This is not the worldwide norm.  The United States and, arguably, the small African country of Eritrea are the outliers in taxation based on citizenship regardless of residency.

     

     

    THE TIME HAS COME TO SWITCH FROM THE CURRENT CITIZENSHIP-BASED TAXATION (CBT) APPROACH TO RESIDENCY-BASED TAXATION (RBT). 

    Is this possible? Yes, if we immediately do several things.  American citizens need to get behind a well-conceived proposal, which is revenue neutral – it doesn’t cost the Treasury anything in lost revenue – and addresses the potential for tax abuse and evasion. To do this, first we need to do our homework by preparing comprehensive revenue estimates for legislators and providing a clear data package to show that the change from CBT to RBT can be made revenue neutral.  ACA is undertaking this important work now and needs everyone’s help!

    Will Congress take this step? Yes, ACA believes that now is the opportunity. International tax rules for corporations are being revised currently, and enactment of some form of territorial taxation for corporations is almost a certainty. This means that companies’ foreign earnings will not be taxed or will be taxed at a reduced rate. Residency-based taxation (RBT) for U.S. citizens overseas follows the same principle that legislators are being asked to accept for America’s global businesses.

    How will this happen, and how can you help? American Citizens Abroad Global Foundation (ACAGF) is raising funds to pay for high-quality revenue estimates on conversion from CBT to RBT using the ACA’s “Baseline” approach as a starting point for revenue estimating.  This process—known as “scoring”—will allow the development of the best possible proposal and will help to ensure its enactment.  Click here for details.


    Have questions about ACA’s “Baseline” approach?  See Frequently Asked Questions for answers.


    Funds are being raised now to begin the “scoring” process with an established economic consulting firm, but we need your help to support this ongoing effort.  Now is the moment for this reform.  Your donation to the fundraising is tax deductible.  For individuals with access to a corporate donation-matching program, please consider asking your employer to amplify your contribution.  Donate today.


  • April 13, 2016 3:46 AM | Anonymous

    Through ACA Global Foundation’s research and canvassing of members, ACA discovered a serious need for State-Side banking services for Americans living and working overseas.  ACA, Inc., ACA Global Foundation’s sister organization has now provided that product with the ACA/SDFCU account.  To learn more about this great, new member benefit, see:  https://www.americansabroad.org/sdfcu-account/

  • January 08, 2016 4:46 PM | Anonymous
    University of Nevada, Reno and American Citizens Global Foundation offer report on impacts of tax legislation


    Americans Abroad Global Foundation (ACAGF), in conjunction with the University of Nevada, Reno released results today on a new study finding that most Americans overseas feel the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) negatively impacts their professional pursuits and that compliance is over burdensome. The majority of respondents’ perception was consistent with the sentiment that the U.S. government is not concerned about the impact of FATCA on its citizens living abroad.

    Since the United States taxes U.S. taxpayers on worldwide income (citizenship-based taxation, CBT), Americans living overseas have always had to comply with various special provisions, such as the foreign earned income exclusion (FEIE), foreign tax credit, housing provisions, and disclosure requirements. FATCA is a part of the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) act, signed into law in March 2010. FATCA is a means to increase compliance by U.S. taxpayers with foreign accounts.

    The survey was conducted between June 16 and Aug. 15, 2015, with 684 useable responses collected. The survey was deployed using a web-based approach among a cross section of adults ages 18 and older, living in more than 60 countries. Some key findings:

    • Of the respondents, 64 percent voted in the 2012 Presidential Elections significantly higher than the turn out rate of the average American voting stateside
    • Seventy-eight percent (78) of respondents felt having to comply with U.S. tax law puts them at a professional disadvantage compared to others working in their country of residence
    • Eighty-six percent (86) of respondents said that FATCA needs to be reworked to allow Americans overseas access to banking services and include a “Same Country exemption” provision (i.e., no reporting requirement for accounts held in the same country of residence)
    • Overseas Americans generally felt the IRS was not keeping them informed about how to comply with evolving tax laws

    “The consensus from this sample of Americans abroad feels that the U.S. government does not recognize how the FATCA legislation is negatively impacting them, limiting their ability to maintain legitimate banking and financial relationships and, that in many respects, simply does not care how the legislation is affecting a community of law-abiding citizens who have chosen to live overseas for work or personal reasons,” Sonja Pippin, Associate Professor in Accounting at the University, said.

    “These survey results are important,” Charles Bruce, ACAGF Chairman, said. “They will be used as a baseline for informing the public, creating educational programs and advocating for legislative changes to address the issues of Americans abroad.  Survey results indicate that Americans want to comply with tax laws but want sensible simplification of the rules, including a “Same Country” provision, outreach from the IRS on how to comply, and want to vote for representatives who understand their issues.”


    For full report see: http://www.unr.edu/business/research-and-outreach/accounting-research

  • June 19, 2015 12:58 PM | Anonymous

     

    FATCA has been debated in the US and abroad among politicans, businesses and American taxpayers living overseas and/or with ties to other countries. While its intent on reducing or eliminating tax evasion is almost universally supported, many feel the law increases the compliance burden on many taxpayers and institutions.

     

    ACA's sister organization, American Citizens Abroad Global Foundation (ACAGF) in cooperation with the faculty of the University of Nevada, Reno's College of Business have announced a research project to study the effects of FATCA on American citizens living abroad. The survey will provide researchers with the opportunity to evaluate how taxpayers experienced this new law and will provide information about unintended consequences. "Being able to evaluate the responses from a large group of taxpayers from all around the world will provide us with a much richer picture of FATCA's impact on individual taxpayers and will help us study aspects of the law that cannot be assessed by tax return data alone," said Sonja Pippin, associate professor in accounting.

     

    "ACAGF is pleased to see academic institutions like the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR), take interest in canvassing Americans' opinions on US legislation. Cooperating with UNR on this important survey topic will help ACAGF further its understanding and knowledge of how FATCA is affecting the community of Americans overseas and help us to better educate Congress on this and other important issues," Charls Bruce, ACAGF Chairman said.

     

    Take the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ACA_FATCA

     

  • May 26, 2015 10:48 AM | Anonymous

    Reuters Press Release (May 26, 2015)

    "New survey finds US expat voting could impact 2016 Presidential Election"

    "Greenback Expat Tax Services conducted this survey with over 1,800 US expats in cooperation with the American Citizens Abroad Global Foundation (ACAGF), a section 501(c)(3) charitable organization focusing principally on educational matters to promote the interests of Americans abroad.

    "Both organizations intended for the survey to gather the opinions of overseas Americans on the issues that impact them most. One clear message the data reflected was the growing frustration with US tax laws, such as Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), a major US initiative to uncover US taxpayers hiding money overseas to avoid paying American taxes. FATCA requires individuals to report their offshore assets if they exceed certain thresholds and foreign financial institutions are now required to report information about the accounts of their American clients to the US. [...]

    "The respondents who answered said that they didn't vote were for the following reasons: 15% didn't know how to vote while living abroad, 9% didn't feel their vote would make a difference and 10% didn't feel that voting as an expat was important. [...]

    " 'The results of the survey are very important to the work that ACAGF and American Citizens Abroad, Inc. are doing on behalf of Americans living and working overseas. Identifying the problem areas and the concerns of this community helps our organizations better formulate policy and supports ACA, Inc.'s advocacy efforts with the legislature,' said Marylouise Serrato, Executive Director, American Citizens Abroad (ACA, Inc.), a sister section 501(c)(4) organization to American Citizens Abroad Global Foundation (ACAGF), a publicly-supported charity under section 501(c)(3).

    " 'ACA Global Foundation understands the importance of identifying the issues facing the community of Americans living and working overseas. Better understanding of our members' and supporters' issues helps us educate everyone, including Congress, as to the real needs of Americans living and working overseas,' said Charles Bruce, Chairman of ACAGF."

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/05/26/idUSnGNX4jnbWS+1c3+GNW20150526

  • March 02, 2015 3:47 PM | Anonymous

    American Citizens Abroad Global Foundation (ACAGF) released today a new video aimed at breaking down the merits of Residence-based taxation in a clear and simple way for key decision makers and the public. The video, entitled 21st Century Taxation of Americans Abroad: Citizenship-based taxation vs. Residence-based taxation is timely and important as the issue of how to tax Americans living and working overseas is gaining attention during Congressional review of comprehensive US tax reform.  The video is available for viewing on the ACA Global Foundation’s homepage at: www.acaglobalfoundation.org

     

    “Having a rational discussion of our outdated and uncompetitive current tax policy versus sound alternatives such as Residence-based taxation will help inform Congress in their development of new tax legislation,” said Charles Bruce, Chairman of ACAGF.

     

    In the video Professor Michael Kirsch of Notre Dame University presents the rationale for Citizenship-based taxation (CBT) while Dr. Bernard Schneider, Lecturer in International Tax Law at the Queen Mary University of London School of Law,

    presents recommendations for Residence-based taxation (RBT).

     

    “Significant research and education is needed to bring these issues to the attention of the American public and Congress,” said Jackie Bugnion, Tax Team Director of ACA, Inc. (ACAGF sister organization) “and our organizations have taken the lead in sponsoring informed debate and better understanding of these issues.”

     

    For more information on the need for Residence-based taxation and both ACA, Inc. and ACA Global Foundation’s work, please visit our websites at: www.americansabroad.org  and, www.acaglobalfoundation.org  or contact us at info@acaglobalfoundation.org or at +1 202 322 8441.

  • May 24, 2014 5:08 PM | Anonymous

    Entitled  “21st Century Taxation of Americans Abroad: Citizenship-based taxation vs. Residence-based taxation,” the symposium was held on Friday, May 2, 2014 in Toronto, Canada at St Michael’s College where an audience of over 70 participants attended to hear tax, law, banking and finance professionals debate on the tax treatment of overseas Americans. The issue of how to tax Americans living and working overseas is gaining attention as Congress grapples with the challenges facing overseas Americans.


    Marylouise Serrato, Executive Director of ACA, Inc. opened the conference on behalf of the Board of ACA Global Foundation. The morning debate was between two distinguished academics who have recently published groundbreaking papers on the issue of taxation of Americans abroad. Professor Michael Kirsch of Notre Dame University defended citizenship-based taxation (CBT) and Dr. Bernard Schneider, Teaching Fellow at Queen Mary University of London School of Law,recommended residence-based taxation (RBT). Professor Kirsch highlighted the community aspects of American citizenship as a basis for taxation whereas Dr. Schneider focused on the need for the law to adapt to the composition of Americans abroad and the realities faced by long-term overseas residents. The audience was highly engaged during the Q & A session that followed the formal debate.


    The afternoon session looked at the impact of current CBT policies on Americans abroad. Phil Hodgen, of Hodgen Law Group PC presented the legal point of view. David Kuenzi of Thun Financial Investments and Charles Cullen III of RBC Dominion Securities Inc. reviewed some of the restrictions by US law on investments of Americans abroad. Jim Yager, representing the American Chamber of Commerce, presented the issues from the businessperson’s point of view and reviewed the range of US fiscal reporting requirements for both individuals and businesses.  “Significant research and education is needed to bring these issues to the attention of the American public and Congress,” stated Jackie Bugnion in her closing remarks as she encouraged Americans abroad to support ACA Global Foundation through donations, which are tax deductible in the U.S.


    For more information on the conference and on ACA Global Foundation’s work, please visit the ACA Global Foundation website at:  www.acaglobalfoundation.org or contact us at info@acaglobalfoundation.org.

  • February 26, 2014 4:10 PM | Anonymous

    Non-profit foundation recently established to represent the interests of all Americans living and working overseas

     

    (Washington, D.C) February 26, 2014 – American Citizens Abroad (ACA) Global Foundation announced this week that Thomas L. Siebert has been appointed the newest member of the organization’s board. Ambassador Siebert will bring over 30 years of experience in international business and governmental affairs to the board and help ACA in its mission to represent the interests of all Americans overseas before policymakers in Washington, D.C., particularly on the issues of fair taxation and banking access.

    “I am extremely proud to be joining the ACA board and help elevate important issues affecting Americans overseas which often do not gain enough attention in the halls of Congress and the White House,” said Ambassador Siebert. “Americans overseas are hard-working voters who contribute to advancing  American exports and American business interests  around the world. The perception of Americans overseas needs to change and they deserve to have their voices heard. I look forward to working together with other members of the ACA Board and Executive Committee to make this happen.”

    Siebert served as U.S. Ambassador to Sweden from 1994 - 1998 under President Clinton and is a member of the Council of American Ambassadors. In 1998, he served as Chairman of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Plenipotentiary Conference and currently serves on the Diplomatic Council on Energy Security. This Council provides advice to Securing America's Energy Future (SAFE), a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization committed to reducing America's dependence on foreign oil and improving U.S. energy security. He also serves on the Board of Advisors of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Project which operates within the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Center for Human Rights.

    “Having Ambassador Siebert on the Board with his wide-ranging international experience and strong connections in Washington will be instrumental to helping ACA move its agenda forward,” said ACA Executive Director Marylouise Serrato. “As an organization, we continue to grow and expand our presence in Washington to ensure we are providing tangible results for our membership and the millions of Americans resident overseas.” 

    ACA is currently working to gain support in Congress towards adoption of its residency or territorial-based taxation platform as part of comprehensive tax reform efforts. Doing so will bring the U.S. in line with every other industrialized nation and make America more financially and economically competitive. ACA is also working with the Americans Abroad Caucus, chaired by Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Congressman Mick Mulvaney (R-SC), to ensure that all Americans overseas have access to banking services and are not unfairly penalized due to Foreign Account Tax Compliance (FATCA) and Foreign Bank Account Report (FBAR) legislation.

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