Americans in Switzerland Letter to Congress

Americans living in Switzerland seem to have been hit the hardest of any with reports of banks there closing accounts of US-born Swiss residents and even refusing to renew mortgages because of IRS efforts.

An Americans in Switzerland Letter has been sent to Congress.   Will it make a difference?  It doesn’t seem much will budge Congress or IRS, especially when you consider Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin said in July:

“You either get a Swiss bank account to conceal what you’re doing, or you believe the Swiss franc is stronger than the American dollar.”

Then, of course, Obama’s former press secretary Robert Gibbs said;

“I pick a bank because there’s an ATM near my home. Romney had a bank account in Switzerland.”

Well, guess what?  People living in Switzerland get bank accounts with ATMs near their homes too.  It’s not convenient to get on a plane, fly across the ocean, use an ATM in Washington (which IRS considers the official residence of Americans living outside US), take out US dollars, fly home to Switzerland and convert the money into Swiss francs to spend where you live.

And, Senator Durbin, there is a third reason for Swiss bank accounts.  People living in Switzerland need them for normal everyday banking–like deposits of employment income, payment of bills and mortgages and saving for children’s education and retirement.

Those are also the reasons people living in Brazil, China, India, Mexico, Canada and elsewhere have bank accounts in the countries where they live (and where many of us are citizens).

Go after the real tax cheats.  Certainly find out why Romney and others living in US have Swiss or Cayman Island accounts. Make them file FBARs.   Leave the rest of us alone to pursue our normal, honest, law-abiding tax-paying lives in other countries.

Democratic Swissophobia is hurting “US persons” throughout the world.  The witch hunt is causing Amerophobia around the globe.  .

 

 

 

15 thoughts on “Americans in Switzerland Letter to Congress

  1. Well, my reaction to this is to wonder if I should make the appointment to renounce tomorrow, or if I should wait another week for a miracle to happen. Maybe I’ll give the miracle one more week to materialize since the staff of my congressperson said that they were discussing my request for a letter of recommendation to renounce US citizenship.

    • Why do you need a letter of recommendation to renounce?

      You may want to see letter from Treasury to Congressional Representatives. It doesn’t sound like we should expect any changes in FATCA.

    • Blaze,
      Which letter is the one you refer to from Treasury to Congressional representatives? I’d like to read it.

    • I don’t need a letter of recommendation to renounce US citizenship. Rather, I just want to see if my “representation” will do something or nothing. Currently, nothing seems to be the most US politicians can do for Americans living abroad.

    • SwissPinoy,
      At the very least, it would be good to see them have to confront this impasse head on. You’re forcing them to see that it will eventually become very embarassing internationally when they have to advise someone to renounce in order to do what US residents can do – hold an ordinary bank account, get and renew a mortgage, etc. That would be interesting to add to the annals, in addition to the one at IBS with the IRS counsel who advises that if the dual citizen (in S.America) can’t comply, they’re advised to renounce. At what point does this become a scandal to big to ignore?

      That is also what the letter from the Switzerland letter to Congress does. I had read that the ACA had also written to both presidential candidates to try and get them to comment and commit to action on the plight of those abroad. At the very least, they won’t be able to say that they didn’t know what the situation was – because the letters to Congress, Obama and Romney prove they were notified. And, there is still time for expats who are going to vote, to decide how/whether to. Some may do so one last time before renouncing/relinquishing.

    • At the going rate, my vote will be my last vote and I’ll only vote for Ron Paul, ignoring the rest. I’m ready now to write my Senator. Any recommendations? Here’s the draft:

      Dear Senator Bill Nelson,

      I’m writing to you to request a letter of recommendation that I renounce my US citizenship. This is the least that I can ask from my representation and it is the most they can do for Americans living abroad. I don’t need to go into the details of this because I’ve already mentioned such to you and received no response. Thus, I will call you in a few days to confirm that you will either do nothing for American citizens abroad whom you represent, or that you will recommend that they renounce their US citizenship since they have no representation.

      Sincerely,

      [ExpatAmi]

  2. Here’s an interesting development.

    Switzerland tops the overall rankings of 144 economies in the Global Competitiveness Report 2012-13 for the fourth consecutive year, followed by Singapore. The Forum said Switzerland’s standing rests notably on its innovation and labor market efficiency, as well as the sophistication of its business sector.

    At the same time, the United States’ ability to compete on the global stage has fallen for the fourth year running as confidence in the country’s politicians continues to decline, an annual survey from the World Economic Forum revealed Wednesday.

    http://www.dailyfinance.com/2012/09/05/us-competitiveness-ranking-falls-again-survey-finds/

    Innovation, labour market efficiency and sophistication of the business sector are given as the reasons for Switzerland’s position. What a waste US does not want their own citizens to benefit from that. Instead, they want to waste resources stalking their citizens and former citizens for peanuts.

  3. @Outraged: Thank Just Me for the find. I picked it up from him on Twitter.

    I think the Americans in Switzerland did an amazing job of summing up the issues in their accompanying report.

    It’s incredible to me that they could remain so calm, focused and professional when they seem to be going through the worst nightmare of all of us. Despite how US is treating them, their report says most Americans remain loyal and “profoundly proud.” Yet, many are considering renouncing because of the huge impact this is having on marriages, children, careers, finances and daily life.

    Perhaps their diplomacy reflects the large number of international organizations based in Switzerland. That fact alone makes the American attack on the Swiss and on Americans in Switzerland all the more bizarre.

    US could take a lesson in international relations from the Swiss–and from their own citizens living in Switzerland.

  4. @Jeff: The Democrats say if “Mitt was Santa Claus, he’d fire the reindeer and outsource the elves.”
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/us-election/us-election-blog/if-mitt-was-santa-claus-hed-fire-the-reindeer-the-best-zingers-and-one-liners-from-the-dnc/article4519988/

    Of course, once the elves are outsourced, they must do FATCA and FBAR–while Romney goes free.

    Then, the Dems also say: “Mitt Romney has so little economic patriotism that even his money needs a passport. It summers on the beaches of the Cayman Islands and winters on the slopes of the Swiss Alps.”

    While the Democrats are joking around, their FATCA jokes are turning lives upside down around the world. But, wait, Michelle Obama says her hubby is on it: http://nhregister.com/articles/2012/09/05/news/doc504780cb19fe6480857205.txt

    “I see the concern in his eyes … and I hear the determination in his voice as he tells me, `You won’t believe what these folks are going through, Michelle . it’s not right. We’ve got to keep working to fix this. We’ve got so much more to do.””

    Michelle, here’s an easy fix for Barack. Get out of our lives. Concentrate on your own “onshore” problems in United States of Arrogance.

  5. Congress must hear such messages. I simply cannot understand why Congress and the Executive Branch cannot imagine themselves into our shoes. We are all potential Ambassadors of what the American Democratic Experiment has to offer in terms of Innovation, Freedom, and Rights for All.
    Personally, I am so disgusted with the D-R binary- schizophrenic system that I would rather not vote this year.

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