I would like to draw your attention to my latest article at IBS about the FATCA IGA with Switzerland, the proposed application law, the parliamentary consultation procedure now in progress, and my emails exchanged with the Swiss State Secretariat for International Financial Matters.
The Pending Consulations Page of the Swiss Federal website contains a number of links to documents destined for consideration by Parliament (you have to scroll down), here is a translation of the blurb paragraph and a copy of the links for convenience:
Agreement between Switzerland and the United States seeking to facilitate the implementation of FATCA and proposed federal law for the implementation of stated agreement
Authority: Federal Council [President and Cabinet] Form: Written Procedure
The agreement on FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) should permit the United States to effect the taxation of accounts held abroad by persons subjected in unlimited manner to US taxes [I don’t understand what ‘unlimited manner’ means here]. Switzerland has signed an agreement with the United States seeking to facilitate the implementation of FATCA within its territory. Certain obligations contained in the agreement must nonetheless be codified in a federal law.
Deadline date: 15.03.2013
Proposed Federal Law (French): http://www.admin.ch/ch/f/gg/pc/documents/2330/FATCA-mise-en-oeuvre_Loi-federale_Projet_fr.pdf
Text of the IGA (English): http://www.admin.ch/ch/f/gg/pc/documents/2330/FATCA-Implementation_Agreement_en.pdf
Text of the IGA (French): http://www.admin.ch/ch/f/gg/pc/documents/2330/FATCA-mise-en-oeuvre_Accord_fr.pdf
Accompanying Letter to Cantons (French): http://www.admin.ch/ch/f/gg/pc/documents/2330/FATCA-mise-en-oeuvre_Lettre-Cantons_fr.pdf
Accompanying Letter to Communes, Political Parties, etc. (French): http://www.admin.ch/ch/f/gg/pc/documents/2330/FATCA-mise-en-oeuvre_Lettre-Org_fr.pdf
List of addressees to which these documents are being sent: http://www.admin.ch/ch/f/gg/pc/documents/2330/Adressaten_destinataires_destinatari.pdf
For further information: Silvia Frohofer / Eric Hess tél: 031 324 30 20 / 031 322 76 70 fax: 031 323 08 33 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org;email@example.com
Note: The consultation page does not appear to have an English version, but one can switch to German or Italian in the upper right-hand corner
For readers’ convenience, here is a link to the FATCA final regs: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/01/28/2013-01025/regulations-relating-to-information-reporting-by-foreign-financial-institutions-and-withholding-on Also a link to the Swiss Federal Constitution in English.
What I find shocking is that although they are present in the IGA text, nowhere in the proposed Swiss federal law for FATCA implementation do I see the thresholds as in the original FATCA law and the final regs, to wit:
Accounts exempt from review. The final regulations exempt from review entirely all preexisting accounts held by individuals with a balance or value of $50,000 or less. This threshold is raised to $250,000 for preexisting accounts held by entities and for preexisting accounts that are cash value insurance and annuity contracts. In addition, the final regulations exempt insurance contracts with a balance or value of $50,000 or less from treatment as financial accounts.
Source: 78 FR 5876 FATCA Regs Page on Federal Register Website
I seem to remember that there were supposed to be higher thresholds for USPs in bone fide residence abroad. Does anyone have the exact citation from the FATCA Final Regs for this?
Our task now is to work to bring all of the documents relevant to the consulation to the attention of all Swiss voters. Also, anyone that can read French, German or Italian, please analyse all the documents and make your critiques and conclusions. I would ask all Swiss Brockers to write their deputies (National Counselors=Lower Chamber, Counselors of State=Senate), cite the present post and the documents I presented links for from the consulatation page above, and express your opinions about FATCA and its constitutionality both in the US and Swiss senses, as well as the problems it poses for normal working people just trying to survive and save for retirement. You can also write to the email addresses of the various people at SIF that I mentionned above. Also, I don’t see why non-Swiss Brockers worldwide couldn’t also write the same people in English complaining that Switerland must resist and if it does pehaps other countries will follow suit and tell Uncle Sam to get lost.
You can find the addresses of members of Parliament here: Deputies/National Counselors … Senators in the Council of States IMPORTANT: You must choose the Canton, click on the deputy’s or senator’s photo, then on Biography to get their email address. Brockers outside Switzerland might want to address their emails to deputies from Cantons containing big financial or international centers such as Geneva, Basel-City, Vaud, Zürich.