Republicans Overseas File FATCA & FBAR Lawsuit

Republicans Overseas Action today filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Lawsuit Court in Ohio.

You can read:

ROA Press Release

ROA Ten Detailed Points

and ROA Description of Each Plaintiff

In addition to Senator Rand Paul, you will note some familiar names of plaintiffs–including Dr. Stephen Kish and Daniel Kuettel.

It’s been a long time coming, but finally someone is challenging FATCA, FBARs and the IGAs in U.S. Courts–including requesting an injunction.

UPDATE JULY 15, 2015: You can read actual Complaint

13 thoughts on “Republicans Overseas File FATCA & FBAR Lawsuit

  1. Well, the U.S. government is once again showing how low it can go.

    The U.S. Department of Justice is blaming the plaintiffs in the American lawsuit.

    From Republlicans Overseas:

    FATCA Lawsuit update of August 13:
    DOJ’s delay tactic failed and now they blamed the FATCA victims and think they are above the rule of law…

    1) DOJ thinks they are above the rules by submitting a 57-page response to our Motion for Preliminary Injunction without the Judge’s permission. Why DOJ bothered to ask for the permission in the first place if it had no intention to obey?

    2) DOJ used a “blame the victims” tactic in its response: “The challenged laws are essential to tax enforcement, and the injuries that plaintiffs allege they have suffered as a result of such laws are self-inflicted, speculative, or even illusory.” During Dr. King’s Civil Rights movement, his nonviolent protesters were blamed for the violence. Fighting FATCA tyranny is an America’s new civil rights movement for expats.

    3) DOJ believed it is acceptable to trample on 8.7 million overseas Americans’ privacy rights and constitutional protections to achieve Obama’s policy goals: “The FATCA statute, the IGAs, and the FBAR requirements are valuable tools that encourage voluntary compliance with tax laws, combat tax evasion, and deter the use of foreign accounts to engage in criminal activity.”

    Both DOJ and Obama administration believe they are above the rule of law and the Constitution.

    Wow, Self-inflicted, speculative or even illusory. I didn’t think they could top Robert Stack calling us a myth. U.S. Department of Justice just did,

  2. Hi Jefferson. It’s good to see you posting here again. We have missed you.

    Thanks for the article and giving a brief synopsis for those of us who do not speak French.

    Thanks also for posting your response to AFL-CIO. There is so much of this crap out there, how do we possibly counteract it?

  3. The AFL-CIO is slamming Ron Paul’s role in the lawsuit:

    http://www.aflcio.org/Blog/Political-Action-Legislation/Rand-Paul-and-Republicans-Love-Tax-Evasion-and-Offshore-Havens

    I tried to post a reply on the AFL-CIO site, but got blocked by an error message, perhaps because of my IP address. Maybe you could try to post from Canada. Here is my intended reply that I have already posted on FB and on the Paul / Bopp suit thread at IBS:

    As to your remark “Tax evasion and illegality do not belong in the official platform of any political party”, I must agree with your sentence in the abstract, but the sentence is misplaced in this context: for this is not what the lawsuit and political efforts directed against FATCA are about. They are about enforcing fundamental rights embodied in the Constitution.

    FATCA, though touted as a method of preventing people resident in the US from hiding untaxed money offshore, has destroyed, is destroying, or will destroy the lives of US citizens, green card holders, and those associated to them through business partnerships or family relations merely because they live permanently abroad, and regardless of whether they hold the nationality of their country of residence as well, and regardless of whether they are compliant with US’s punitive and confiscatory double extraterritorial taxation regime.

    Working people are having their bank accounts closed and are losing their mortgages, houses and apartments. Small businesses are being closed because business partners and banks do not want to deal with the increased risk and reporting burdens. In many cases, affected people have earned a good portion of their life savings abroad and paid foreign income taxes on the earnings used to build up these savings. Some affected people may not have spent a day in the US, or left the US as young children and do not identify themselves as Americans at all. Yet they are being denied the right to work hard, save, and invest on a level playing field with their neighbors in the countries where they do live.

    There are perhaps roughly 8 million US Citizens living abroad, and many more millions of green card holders living abroad (we speak of the two groups together as US Persons). However, there has never been a census conducted of these persons (required under Article 1 Section 2 USCONST, and to be used to apportion the seats in the House of Representatives among the several states). Many US Citizens abroad cannot vote because no county electoral commission will accept them. The voting situation has improved over the past 10 years or so, but is still an issue. Those than can vote find that any written complaints that they lodge with their Senators and Congresspeople are rarely responded to except with what appear to be form letters or copy-paste boilerplate that do not address the substance of their complaints. Because those persons abroad that can vote in the US have their votes split up over 50 states, they are seen as an insignificant minority and elected officials often do not understand their situations or don’t seem to care much at all about their vote.

    Despite a lack of proportional and effective representation in Congress, the US government continues to usurp jurisdiction over people living in foreign countries. FATCA forces local banks and governments, through extortionist threats (30% withholding), to discriminate against people in ways that are illegal or unconstitutional under their local legal frameworks. And unfortunately, as your article shows, US Persons abroad and their issues are often thrown into the same sack as tax evaders who hide untaxed money obtained in the US in foreign banks. It is in fact the US government, through its double taxation regime, that steals money from the treasuries and economies of foreign nations by imposing taxes on the American diaspora who already pay taxes where they live and should be free to spend and invest in their local economies rather than paying additional taxes to the US. US persons living abroad have money in foreign banks, but these are local banks to them, and they earned their wages fair and square!

    Protection of fundamental rights for minorities even in a majority-rule democratic system is part and parcel of modern democracy. This is why we have a Bill of Rights in the US Constitution, and this is why we have the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the European Convention on Human Rights, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, as well as enumerations of rights embodied in the constitutions of most modern democracies.

    One does not have to agree with Rand Paul in everything he does or believes in. I certainly don’t. But in this case, he is seeking to protect just what the lawsuit says: 4th, 5th, 8th amendment and other rights that the enforcement of FATCA violates. The US claims to be an example of democracy for the world. If so, it must stop treating its diaspora in manners that violate fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

  4. From Wealth Management: Rand Paul Sues Obama Administration Over FATCA.
    This is not encouraging:

    Given its timing, just ahead of election season, this suit seems to be a pretty bold-faced grab by Paul (and by association, the Republican Party) for support from the some 8.7 million American voters currently living abroad. Its potential for legal success is fairly dubious, given the long history of courts strongly deferring to the government’s authority to levy taxes (Obamacare anyone?). Many of the ancillary claims seem to rest on the concept of privacy, which is typically an extremely shaky foundation on which to lay an argument (though this knife can cut both ways). That all being said, the lead lawyer on this suit is James Bopp, the same man who brought us Citizens United, so this one is probably worth keeping an eye on.

    From Courthouse News Services: Rand Paul Suit Blasts Foreign Banking Rules.

    The focus continues to be on Rand Paul with minimal attention to the very real problems FATCA is creating for the other plaintiffs and other real people.

  5. I’m also quite pleased to see the U.S. court case moving forward. However, I’m sorry to see the response to be so partisan. I’m also sorry, but not surprised, that there was no mention of the work done in Canada on FATCA and the ADCS lawsuit. Between the efforts put into the Canadian lawsuit and voluminous discussions at the Sandbox and IBS, the many problems with FATCA, FBAR and FINCEN have been fully explored and quite precisely defined.

  6. Lynne,

    It is really unfortunate to see the political bickering. It seems focused inside the groups themselves; there is a fair bit of compromise between posters on the various FB groups; i.e., they recognize a need for finding commonality. Reminds me of marriage actually….sometimes you just have to put some big stuff aside to make something work.

    • Hi Noble- the common ground consists of our fundamental rights in the UDHR, European Convention on Human Rights, the enumerations of rights in every modern democratic nation’s constitution. FATBARDT issues (CBT/FATCA/FBAR) etc. should rub anybody the wrong way. There is no use for political correctness when fundamental rights are attacked. I think some of these people have to grow up and learn to collaborate with people they don’t always agree with to accomplish something they all believe in.

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