Here’s a report from Geneva Lunch published today: IRS Targeted American Citizens Overseas: IRS Systematically Targeted Overseas Americans
American Citizens Abroad (ACA) has provided evidence “of the arbitrary and questionable IRS (US tax office) management of the Overseas Voluntary Disclosure Programs” (OVDP) to members of three US Congressional committees working together to investigate IRS abuses, ACA said Tuesday 4 June.
The Geneva-based international group says that the 2009 OVDP in particular was “extremely prejudicial to Americans living overseas who sought to become compliant with their taxes due to errors or omissions under the OVDP. Believing they could come back into the system by simply filing the appropriate paperwork and paying any outstanding tax burden, these individuals were later told they would be hit with a standard penalty of 20% of the highest value of their bank accounts over a five-year period.”
Jackie Bugnion calls it entrapment to hit people with ruinous penalties.
“There is no question that the IRS targeted Americans living overseas,” says ACA Director Jackie Bugnion. “By luring them into the OVDP in a form of entrapment then hitting them with ruinous penalties based on the overseas assets, instead of using the discretion which was within IRS purview for benign actors, the IRS treated ordinary, hard-working Americans like criminals. Most of the unreported accounts were pension funds and basic financial accounts used for living expenses and were not being used to hide assets.”
So, does anyone think this will get the same kind of media and Congressional attention that Tea Party is currently getting?
Knock Out! Manny Pacquiao punches “insatiable” IRS.
I admit I’d never heard of Manny Pacquiao before today. I’ve now learned Pacquiao is a world class boxer and is the second highest paid athlete in the world.
American Spectator says Pac Man now “takes on his toughest opponent in his next fight: the Internal Revenue Service.”
Roy Jones, Evander Holyfield, and Floyd Mayweather all fought the most powerful three-letters in boxing and lost. Manny Pacquiao, a Filipino who doesn’t possess their home field disadvantage, has already defeated the IRS without stepping through the ropes.
By fighting in China instead of in US:
The Pac Man may be the first boxer to defeat the Tax Man. More amazingly, he may be the first tax refugee to flee the “land of the free” for China. Should he earn $20 million for his fall fight against Brandon Rios, the government in Macau will gobble up $2.5 million of it. Had he opted for Las Vegas, Uncle Sam would have seized $8 million.
Forbes explains it this way:
Because Pacquiao is neither a U.S. resident nor a citizen, he will not pay U.S. tax on any money earned from the fight, allowing him to pocket an extra 28 percent of the purse.
I’m a bit confused. Wouldn’t he have a Green Card because of his previous fights in US? Wouldn’t that still require him to pay US taxes?
In any case, I think we need the Pac Man in our ring as a FATCA fighter. Sock it to them, Manny!
Bahamas Weekly is reporting American Citizens Abroad Blasted FATCA at the Ways and Means Committee of U.S. Congress this week.
While focusing on the particular damage FATCA does to U.S. citizens living abroad, ACA pulls no punches in spelling out the broader harm this 2010 law (now pending implementation) threatens to inflict on the American economy as a whole, while failing in its stated purpose of curbing offshore tax evasion.
Plus, ACA spoke about international reactions:
“Foreign governments worldwide are furious that the U.S. Congress has the arrogance to exercise financial imperialism, to unilaterally impose its laws on the rest of the world, to require foreign financial institutions to spend tens of billions of dollars to comply with U.S. law and to require FFIs to break privacy laws in their own country in order to comply with FATCA, exclusively for the benefit of the United States with no reciprocity, let alone any prior negotiation.”
You Go ACA! Will Congress listen? If past response is any indication, we shouldn’t count on it.