Republicans Abroad Europe Statement on Expat Taxation
Republicans Abroad Europe is working directly to raise awareness among party leaders, policy makers and US Presidential candidates about the adverse impact of Expat Taxation and the recent FATCA legislation on the US economy and Americans living overseas.
Our official statement on these issues is below. We encourage you to write Congress about these concerns and contact us if you would like to get involved to support our efforts to reform the tax code.
In 2010 the Democrat controlled Congress passed the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), which now unintentionally threatens to chase trillions of dollars of direct foreign investment out of the United States, undermines the ability of U.S. exporters and companies to do business abroad, and subjects 6.3 million Americans residing outside the United States to an unprecedented abuse of power by the IRS—all at a time when the United States is facing record-high unemployment and requires foreign capital to service its national debt.
Instead of creating jobs in the United States by attracting foreign investment and strengthening the competitiveness of U.S. companies in international markets, the Democrat Party chose to do exactly the opposite by overzealously targeting ordinary American citizens abroad for holding assets offshore and forcing foreign financial institutions to comply with excessive IRS reporting requirements.
As a direct consequence of FATCA, American citizens abroad face stiff penalties even for “unwilful non-compliance” leading to the potential confiscation of their assets and holdings, while foreign financial institutions and investors could be penalized enormously for providing services to and doing business with U.S. citizens.
Foreign financial institutions and investors are therefore considering divestment from U.S. securities and assets altogether, placing at risk $21 trillion in foreign investment upon which U.S. capital markets, companies and ultimately millions of American jobs rely. Foreign investment in U.S. securities alone exceeds $10 trillion against an $18 trillion capitalization of the two U.S. stock exchanges.
Finally, American citizens and companies abroad are increasingly being denied new business opportunities, participation in partnerships and even simple banking and investment services, as foreign financial institutions and counterparties determine that the costs of FATCA compliance and risks of IRS penalties are simply too high.
Given the devastating impact on investment, exports and U.S. citizens residing abroad, FATCA must be repealed.
The United States faces record high unemployment and intense global economic competition. Yet, the United States is the only advanced industrialized country that taxes its citizens working and residing abroad. Whereas other leading export countries encourage their nationals to work overseas to promote their exports and gain valuable international experience to the benefit of their companies, U.S. tax law disincentivizes Americans from working abroad, particularly in critical emerging markets such as the Middle East, Asia and Eastern Europe.
The U.S. system of citizenship-based taxation means fewer Americans are incentivized to work in overseas markets to gain access for U.S. goods and services and to develop vital knowledge and skills for future international growth opportunities.
Just as the Bowles-Simpson National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility recommended a system of territorial taxation for corporations to make American business more competitive, the United States should eliminate the system of citizenship-based taxation for Americans abroad. At a minimum, the United States should lift the cap on the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion to keep pace with the depreciation of the dollar and level the playing field for Americans competing for jobs overseas.
The Republicans Abroad Europe 2012 Advisory Board plays a critical role in supporting the ability of the organization to mobilize U.S. citizens in Europe to vote in each of the 50 States. In addition, Republicans Abroad Europe has a special role to play in advocating for the interests of American expatriates (see our FATCA Statement), as well as serving as a strong voice for Republican values and principles in the European media.
The 2012 US Federal Election is certain to have a significant impact on U.S. foreign and public relations, particularly with a Republican victory for the White House. It is therefore imperative for us to have an effective communications campaign starting now to inform the European media and public about how new Republican leadership in Washington, DC will be in a stronger position to:
- promote global economic growth and prosperity
- address the social problems of high unemployment and poverty left in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis
- defend freedom and democracy around the world
European based media, in particular, have wide-ranging influence on media not only in the United States but worldwide. We take our job seriously as public Ambassadors representing policies that will advance the cause of freedom and prosperity in order to secure a better future for our children.
Individuals wishing to support the important efforts of Republicans Abroad Europe by joining our Advisory Board, should please contact Eric Staal, Vice Chair.
Act now to register to vote and request an absentee ballot for the upcoming presidential and general elections!
Eligibility to Vote
Generally, all U.S. citizens 18 years or older who are residing outside the United States during an election period are eligible to vote absentee in any election for Federal office. Some states allow overseas voters to vote in state and local elections as well.
Voting eligibility and residency requirements are determined by the various U.S. states, and are available on-line at http://fvap.gov/pubs/vag.html. Your “legal state of residence” for voting purposes is the state where you last resided immediately prior to departure from the United States. Voting rights extend to overseas citizens even though they may no longer own property or have other ties to their last state of residence, and even if their intent to return to that state may be uncertain. For those who have never resided in the United States, sixteen states allow certain U.S. citizens to register where a parent or spouse would be eligible to vote.
Voter Registration & Requesting an Absentee Ballot
Voters who have not yet registered to vote and requested an absentee ballot should do so now.
- Complete the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) using the instructions for your state in the Voting Assistance Guide. You may pick up a hard copy of the FPCA from any U.S. Embassy or Consulate, or use the online version.
- Sign, date and mail the completed FPCA to the address listed in the Voting Assistance Guide. If you are sending the FPCA through international mail, please affix appropriate airmail postage. Alternatively, you can print out apostage-paid address label and ask any U.S. Embassy or Consulate to send your FPCA postage-paid through diplomatic pouch or the military postal service. Some states allow voters to send in the FPCA by fax, but they also require you to send in the hard copy by mail. Follow your state’s regulations precisely.
- Send in a new FPCA if you have moved or changed your name since the last time you voted.
- Check your state’s voter registration verification website(http://fvap.gov/vao/stregissites.html), or follow up directly with your local election officials, to confirm that you are registered.
Your local voting officials should mail your absentee ballot 30 to 45 days before the November 4 general election. Return your voted ballot as early as possible. Be aware of your state’s ballot receipt deadline, as well as any postmarking requirements.
The Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) serves as an emergency ballot for voters who registered in time but fail to receive an official ballot from local election officials. Please note: You must register to vote and request an absentee ballot by your state’s deadline – usually 30 days before the election – to be eligible to use the FWAB. We strongly recommend that voters who have not received their ballot by October 15 complete and return the FWAB to ensure your vote is received in time to be counted.
The official U.S. government website for overseas voters is the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) website at www.fvap.gov.
Join Us to help build a better future for our children and a strong United States of America.
Select an option from the drop down menu to let us know how you would like to be involved in our European initiatives and your Country Chapter.
Republicans Abroad Europe is represented by local chapters in many countries. We have active chapters in Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Luxembourg, United Kingdom and elsewhere.
Please click on the country of interest for information about individual country chapters and links to homepages.
The Regional Committee forms the leadership of Republicans Abroad Europe and exists to support the Country Chapters in their efforts to encourage overseas Americans to vote in US Federal Elections and advocate for Republican principles and ideals in the media. Furthermore the Regional Committee works with Country Chapters to support membership, fundraising, communications and events.
To find out how you can become involved with the Regional Committee or start a local chapter of Republicans Abroad Europe, contact one of the Regional Committee members below:
Regional Chair, David Knower
Vice Chair, Eric R. Staal
Communications Director, Michael Magan
Outreach Director, Anntoinette Lorrain
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- to encourage voter participation in US Federal Elections
- to represent the interests of overseas Americans on a wide range of issues, including tax fairness, repatriation, Section 911 foreign earned income exemption, FATCA, anti-terrorism legislation, fair trade policies, and inclusion in the United States Census.
- to serve as a persuasive voice for Republican principles and ideals in the European media
To get involved, contact your local Republicans Abroad Country Chapter or start a local chapter of your own by contacting our RA Europe Regional Committee.