THE TRANSATLANTIC MAGAZINE
Sign up to The American magazine's newsletters (below) to receive more regular news, articles and updates on America in the UK.
A US born British Citizen has set up a crowdfunding operation in an effort to bring a claim against HMRC in the UK "for sharing my personal and financial information with the IRS".
Jenny, the organizer of the crowdfunding project, explains that "I am a US-born British citizen. I moved to the UK nearly 20 years ago, when I was 22 years old. I am married and I work with deaf students at the local university where I am a research associate. I have a UK bank account where I receive my salary and pay my taxes on my earnings ... Like many Americans, I have found myself caught up in a piece of legislation called FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act). You may not have heard of it before, I hadn't either until I received a letter from my bank out of the blue saying that I "may have tax obligations in the US" and that the bank was going to send information about me to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Under FATCA, banks are required to send all of my personal and financial information – and that of all those like me - to US authorities on an annual basis."
Jenny offers four specific reasons why she is seeking a complaint against HMRC's sharing of this information.
"1. The sharing of all my personal and financial information is a violation of my fundamental human rights to privacy and data protection. My information is irrelevant to the objective of FATCA which is to collect tax from those evading it. I am not liable for tax under FATCA as I earn less than the $104,000 income tax exemption for Americans living abroad.
2. The sharing of my personal and financial information is in direct breach of GDPR.
3. This sharing of my personal and financial information with the US government exposes me and countless others to a potential hack throughout the data processing chain (bank, HMRC, IRS).
4. There is the significant unintended consequence that other US-born British citizens like me are unable to open local bank accounts, or are seeing them be closed down, due to the cost implications on banks of compliance with FATCA."
The crowdfunding project seeks to raise £50,000 in 30 days to enable Jenny to make a claim against HMRC in a bid to set a precedent against the sharing of information. Jenny explains in her crowdfunding message that "Nobody should evade tax. My problem is not with FATCA's objective but the disproportionate nature of the measure to achieve its objective ... I am crowdfunding to protect the fundamental rights of Accidental Americans and other compliant US citizens living abroad."
For more information on the Crowdfunding campaign, and to make a pledge, go to https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/fatcahmrcprivacybreach/
Essential Weekly Reads for Overseas Americans. Free