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A letter has been sent to the new British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, asking for clarification on his position regarding FATCA, the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act which requires records of US Citizens living overseas and their financial arrangements to be reported to the US Treasury Department.
The letter comes amidst recognition that Mr Johnson has an important perspective on the matter at hand. As we reported on July 23, Boris Johnson is the first UK Prime Minister to have been born in the States, and in recent years he has specifically spoken out against what he described as "outrageous" US tax regulations which affected him due to his US Citizenship.
The August 9 letter, from Labour MP Preet Kaur Gill, raises "serious concerns about the negative financial implications" that one of her constituents is facing as a result of being born in the United States. She writes "My constituent was born in the USA, moving back to the UK only 10 weeks after he was born. He has no connections or affiliations to the USA. However, due to being born there, he has an American birth certificate - as well as a British Consulate birth certificate - and he is considered, by America, to be an American citizen."
In the letter, Ms Gill goes on to explain that her constituent was contacted last year and told by his bank that he needed to "comply with FATCA legislation ... Under this legislation, my constituent is expected to provide an American social security number - which he does not possess - or risk having his financial assets frozen." She goes on to say that "My constituent rightly feels that it is unfair that he should be forced to pay a few hundred dollars a year to submit tax returns to a country he has no connection with."
Concluding the letter, Ms Gill explains that "My constituent would like you to outline your plans for Accidental Americans as a former Accidental yourself. Will you take sympathy with the plight of my constituent and many more that fall into this category and and urge the United States of America to act on this unfair policy". As Ms Gill notes, the topic is made more relevant given Mr Johnson was born in the United States and obtained US Citizenship as a result. Mr Johnson renounced his US Citizenship in 2017 after describing the United States' "incredible doctrine of global taxation" as "absolutely outrageous".
The letter follows other efforts by Ms Gill to raise the issue of FATCA. She raised the question in the House of Commons last December, and subsequently received a letter from former Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Mel Stride, which noted that "UK Treasury officials continue to engage with their US counterparts regarding the situation of 'Accidental' US Citizens and the requirement to report information on US citizens who are resident in the UK".
We at The American reached out to the campaign to elect Boris Johnson as leader of the Conservative party, and therefore Prime Minister, earlier this year, but received no response. It'll be interesting to see if the Prime Minister makes an effort to acknowledge the issues raised by Ms Gill, matters which he himself has openly discussed in public before.