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Yesterday, we reported that Martyn Day, Member of Parliament for Linlithgow and East Falkirk, has asked a written question to the UK's Chancellor asking for an update on discussions between the UK and US on FATCA, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act. We reached out to Mr Day's office for a comment on his question, and his response is an important reminder that MPs are acting on behalf of their constituents who are facing difficulties under FATCA regulations.
Mr Day explained that "Whilst it is important that people pay the tax they owe, FATCA has created a situation where people like my constituent, who has not lived in the US since he was 8 months old, are being pursued by the US Tax authorities. My constituent is an ‘accidental American’. That is, despite the fact that he is a British citizen born to British parents, has lived and worked in the UK for all but the first 8 months of his life, is a UK taxpayer and holds a British passport, he is being pursued under FATCA."
Mr Day went on to say that "This has caused my constituent and his family a great deal of alarm and distress. My constituent now faces the prospect of having to renounce his US citizenship at a significant personal cost, something which he believed he had already done."
That Mr Day acted on his constituent's concerns and raised a question in Parliament indicates that MPs are willing to act on issues that their constituents are facing in light of FATCA regulations. This follows Labour MP Preet Kaur Gill raising the matter on behalf of one of her constituents who is facing similar problems.
The reason this is important is that it offers a route for Accidental Americans and others facing problems with FATCA to raise their concerns. You can find details on who your MP is by going to the UK Parliament Website, https://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/, which also contains contact details for Members of Parliament.
If you're an Accidental American or a US citizen with concerns about FATCA, contact your MP and raise the question with elected officials who are showing they can, and will, assist their constituents on this subject.