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Don Beyer Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY12). Photo courtesy United States Congress

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New Legislation to Support Overseas Americans

Two bills have been introduced to the House of Representatives to support Americans living outside of the USA

Published on September 18, 2019

Two bills have been re-introduced in Congress which would offer much needed relief for Americans living overseas.

The bills were re-introduced by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY12) and Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA08) on Tuesday 17 September. The first, the Commission on Americans Abroad Act, seeks to establish a commission to study and research the effects of US policy on Americans living outside of the United States. The second, the Overseas Americans Financial Access Act, would provide an exemption for US Citizens living abroad from all FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) reporting regulations.

Discussing the bills, Congresswoman Maloney said "Americans who live and work abroad are forced to contend with unsustainable tax burdens as an unintended consequence of US law, but we can change that by passing my Overseas Americans Financial Access Act of 2019. This community represents our nation as informal ambassadors all around the world, promoting American influence and goodwill worldwide. They are also full citizens who pay taxes, vote, and are affected by American laws. Which is why we need to look at how all our laws – not just the tax code – are affecting these Americans just as we would study how laws affect our constituents living in the United States. So today, I am also once again introducing the Commission on Americans Living Abroad Act to create a commission tasked with studying the specific impacts of American legislation on overseas Americans. These changes are long past due."

Democrats Abroad International Chair, Julia Bryan, added that "Democrats Abroad is delighted that the Americans abroad community has the on-going support of Representative Maloney ... We are pleased to see these two pieces of legislation being introduced in the 116th Congress - one providing important relief from FATCA reporting and one designed to ensure that existing laws and future laws are prevented from causing us unintended harm. We expect they will also help profile the urgent need for a switch from our current system of citizenship-based taxation to a system of residency-based taxation to end the double taxation of Americans abroad."

Overseas organizations including AARO, the Association of Americans Resident Overseas, and FAWCO, the Federation of American Women's Clubs Overseas, both expressed support for the move. We here at The American would like to echo the supportive comments about this legislative move. Editor of The American magazine, Michael Burland, commented that "readers of The American regularly ask us about US Tax related matters, particularly since FATCA has emerged. The regularity of these questions suggests that FATCA is causing genuine concerns and problems for overseas Americans, and it's the right step that these bills are being re-introduced to help."

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