For years the Accidental Americans Association (AAA) has battled to be exempt from a tax scheme imposed by the US requiring that each one Americans file annual tax returns to the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) – even when the particular person has not lived on US soil since they had been a baby.

Now, the EU appears to have joined their fight.

In a letter addressed to US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, the EU Council – the union’s most important resolution physique – requested the US authorities to dilute prices for European residents who want to resign their American citizenship to keep away from submitting tax returns to the United States.

Formally giving up US citizenship is usually a very lengthy and dear course of. In its letter, the Council suggests the US “lower the cost of renunciation” and “simplify the filling procedure.”

“First of a kind”

President of the French AAA-branch Fabien Lehagre instructed The Local that he was “delighted” by the EU’s motion.

“It’s the first time we see a concerted effort by the European member states to sort out US fiscal insurance policies,” he mentioned.

The letter additionally states a “regret of the lack of equivalent reciprocity in exchange of financial account information between the United States and the EU,” urging the US to conform with EU requirements.

The US has not but signed the OECD accord of economic reciprocity that has been signed by all European Union member states.

‘Accidental Americans’ staged a protest in Paris final 12 months throughout the US President’s go to. Photo: AFP

300,000 European ‘unintended Americans’

‘Accidental Americans’ are US residents by birthright – by accident – generally with out even realizing it themselves. Alongside Eritrea, the US is the solely nation in the world basing their taxation system on citizenship somewhat than residency.

The AAA estimates that there are greater than 300,000 ‘unintended Americans’ unfold throughout Europe. In France alone there are tens of 1000’s belonging to the group, 1000’s of whom nonetheless have no idea that they technically have American citizenship. 

READ ALSO Who are France’s ‘unintended Americans’ and why are they suing massive banks?

Many ‘unintended Americans’ didn’t know they had been US taxpayers earlier than receiving a letter from the US tax authorities. Some had not lived in the US since they had been born. Some didn’t communicate English.

Could shut down 40,000 French financial institution accounts 

In addition to a lawsuit it launched against almost all French on-line banks in March, the AAA is at the moment combating against the clock to avoid wasting 40,000 French financial institution accounts belonging to ‘accidental Americans’ from being closed over New Year. 

Since 2014, French banks had been required by means of a US scheme often called FACTA to speak in confidence to the US tax authorities private knowledge, together with the social safety variety of US residents.

But, Lehagre mentioned, ‘accidental Americans’ don’t possess a US social safety quantity and can’t fill out the in depth varieties required by the banks.

“The pression is palpable,” Lehagre mentioned, reffering to that the moratorium at the moment in place ends on January 1st 2020.

“Mnuchin needs to come up with a solution very soon.”


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