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    Interested in reaction to FATCA


    Interested in reaction to FATCA

    This article brought changes to the American tax code to my attention, and I'm interested in your reaction:


    I hadn't considered the fact that my daughters might be required as US non-resident citizens to one day file American tax returns. To be honest, as I have had no notable income of my own in the last few years, I haven't thought much about the bureaucratic hurdles I myself might soon face if I begin working after my younger daughter starts pre-school.

    Is it advantageous that our bank account is in my husband's name and I have a "Vollmacht"? We are about to purchase a house. Would it be advantageous to have him be the sole owner? Will this save me bureaucratic headaches later? Interested in any feedback you Leos might have! Thanks!
    Verfasser German Tarheel (EY) (147393) 13 Aug. 13, 21:03
    Your link doesn't seem to work. This is what I get: "Sorry, the page you are looking for has moved."

    What's your status? Do you live in the US? What's a "US non-resident citizen"? Are you saying you're neither a US citizen nor a resident alien? Are you an illegal alien? Are you a non-US citizen legally married to a US citizen?

    Your questions can't be answered without more info.
    #1Verfasser dude (253248) 13 Aug. 13, 21:25
    #2Verfasser no me bré (700807) 13 Aug. 13, 21:32
    #3Verfasser dude (253248) 13 Aug. 13, 21:37
    There was just a report yesterday or the day before, maybe in the newspapers, maybe on NPR (though the Slate article may have been first, no idea), about expats actually renouncing their US citizenship because of some of the (hopefully unintended) consequences of recent changes in laws or enforcement.

    Some people reported that as US citizens, they were being rejected by overseas banks and refused either bank accounts or home mortgages or both. IIRC from past discussions here (can anyone find a link?), it's been especially bad in Switzerland, apparently because the Swiss banks, accustomed to secrecy, found the new reporting duties too onerous or intrusive. I seem to recall that the IRS wanted them to share all their records of all customers if they had any US customers on the books, so many of them have chosen not to have any US account holders? Surely I'm just imagining that?

    The people who reported that they had to hire separate lawyers or accountants just to keep up with US taxes, so that it cost them several thousand dollars in fees over and above their actual tax liability, were probably more numerous and, I would guess, not only in Switzerland.

    It does sound like it would be a subject that it would pay to research sooner rather than later. I understand why the US government wants to crack down on money launderers and ultra-rich tax evaders, but if the consequence is that if it makes life hell for ordinary working expats, I would think the expats might need to band together and start lobbying.
    #4Verfasser hm -- us (236141) 13 Aug. 13, 21:49
    I should have written non-resident US citizen.

    I am an American citizen married to a German citizen living in Germany and enjoying all the benefits of a social(ist) state. ;)
    #5Verfasser German Tarheel (EY) (147393) 13 Aug. 13, 23:26
    You asked: "We are about to purchase a house. Would it be advantageous to have him be the sole owner?"

    Apart from the tax question, I think it would be a very bad idea to have your husband be the sole owner. You may be the best of friends and lovers today, but all sorts of things may happen in the future (even if you can't believe that they might), and in the event of a separation or divorce, you will have no rights to the house. Forget the issue of taxes, and be sure that the title to the house is in your name as well as your husband's.

    #6Verfasser Martin--cal (272273) 14 Aug. 13, 05:46
    Entschuldige, EY, aber diese Anspielungen auf "socialist state" oder "Socialism", die meistens von US-Amerikanern wegen des stärker ausgebauten Sozialstaat in Europa kommen, finde ich immer eher unpassend. Vor allem deswegen, weil die meisten US-Amerikaner keine Ahnung haben, was Sozialimus tatsächlich bedeutet (hat). Der Sozialismus in der UdSSR und in der DDR war einfach kein Spaß, sondern eine Diktatur und ein Überwachungsstaat. Das mit den europäischen Staaten heute zu vergleichen ist einfach fehl am Platz!
    #7Verfasser Qual der Wal (877524) 14 Aug. 13, 09:59
    @ Qual der Wal: Gerade wenn man das so sieht wie Du und wenn man zu wissen glaubt, dass einige Amerikaner den Begriff "Sozialismus" etwas einseitig auslegen ;-) , kann man diesen Begriff mit einem Augenzwinkern auf die heutige europäische Staaten anwenden. Man muss diesen Humor nicht teilen und ich verstehe, dass Opfer des Sozialismus in der UdSSR und der DDR sich damit schwer tun. Deine Reaktion erscheint mir dennoch überzogen.
    #8Verfasser harambee (91833) 14 Aug. 13, 10:39
    Ich "glaube nicht zu wissen", sondern diese Begriffe (auch "Communism") tauchen in der US-amerikanischen Politik häufig auf, wenn es sich z.B. um solch gefährliche Dinge wie eine allgemeine Krankenversicherung handelt.

    Man kann gegen Krankenversicherungen sein und den europäischen Sozialstaat für völlig überzogen halten, aber man sollte einfach den Vergleich mit einem totalitätren System weglassen.
    Und ja, ich verstehe den Humor , aber etwas mehr Bewusstein für die Geschichte, die dahinter steht, fände ich angebracht.
    #9Verfasser Qual der Wal (877524) 14 Aug. 13, 11:21

    Ich stimme Martin--cal unbedingt zu: Allein wegen vermuteter Steuernachteile auf das Eigentum am gemeinsamen Haus oder Konto zu verzichten, halte ich für sehr kurzsichtig.

    Stattdessen empfehle ich, einen Steuerberater aufzusuchen und sich beraten zu lassen. Vielleicht hat FATCA im speziellen Fall ja gar keine (großen) Auswirkungen. Amerikanische Steuerberater in Deutschland lassen sich übrigens gut über German American Business Clubs oder ähnliche Vereine finden, die es in den meisten größeren Städten gibt.
    #10VerfasserNo Clue (705463) 14 Aug. 13, 13:50
    @7: a social(ist) state. ;)
    My impression from the tenor of EY's posts is that she is making fun of the views of some groups of Americans, not commenting on German political history.
    #11Verfasser SD3 (451227) 15 Aug. 13, 10:57
    So verstehe ich den Text mitsamt dem letzten Zeichen auch.
    #12Verfasser manni3 (305129) 15 Aug. 13, 11:15
    Und so war auch meine #8 gemeint.
    #13Verfasser harambee (91833) 15 Aug. 13, 11:27
    Sorry, dass ich untergetaucht bin...

    I didn't mean to make any historical allusions with my post. Just meant that many Americans scorn such things as socialism (which is not the same as but does not preclude totalitarianism, of course). And the term is freely used in association with the SPD (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Democrati...), so it's not like I'm automatically referring to Stalin!

    Since we have no pre-nup my understanding is that all property belonging to my husband and me and acquired during our marriage would be drawn into the not-foreseen divorce proceedings. But I haven't really studied the issue much, and certainly tended until now to think we should do everything on "equal footing" even though at the moment he is the one with the paycheck.

    I was just curious whether LEOs had experience with FATCA, not looking to replace a tax advisor... Thanks for your comments!
    #14Verfasser German Tarheel (EY) (147393) 23 Aug. 13, 22:25
    My impression from the tenor of EY's posts is that she is making fun of the views of some groups of Americans, not commenting on German political history.

    Agree, that's obvious IMO.
    A little OT:
    And not only Americans; for example the Telegraph online never misses an opportunity to criticise the EU. The comments reacting to the articles are full of remarks about the "Communist dictators in Brussels", a favourite term is the "EUSSR", which is of course dominated by Germany :-)
    #15Verfassermikefm (760309) 24 Aug. 13, 11:43
    @ mike, dominated by Germany - der Telegraph meint damit sicher die UGSSR, oder?
    #16Verfasser manni3 (305129) 24 Aug. 13, 16:26
    EY, I hope you come back and read this. I cannot tell you anything about FATCA, but there is something else you need to know, if you don't already.

    As a US citizen living abroad, you are required to file FBARs if you have foreign bank accounts and retirement accounts.

    Failure to comply can lead to serious legal and financial consequences. They don't play games.

    Unless you already know about this and are incompliance, it would be well worth your while to inform yourself, which you can do on the US government's IRS site. Search "FBAR"
    #17Verfasser Bob C. (254583) 24 Aug. 13, 23:23
    Es handelt sich hier mit Sicherheit nicht um die wichtigsten US-Politiker, aber die ganze Steuergeschichte scheint doch ein Thema in den USA zu sein:

    #18VerfasserAhnungsloser (669500) 26 Aug. 13, 11:54
    While I am sympathetic in regard to banking and bureaucratic difficulties due to FATCA, FBARS, etc., there really is less of a (double) tax problem than some seem to think for US citizens (or green card holders) living in Germany, elsewhere in Europe, or in many other countries with which there is a bilateral tax treaty.
    #19Verfasser Mike - US (919790) 26 Aug. 13, 18:26
    Thanks for the tip regarding the bank account declaration...
    #20Verfasser German Tarheel (EY) (147393) 05 Sep. 13, 10:53
    Ey, hope all goes well.

    Mike, not sure which problem you're referring to. Filing tax returns and FBARs is generally not a big problem. The problems arise if you don't do it.
    #21Verfasser Bob C. (254583) 05 Sep. 13, 13:24
    This report on NPR reminded me of this thread: http://www.npr.org/blogs/parallels/2014/02/20...

    Have any expats here had difficulties with their German banks? I found the claims of the report somewhat difficult to believe, esp. since I just opened a new account last week...
    #22Verfasser German Tarheel (EY) (147393) 24 Feb. 14, 22:20
    As to the tax question, #19 is correct. For income tax liabilities (as opposed to reporting requirements for financial accounts, etc), nothing much has changed in quite a long time except in regard to the consequences of giving up US citizenship (or long-held green cards).

    I don't see why the newer US reporting questions should cause all that much trouble for German banks, but I suppose some don't want to deal with accounts that are subject to them.
    #23Verfasser Jurist (US) (804041) 25 Feb. 14, 03:23
    Ah, interessant, deswegen hat meine Bank also das Info-Blatt geschickt, dass man Bescheid sagen soll, wenn man Bezug zur USA hat (und zwar nicht nur Staatsbürgerschaft oder Green Card sondern auch amerikanische Adresse)?
    #24Verfasser Beel (661006) 25 Feb. 14, 08:54
    While I have had no problem using one of the major German online banks for the past few years (after I got tired of paying for an account that offered no particular amount of service at / ), I checked into that same online bank to see what they offer as investment services. At least a few months ago, they stated that they didn't offer such services to US citizens. I checked quickly the other week, and one of the first things they ask is citizenship. If you're a US citizen, you get routed to another page. I didn't check it out further, but it didn't look promising.
    #25Verfasser hbberlin (420040) 25 Feb. 14, 10:06
    Ich habe zu dem Thema nur kursorisch gelesen, aber wenn ich mich recht entsinne, liegt der Anreiz für bestimmte Banken, US-Kunden abzulehnen, darin begründet, dass man sich als "deemed compliant" registrieren lassen kann, wenn man erklärt, dass man keinen relevanten Kundenstamm hat. Dann hat man den ganzen Verfahrensaufwand nicht am Hals (der so klein nicht ist).
    Bei den betroffenen Konten von US-Staatsbürgern geht es de facto um Kontostände ab USD50.000. Das hilft aber wohl nichts, wenn das Finanzinstitut den o.g. Status nur dadurch bekommt, dass es erklärt, keine Konten von US-Personen zu führen.
    Um nicht missverstanden zu werden: Mein Mitleid mit den Banken, die sich auf diese Art aus der Affäre ziehen oder die FATCA-Vorschriften einhalten müssen, ist gering, da sie mit den Vehikeln und Gestaltungen, die sie den US-Kunden vorher angeboten haben, sicher genug Erträge erzielt und durch die Trickserei mit den nämlichen DBAs in gewisser Weise diese Gesetzgebung mit hervorgerufen haben.
    #26Verfasser igm (387309) 25 Feb. 14, 11:36
    "[...] liegt der Anreiz für bestimmte Banken, US-Kunden abzulehnen, darin begründet, dass man sich als "deemed compliant" registrieren lassen kann, wenn man erklärt, dass man keinen relevanten Kundenstamm hat. Dann hat man den ganzen Verfahrensaufwand nicht am Hals (der so klein nicht ist). [...]"

    ... und die IRS kann der Bank bei vermuteten Fehlern/Falschmeldungen nicht per Verwaltungsakt als Sanktion 30% Strafsteuern auf alle Transaktionen in den USA aufbrummen.

    Wenn man bedenkt das die NYSE sich in den USA befindet, dann ist es nicht sonderlich Erstaunlich, dass viele Banken der Ausschaltung dieses winzigen, dann jedoch katastrophalen, Risikos den Vorzug vor dem Geschäft mit einer Handvoll Expats geben.
    #27Verfasser Mark (de) (13761) 25 Feb. 14, 18:13
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