‘Accidental Americans’ in EU need support over tax liability - Hayes
2018-05-15 10:47:26 -
Immigration
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  Potentially thousands of Irish citizens could be subject to American taxes as a result of inheriting US citizenship.
 
  Brian Hayes MEP says that a huge number of EU citizens are being hit with US tax bills simply because they inherited US citizenship via parentage or other means but have no economic links to the country.
 
  “Unlike most other countries, the US enforces a tax system on the basis of citizenship rather than residency,” Hayes explained. “In 2010, the US adopted the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (Facta) in order to crack down on tax evasion by Americans with financial assets held abroad.
 
  Ireland was one of the first signatories to the Facta agreement in 2015.
 
  But Hayes said that, while its aims are admirable, the “unintended consequences are having a deeply unsettling effect on many Irish and EU citizens. 
 
  “Facta now effectively means that the US taxes its citizens on worldwide income even when they live abroad.”
 
  Now a group of self-professed ‘accidental Americans’ in Europe have launched a campaign for a simple and free way of renouncing their US citizenship.
MPs and MEPs have also called for governments of member states to push the US into action.
 
  “There are potentially thousands of accidental Americans in Ireland who could be subject to huge US tax bills and they don’t know about it,” said Hayes. “Because of our long-standing cultural and family ties with the United States, Ireland could be worse affected than many other countries in the EU.”
 
  He added: “The government should get ahead of the curve on this issue before many people find out they have huge US tax bills. People want certainty in their taxes. In Ireland, there is a clear and transparent way of paying taxes on income. Cohorts of people should not be hit with extra bills due to some anomaly in US tax law.”
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