Accidental Americans: EU must stand up to US over double taxation of EU citizens

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Justice & Home Affairs

Press release

S&D MEPs today called for the European Commission to act to protect EU citizens affected by the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). The US is one of only two countries in the world to tax people based on citizenship rather than place of residence.
 
S&D Group spokesperson for the Parliament’s petitions committee, Virginie Rozière, said:
 
“We have received petitions signed by thousands of Europeans complaining about the unfair consequences of FATCA. These ‘accidental Americans’, many of whom have no substantial connection with the US are being forced to pay US taxes on top of those they pay in their country of residence. We have even heard the cases of Europeans who were born in the US while their parents were on holiday there. Years later, these people have received hefty bills from the US tax office, despite living and paying their tax in the EU. This is not acceptable. The European Commission must stand up for the rights of these EU citizens.
 
“Since FACTA came into force, banks in the EU have been obliged to disclose information on accounts held by presumed US citizens. This has led to many of these accidental Americans being denied access to basic banking services in the EU. This is a clear example of discrimination and breach of these EU citizen’s fundamental rights. On top of this, the US refuses to offer the same information about accounts of EU citizens living in the US. The EU needs to start standing up to the US on tax issues.
 
“We are calling for the European Commission to carry out a full assessment of the impact of FATCA on EU citizens, and explain whether a serious discrepancy between EU citizens and residents in different EU member states exists. We will continue our fight for the rights of all EU citizens.”