The realities of being an American expat abroad really hit home yesterday when I looked over my newly arrived bank statement and read the important note it contained:
FATCA. The dreaded "agreement" between pretty much every country in the world and the USA to force banks in other countries to share the information of any bank account belonging to an American citizen or resident in an effort to "prevent" tax evasion. For those Americans abroad who somehow haven't heard about this law or its effects on the banking world, or for those who don't know much about it, I suggest you do a brief internet search for more information. I would provide links here but I am in a hurry, sitting in a McDonalds shortly before closing because we lost internet in a storm on Friday and still haven't gotten it back. It's been a true delight for someone working from home..
Anyway, back to FATCA. I first really heard about and read up on this law last year and have been dreading its implementation and uncertain consequences ever since. So far I've remained hopeful as La Banque Postale hadn't informed me that they were closing my bank account, and as I didn't hear anything for so long, I started to forget about FATCA. Until I got my bank statement in the mail and saw the note informing me that American citizens would be required to provide information about their "situation" to the bank as a result of this overreaching law. Sigh. Still, I suppose I should be thankful I still have an account. Now we just have to decide how to handle Lionel's situation...should he still be considered an American "person" because of the 10-year green card he had received? Or would the US have cancelled his green card by now? The dilemmas...I guess we will make a final decision if La Banque Postale contacts him regarding his American "personhood."
Though I honestly have much much much more to say about FATCA, its impact and my thoughts and feelings on it, I unfortunately don't have the time. Not to mention I will be on vacation all of next week in Italy with friends and certainly won't have any time to blog. So, I leave you with this parting question...what are your thoughts/feelings on FATCA and have you been affected by it yet? And maybe when I get back (assuming I have internet by then) I will do a follow up post on FATCA (and this is where I imagine all my readers will run away screaming in terror because isn't the world of international banking just oh so interesting).