The countdown has begun. Foreign Financial Intermediaries must comply by July 2013 worldwide. American Citizens Abroad have had to live with extra-territorial taxation and reporting since the early 20th century, although the USA has found it difficult to enforce this rule outside its borders.
FATCA is supposed to be the solution. But it also raises many questions.
- Is the remedy worse than the ailment? (cost benefit analysis)
- Will its implementation respect time honoured principles of proportionality?
- Is this a gross violation of sovereignty for US trading partners?
- Is this the end of our civil liberties? The States wins and we should all be reading again George Orwell’s 1984?
- Will FATCA mark the end of the US$ as a worldwide reserve currency? One of many other precursor signs of an empire in decline?
- Is this a trade war in disguise that will particularly disadvantage Switzerland?
- Can it be implemented?
- On the contrary, thanks to FATCA, will the US deficit be brought under control at last?
- Will tax cheats repent and pay vast amounts of money to the state that protects them in an unstable and dangerous world?
MODERATOR: Dr. Hans-Joachim Jaeger, Ernst & Young Partner and heads the operational tax area for the financial services industry. He is a member of the Swiss branch of the International Fiscal Association and serves as a member of the taxation committee of the Swiss Funds Association. Jochen holds a Doctorate in tax law and a Master in business administration (finance & accounting) of the University of St. Gallen (lic. oec. HSG). He is a qualified Swiss tax adviser and a Certified Financial Planner (CFP).
J. Richard (Dick) Harvey, Jr., Distinguished Professor of Practice at Villanova University School of Law and Graduate Tax Program. He is the former Senior Advisor to the IRS Commissioner involved in a wide range of issues including IRS efforts to address off-shore tax evasion, including the development of FATCA and the IRS's voluntary disclosure program. Dick has written an article summarizing why FATCA was adopted, but also discussing some of the major issues surrounding FATCA. A free download can be obtained here.
Jacqueline Bugnion, Executive Committee Member of American Citizens Abroad (ACA), which is a non-profit, non-partisan, all-volunteer organization based in Geneva that represents the interests of Americans living and working outside the U.S. Jacqueline has been the ACA liaison for Overseas American Week and is head of the ACA tax team. During her business career, she worked in the Swiss watch industry, banking and the consumer products industry. Jacqueline holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA in Economics from Cornell University. An American by birth and education, she is also Swiss through her marriage and has resided in Switzerland for 47 years.
Markus Meinzer is an applied researcher and analyst for the Tax Justice Network's (TJN) International Secretariat and leads TJN's research on automatic information exchange and the research underpinning TJN's financial secrecy index. Based in Germany, he co-authors's TJN's German language blog. He is a special invitee to the Permanent Committee on International Tax Planning Control of the Inter-American Centre of Tax Administrations.
Mark Föllmi, Attorney-at-law, formerly Executive Director in the Group Tax Department of UBS AG, Zurich, where he was involved in major national and international tax issues in the last 28 years, especially in the field of US Withholding Taxes (QI and FATCA). He is a member of the Tax Committee of the Swiss Bankers Association, in which capacity he was involved in various working groups, also negotiating tax issues with national tax authorities (f.ex. QI). Mark was also Vice Chair of the Tax Committee of BIAC, Paris (Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD) and has chaired the Financial Industry Sector in the OECD's TRACE Project (CIVs and enhanced tax relief mechanism/ relief-at-source) during the past 6 years. Mark served as a member of various other tax committees of professional industrial bodies (ICC, AMCHAM, AFME).