Groups Call for Equal Coronavirus Relief for Americans Abroad

Tax Notes International (March 25, 2020), published by Tax Analysts

Groups Call for Equal Coronavirus Relief for Americans Abroad

'In a March 24 letter to members of Congress, Treasury, and the IRS — including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. — American Citizens Abroad Inc. (ACA) and its sister organization, American Citizens Abroad Global Foundation, outlined several areas they said require attention. 

The organizations called on the government to ensure that the mechanics of the 2020 recovery rebates announced in the CARES Act are in place, saying relief payments made electronically are preferable to checks. “Mailing checks to Americans living in places like Greece or Turkey or Ghana would be a nightmare. The mail is slow, and things get lost. Paper documents traveling through the postal system in the midst of a pandemic is not a good idea,” ACA Executive Director Marylouise Serrato told Tax Notes in a March 24 email. 

ACA offered assistance through its work with the State Department Federal Credit Union (SDFCU). “This account is perfect for emergencies like this. SDFCU is a highly regarded U.S.-based institution and . . . makes it easy for account holders to transfer funds to an individual’s local foreign bank, or make transfers immediately to relatives in the U.S., or do all manner of other things,” Glen Frost, ACA associate legal counsel, said in a March 24 release. Although it is not the only option available, it is one that the government should keep in mind, the letter says.'