What has ACA done over the years and why are we qualified?
- ACA's research and case work has been used in the development of congressional legislation and cited in US judicial rulings.
- ACA was instrumental in getting citizenship legislation rewritten so that children of US citizens who had not met the US residency requirements in order to pass their US citizenship on to their children were eventually able to do so.
- ACA was the first organization representing Americans overseas to research, develop and present a proposal for reforming taxation to the key tax committees for Americans living and working overseas: ACA’s Residence-based taxation proposal (RBT)
- ACA was responsible for the inclusion of Residence-based taxation (RBT) in key Congressional White Papers and recommendations from the Senate Finance Committee, the Joint Committee on Taxation and the House Ways and Means Committee.
- ACA was instrumental in increasing the FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) Form 8938 filing thresholds for US citizens living and working overseas, from $50,000 to $200,000.
- ACA was instrumental in getting the IRS to introduce a third program of tax compliance with its Streamlined Foreign Offshore Program, which was more adapted to the situation of Americans overseas than the first two programs. This new IRS low-risk compliance program drew heavily on recommendations from ACA’s Comprehensive Compliance Proposal (CCP).
- ACA was responsible for uncovering abuse in the OVDI (Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative) program which was entrapping innocent Americans overseas who had, out of error or oversight, not filed past FBAR (Foreign Bank Account Report) statements. ACA was able to influence IRS/Treasury to revise back filing requirements for those who had made honest mistakes of omission.
- ACA was instrumental in showcasing the importance of the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE) resulting in the introduction of legislation in 2011 by Congresswoman Maloney and Congressman Garrett calling for the removal of the cap on FEIE.
- ACA was also responsible for bringing to light the serious concerns and issues that need investigation resulting in Congresswoman Maloney’s introduction of HR 597 which calls for a Presidential Commission to investigate a variety of issues affecting the overseas American community.
- ACA has developed ongoing dialogues with key offices in Washington, DC so that issues and problems facing the community get the attention they deserve. Without ACA's voice, your only line to Washington is via your Congressional Representative or Senator which historically has not been effective, given that your issue or concern does not represent a large voting block or constituency back in the United States.
- ACA has been instrumental in getting media coverage of a myriad of issues concerning Americans living and working overseas. ACA is regularly quoted in major media outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Newsweek, Time and the Washington Post.
- ACA has developed the Tax Preparer Directory in order to provide Americans with the resources they need to remain tax compliant.
- ACA was called upon to testify at the National Taxpayer Advocate Public Forum in May 2016 which put on record with the US Government, the compliance and tax problems facing Americans living and working overseas. Full report here...
- ACA developed the ACA/SDFCU banking product to give Americans overseas access to a full range of US-based banking products to help them manage their lives while living and working overseas. Full explanation here...
Why is ACA needed?
Unlike some other countries, the United States government does not have any formalized, supportive relationship with its citizens living abroad. Americans living overseas vote for their representatives based on their last residential address in the United States. These Congresspersons and Senators are often unaware of how domestic legislation will affect Americans living overseas. Legislation and laws passed by the Congress often have unforeseen and sometimes negative consequences for the overseas community, yet no governmental agency is responsible for informing Americans abroad of legislative and regulatory developments affecting them. ACA’s advocacy works helps to educate and inform the Congress in these matters.