US Senator’s FATCA Challenge Thrown Out By Judge
(The following article was first published over at iexpats.com).
A judge has thrown out a case from a US senator leading a campaign against the controversial Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).
Senator Rand Paul and several other campaigners filed suits against government departments in a bid to derail the law that demands foreign banks and financial firms give information about accounts and investments controlled by US taxpayers to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Republican Paul argued that agreements between governments in Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Israel and Switzerland with Washington were not valid because they were not approved by Congress.
No authority to bring case
His claim was dismissed at a federal court in Ohio for lack of standing as he was not authorized to bring the case by the Senate and that he was barred by law from bringing the challenge.
A claim by finance broker Mark Crawford explained he feared fines for not filing tax documents and that his business was affected as a bank he did business with no longer took on Americans as clients.
Dismissing the claim, Federal Judge Thomas M Rose said Crawford had not been fined over tax filings and that he could not prosecute on behalf of a third party.
Judge backs government move to dismiss
The other claims were filed by US expats who objected to disclosing financial information and wanted compensation because they could not open foreign bank accounts.
“The senator has suffered no personal loss and he has no authority to bring the case on behalf of the Senate, a position which is supported by other cases that have gone before the courts.”
– Judge Thomas M Rose.
The judge rejected their cases on the grounds they could not show banks had refused to open accounts for them due to FATCA.
A move to dismiss all the claims was made by the government legal team.
The case has hung over FATCA for many months, but has not stopped the IRS collecting tax data from more than 100 countries.
To comply with FATCA, foreign financial institutions have to report the details of any accounts they operate for US residents with balances of $50,000 or US expats with balances of $200,000.