Free-market groups urge repeal of Obama-era offshore tax law

Free-market groups urge repeal of Obama-era offshore tax law
© Getty Images

More than 20 free-market and taxpayer-protection groups on Tuesday urged congressional GOP leaders to repeal a law from the Obama administration aimed at fighting offshore tax evasion.

The groups — including FreedomWorks, the National Taxpayers Union and Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform — want tax-reform legislation to include the repeal of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). Repeal of this law was also part of the 2016 Republican Party platform.

The law requires certain taxpayers with financial assets held outside the U.S. to report information to the IRS.

The groups said that they support combatting tax evasion but argued that the law "has ensnared innocent Americans in an appallingly draconian scheme that true wealthy tax evaders can still easily avoid."

"It treats any American asset held abroad as tantamount to criminality, demanding reams of private financial data without the need for a warrant or a showing of probable cause," the groups added in a letter to Speaker Paul RyanPaul RyanPelosi: 'Of course' Dems can be against abortion Five fights for Trump’s first year Sunday shows preview: Trump stares down 100-day mark MORE (R-Wis.), House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin BradyKevin BradyMnuchin: Trump orders take aim at Dodd-Frank, tax regs Tax reform hearing appears to be delayed GOP under pressure as tax reform deadline slips MORE (R-Texas), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellFive fights for Trump’s first year Warren builds her brand with 2020 down the road AACR’s march on Washington MORE (R-Ky.) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin HatchOrrin HatchChaffetz's campaign arm registers 2028 websites The Hill's 12:30 Report Chaffetz won't run for reelection MORE (R-Utah).

The free-market groups said that Americans living in other countries have lost access to bank accounts since FATCA took effect. They also argued that U.S. citizens who have been trying to comply with FATCA and made small mistakes "are facing unfair and vindictive penalties that can exceed even the size of their overseas holdings."

"FATCA violates our most-cherished principles of due process, presumption of innocence, personal privacy, and national sovereignty," the groups wrote. "It does not accomplish its stated objectives but does inflict untold collateral harm at great cost."