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

Free-market groups urge repeal of Obama-era offshore tax law
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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 RyanGOP chairman to discuss Charlottesville as domestic terrorism at hearing Trump’s isolation grows GOP lawmaker: Trump 'failing' in Charlottesville response MORE (R-Wis.), House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin BradyKevin BradyGOP chairman: Tax reform could increase deficit GOP thinks it has winning message on taxes GOP planning to release tax framework next month: reports MORE (R-Texas), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellTrump’s isolation grows Ellison: Trump has 'level of sympathy' for neo-Nazis, white supremacists Trump touts endorsement of second-place finisher in Alabama primary MORE (R-Ky.) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin HatchOrrin HatchHatch urged Trump to ‘speak clearly’ against hate groups The Memo: Trump tries to quiet race storm Senators push FTC to finalize changes to contact lens rule 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."