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.

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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 RyanOvernight Defense: Pentagon sees signs of chemical weapons activity in Syria | House votes to reaffirm NATO defense pact | Saudis refuse to ease Qatar demands Overnight Finance: GOP divided over welfare cuts in budget | Lawmaker loses M on pharma stock he pitched | Yellen says another financial crisis unlikely in our lifetimes Overnight Healthcare: Senate delays ObamaCare vote past recess | Trump says GOP 'very close' to deal | Three more senators come out against bill MORE (R-Wis.), House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin BradyKevin BradyGOP chairman: More tax-reform hearings coming in July Overnight Finance: CBO finds 22M more uninsured under Senate health bill | GOP agrees ObamaCare taxes must go | Supreme Court to look at Dodd-Frank whistleblower protections | More tax reform hearings | Green light for partial travel ban | Highway Trust Fund in need of a long-term fix MORE (R-Texas), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellMore than 300 abuse victim support groups oppose GOP healthcare bill Dem lawmaker: GOP healthcare battle is like the Titantic Behind closed doors, tensions in the GOP MORE (R-Ky.) and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin HatchOrrin HatchOvernight Finance: GOP divided over welfare cuts in budget | Lawmaker loses M on pharma stock he pitched | Yellen says another financial crisis unlikely in our lifetimes GOP chairman wants 'robust' tax reform process in the Senate Chaffetz calls for ,500 legislator housing stipend 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."