updated 8:44 AM CET, Jan 28, 2023

Republican Senator Crapo continues to pressure Dems over plans for 'Monitoring Private Financial Accounts'

Sen. Mike Crapo addressing the Senate earlier this week YouTube Sen. Mike Crapo addressing the Senate earlier this week

Republican Senator Mike Crapo of Idaho, who delivered a 15 minute speech earlier this week to the Senate in which he called for  its members to "loudly reject" what he called the "intrusive IRS reporting regime" that the Democratic Administration had proposed, on Wednesday again spoke out, calling for the publication of "details about what is being publicly marketed as a 'new approach' to the Administration's financial reporting regime".

In a statement on the Senate Finance Committee's website, Crapo argued that as of Wednesday, although the Treasury had published a "Fact Sheet" it said had outlined the new version of the Administration's proposed plan to monitor funds entering and leaving U.S. taxpayers' bank accounts on an annual basis, no clarification had yet been issued with respect to "any 'new version before Congress'," nor had such a clarification "been made public, or in any sense is before Congress as a whole."

"Ranking Member [of the Senate Finance Committee] Crapo requested that Treasury provide details of their understanding of whatever it is that constitutes Democrats’ new proposal to monitor personal financial information of virtually all American taxpayers," Sen. Crapo's statement, published on the Senate Finance Committee's website here, added.

Sen. Crapo's statement includes a copy of his letter on the subject to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, also dated Tuesday, in which, in addition to calling for a comprehensive outline of the Administration's new plan for monitoring U.S. citizens' U.S. bank accounts, he reiterates his views on the business of requiring banks and financial institutions to report on the financial activities of their clients' accounts generally. ("Closing the tax gap is a worthwhile endeavor, but not at the cost of invading Americans’ privacy using a scheme that only one political party has seen...") 

To view a copy of Sen. Crapo's letter to Secretary Yellen, click here.

To view excerpts from his address to the Senate earlier this week, outlining his concerns "with the IRS financial account reporting dragnet and rumored changes" to it, as well as to find a link to a YouTube video of his 15-minute address (from which the above photograph was taken), click here.

Last week, a Republican member of the House Ways and Means Committee, Georgia Rep. Drew Ferguson, introduced legislation aimed at blocking the Democrats' U.S. bank information reporting law; some 90 fellow members of the House were cosponsors, including every Republican member of the House Ways and Means Committee. 

As reported, the scale of the pushback to the Biden Administration's plan to attempt to address the country's "tax gap" in part by forcing U.S. banks and financial institutions to report to the IRS on all of their clients' incomings and out-goings over the course of a year, on an annual basis going forward, has been viewed with a mixture of surprise and annoyance by many American expatriates and campaigners for fairer treatment for such expats.

This is because, they say, they remember how FATCA, a similar bank information-reporting regulation, but aimed at U.S. citizen expats (as well as Stateside Americans with overseas bank accounts) only, had been signed into law with no apparent comment in 2010, as it was buried inside a domestic jobs bill, where its presence was explained at the time by its role in providing funding for that larger bill, known as the HIRE Act.

Subsequent Congressional efforts to repeal FATCA, including one led by Republican Representatives Rand Paul, from Kentucky, and Mark Meadows, of North Carolina, in 2017, have not been successful, in spite of lobbying by some expatriate Americans and even some non-U.S. lawmakers, mainly in Europe. 

As this and other publications have frequently reported, many of the most problematic difficulties for expatriate Americans caused by FATCA could be fixed if the U.S. were to move to a residence-based tax regime, which is currently the advocacy focus of a number of expatriate lobbying groups.