updated 2:11 PM CET, Oct 31, 2023

IRS Commissioner Rettig to appear before House Oversight Subcommittee hearing today

Charles Rettig, left, to participate in Oversight Subcommittee hearing Erin Collins, left, to address Oversight Subcommittee hearing Charles Rettig, left, to participate in Oversight Subcommittee hearing Erin Collins, left, to address Oversight Subcommittee hearing

Charles P. Rettig, the chairman of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service since October, 2018, is due to participate in the latest hearing on U.S. tax issues by the House Ways and Means Oversight Committee, scheduled to take place today (March 17). 

The hearing will address "The 2022 Filing Season," and may be viewed live online, when it begins at 10am EDT (3pm GMT, 4pm CET), by clicking here, and following the instructions. A video recording of the event will be available at that same URL afterwards. 

It wasn't possible to determine in advance of the hearing whether issues of concern to expatriate American taxpayers were scheduled to be discussed.

The hearing comes as IRS officials have been warning that the current tax reporting season is likely to be the most difficult and problematic in memory, if not ever. 

As reported, a similar hearing by the same Ways and Means subcommittee in February – which featured National Taxpayer Advocate Erin M. Collins, addressed the subject of the "Challenges Facing Taxpayers," and lasted around 90 minutes – didn't mention any U.S. expat taxpayer issues, with such words as "FATCA", "FBAR" and "Residence-Based Taxation" not even mentioned once.  

Nevertheless, the Democrats Abroad Global Taxation Task Force yesterday submitted a six-page letter to the Subcommittee and listing of its recommendations, saying that it belived these  recommendations would, if adopted, "alleviate unintended tax-filing and financial-access problems Americans abroad face as a result of the current system of extraterritorial taxation (i.e., Citizenship-Based Taxation)."

The Taxation Task Force said it "strongly encourages Americans abroad to submit their own comments" as well to the Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee, by 5pm (Washington, D.C. time) Thursday, March 31, and said details about how to do this may be found on the Ways and Means Committee's website.

In its own submission, which may be viewed by clicking here, the Democrats Abroad Global Taxation Task Force begins by pointing out that the U.S., Eritrea, and North Korea are the only countries on the planet to use a tax regime that's based on citizenship, which it notes lies at the root of all of the problems expatriate Americans face.

"We urge the House Ways and Means Committee to hold a hearing to consider changing this system," it continues.

"We would welcome engagement with individual Committee Members to discuss opportunities to introduce reforms.

"Americans filing from abroad face greater complexity and more ambiguity than U.S. residents due to at least twenty-three provisions in the current tax code, which violate the widely-accepted Taxpayer Bill of Rights.

"Americans living abroad are subject to potentially devastating penalties for failure to file a variety of documents accurately, even for inadvertent non-compliance.

"Preparing an average tax return filed from abroad costs from $500 to $1000, often far exceeding any taxes owed.

"In fact, most filers – and probably most who neglect to file – owe no tax at all."

The Democrats Abroad Global Taxation Task Force letter is addressed to Oversight Subcommittee Chair Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. (D – New Jersey) and Oversight Subcommittee Ranking Member Rep. Tom Rice (R – S. Carolina), and copied to some 11 other key members of Congress, including Ways and Means Committee chair Richard E. Neal (D – Mass.); Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D  –  Calif.); and three members of the Americans Abroad Caucus (Reps. Carolyn Maloney, Dina Titus and Maria Salazar). 

(To read the TTF's letter in full, click the word "Next" in the green box, below right...) 

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