In what would be the party's first appeal to scrap the law — the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) — a panel was slated
to vote at the Republican National Committee's (RNC) winter meetings
in Washington, likely approving the resolution on Friday, according
to party members driving the repeal effort.
If adopted, the anti-FATCA resolution would reflect the party's
political priorities for the time being but would not change its
presidential campaign platform, according to the RNC.
Approved in 2010 after a tax-avoidance scandal involving a Swiss
bank, FATCA requires most foreign banks and investment funds to
report to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service information about U.S.
customers' accounts worth $50,000 or more.
Criticized by banks, libertarians and some Americans living abroad
as a costly and unneeded government overreach, FATCA is on the
books, but its effective date has been delayed repeatedly, with
enforcement now set to start on July 1.
Repeal seems unlikely, but more political heat from Republicans
could further complicate and delay implementation, said financial
Moreover, Republicans are eager to use FATCA as a campaign and
fundraising issue against Democrats ahead of the congressional
mid-term elections in November, RNC members said.
"I see FATCA
just like Obamacare," said Solomon Yue, an RNC official from Oregon
who is leading the party's FATCA repeal effort. "It will attract
American overseas donors."
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Defending the law, Treasury Department spokeswoman Erin Donar said
in a statement: "FATCA continues to gain momentum and international
support as we work with partners around the world to fight offshore
Republican Senator Rand Paul last year introduced legislation to
repeal parts of FATCA, citing privacy concerns.
Daniel Mitchell, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, a
libertarian think tank, said: "It's hard to imagine an issue this
obscure playing a visible role in elections ... It is making
overseas Americans far more sympathetic to (Republicans) and could
have an impact on fundraising."
(Reporting by Patrick Temple-West; editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and
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