AMSTERDAM, September 3, 2020 (Newswire.com) - Americans Overseas ran a survey among 8000 Americans in Europe on the problems with their banks and the US government.
Research US consulates
Germany Frankfurt; visitors with a scheduled appointment faced a closed door
France States that all renunciation services are suspended worldwide
Switzerland 200 waiting in queue with no date available
Netherlands Waiting time is unclear and phone lines are busy
Belgium Stated no renunciations accepted. Online agenda allows appointment
Research Challenges Americans in Europe
20% Faced FATCA restrictions; accounts frozen, mortgage terminated, loans refused
80% Stated their bank provided them with no, wrong or limited information
73% No appointment or a response from the US authorities to renounce
71% Use their savings to pay the renunciation fee and preparation
15% Can't afford the fees and preparation to renounce
35% Renounced but did not see themselves in the federal registry
77% Never lived in the US or moved back to Europe before the age of 10
91% Don't owe taxes but face yearly US tax filing expenses
Americans Overseas has received hundreds of calls from everyday people at wit's end. They're in a squeeze between the US and their bank. An elderly English woman with a frozen bank account, a German entrepreneur who can't pay his suppliers, or a couple that got their mortgage rejected, are just a few examples.
They're not getting through to the US consulates to renounce their citizenship or apply for a SSN (American fiscal Number) as demanded by their local bank. We now see individuals traveling to other countries just to get an appointment and hoping the door is actually open.
Banks have been obligated since 2012 under a US law called FATCA to provide the US with all of their American clients. Since the US law comes under threat of severe penalties European banks are overly complying and trying to shake their US customers.
Individuals have two options with their European bank. Either show proof of US renunciation or submit a seldom readily available SSN. Both are issued by the consulate.
The discrepancies between the federal registry and the survey (30% more renunciations) confirm once again that renunciation numbers given by the US government are on the low side.
Americans Overseas is a European based organization that informs Americans living Overseas and connects them to US tax specialists. Free of charge and without obligation.
Source: Americans Overseas