AARO’s Dear 535 Campaign is an initiative that grew from surveys conducted by AARO and SEAT, Stop Extraterritorial American Taxation. Based on those survey responses, AARO and SEAT have written letters to 535 Senators and Representatives with comments from their own constituents, regarding the legal and regulatory challenges faced by American citizens living overseas.Read More
In the February 28, 2023 Supreme Court decision in Bittner v. United States, the Court agreed with Mr. Bittner that penalties for non-willful violations of FBAR filing requirements are to be assessed on a “per report” rather than a “per account” basis (as was contended by the IRS). This reduced his fine from $2.7 million to $50,000. This article also addresses the effect of the Bittner decision, authored by Justice Neil Gorsuch, in light of the Court's refusal to hear another FBAR case, Monica Toth v. United States, to which Justice Gorsuch authored a rare dissent.Read More
AARO is pleased that, on February 28, 2023, the Supreme Court held in favor of Alexandru Bittner in a much watched FBAR case (Bittner v. United States).
The Court decided 5-4 that FBAR fines should not be calculated on a cascading “per account” basis (which is what led the U.S. Government to assess $2.72 million in fines and penalties against Bittner) but on a “per form” basis, which means that the maximum penalty for Bittner would be $50,000, or $10,000 for each of the 5 years in which he did not file FBAR reports.Read More
In our September 4, 2022, issue of the AARO News and Views we highlighted the importance for AARO members that the U.S. Supreme Court granted review (grant of certiorari) of the case Alexandru Bittner v. United States, concerning the calculation of penalties for failure to file a Foreign Bank Account Report aka FBAR (whether Mr. Bittner should pay $50,000 or $2.7 million). The Supreme Court heard oral arguments on November 2, 2022. Please read the article about the case and the Supreme Court hearing written by AARO’s VP Advocacy Fred Einbinder.Read More
In July of this year AARO President Doris Speer wrote to members of the Senate Committees on Finance and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions calling attention to the exclusion from the financial system that American expats too often face, notably as regards to access to retirement plans and savings vehicles.Read More...
Over the past several years, Congress has introduced several bills to reform or repeal the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP). One of them, the Social Security Fairness Act, H.R. 82, now has 295 co-sponsors (207 Democrats and 88 Republicans) and moves will likely be made this fall to bring it to the House floor for a vote.Read More...
The SECURE Act 2.0 (“Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2022”) aims to expand coverage of employer-sponsored plans and increase retirement savings, as well as simplifying and clarifying rules. With suitable modification it offers an attractive vehicle for addressing one of the most severe problems facing expats: access to savings vehicles and retirement plans.Read More
In April, AARO made a submission to the Senate Finance Committee relating to its hearing of March 25 on U.S. International Tax Policy. The Committee is advanced in following up with proposed legislation.Read More
AARO conducted a survey in October/November 2020 to aid us in our advocacy efforts. The results of the survey have been very informative and give us fuller insights into your issues.
The eleventh, and final, article, “My Social Security Was Reduced! It’s called WEP.” has been posted.Read More...
AARO urges all Americans overseas who have not already done so to create an account and enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) in order to receive updated travel and other security information, particularly during the COVID-19 crisis. AARO's understanding is that the information contained in the enrollment is NOT shared with the IRS or other USG agencies.
Enroll here: https://step.state.gov
In addition to its core activity of advocacy on behalf of the almost 9 million Americans living and working abroad, AARO offers benefits to members that can make their life abroad easier and more interesting!