Americans Helping Americans Abroad

Extensive survey reveals …

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, which will better help us advocate for you to the new Congress and the Biden administration.

We plan to communicate the results to you via a series of short articles, addressing one topic at a time.

AARO would like to thank all of the its members who took part in the survey. We had an excellent response: a total of 440 persons, 337 of whom were AARO members. This is a great response rate – more than 30% of our membership – which is higher than many similar surveys. We also appreciate the thousands of specific comments you wrote; these rich details, real human stories, will be very important to our advocacy.

Article #1: The Top 3 Issues (plus a 4th!)

We asked respondents to choose their three most important issues and to rank them in order of importance. FATCA reporting was the overall choice, followed by taxation and banking. However representation and recognition in Congress also ranked high.

Download the PDF: pdfArticle 1: The Top 3 Issues (plus a 4th!)

Article #2: We are Fed Up with FATCA and FBAR!

Many survey respondents find the FATCA filings tedious and redundant with FBAR and that non-compliance with financial reporting requirements triggers "insane" penalties.

Download the PDF: pdfArticle 2: We are Fed Up with FATCA and FBAR!

Article #3: Americans Who Consider Renouncing Citizenship

A significant minority, 34%, of our respondents told us that they have considered renouncing their US citizenship. This group tends to suffer more from double taxation, as well as from complex tax reporting, FATCA and bank regulatory issues. But many will likely not renounce for many reasons, including the exit tax and their fear of being stopped at the border on visits.

Download the PDF: pdfAARO Article 3: Renunciation

Article #4: Outing the U.S. Banks: Which Ones Dump Us and Why?

40-45% of our respondents have told us that U.S. banks and financial institutions have refused their business, specifically naming 33 of them. U.S. banks and financial institutions do this in order to reduce their legal and financial exposure due to banking laws in the U.S. expat's country of residence, as well as U.S. anti-money laundering (“know your customer") rules.

Download the PDF: pdfAARO Article 4: Outing the US Banks

Article #5: Voting from Overseas  

This article addresses the overseas voting experience of our respondents, who vote in 40 States, plus Washington DC. Although only 63% believe their vote counts, your vote does matter more than you think. Finally, a total of 73% found the voting process either not a problem or manageable.

Download the PDF: pdfAARO Article 5: Voting