Superlawyer Takes on FATCA
Jim Bopp, the hard-charging lawyer who persuaded the Supreme Court to strike down crucial elements in the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law, has a new target in his legal sights: a bank and taxation statute that hits Americans overseas.
Mr. Bopp is assembling a legal attack on the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, which he and other critics say intrudes on financial privacy and scares banks from doing business with Americans living overseas.
“The U.S. Constitution protects every citizen’s liberty and freedom, while FATCA undermines both,” Mr. Bopp told The Washington Times. “This astonishingly bad law manages to thumb its nose at the Constitution.”
The people who see themselves as victims of the tax compliance act — Americans overseas — say the law leaves them unable to establish retirement and savings accounts, acquire mortgage loans and avail themselves of other modern banking services.
As a result, thousands of Americans are, in frustration, reluctantly renouncing their U.S. citizenship as the only way to escape two consequences: double taxation, once by the host country and again by the Internal Revenue Service; and having their privacy violated by the law’s requirement that foreign banks provide information on U.S. customers overseas that domestic banks do not.
Mr. Bopp told The Times that he plans to attack the act on three legal grounds: that it violates the Senate’s sole possession of foreign treaty power, the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel or unusual punishment and the Fourth Amendment’s personal privacy guarantee.
Editor's Note: Check out this article for more information on the odious FATCA law and here for countries that have signed up for it, as well as those that might not.