Government Accountability Office issues statement on FATCA

On 1 April 2019, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) issued a report “Actions Needed to Enhance Compliance Efforts, Eliminate Overlapping Requirements, and Mitigate Burdens on U.S. Persons Abroad” (Link). The GAO is an independent, nonpartisan agency that examines for Congress how taxpayer dollars are spent and provides Congress and federal agencies with objective, reliable information to help the government save money and work more efficiently. The GAO reviewed applicable Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”) documentation; analyzed tax data; and interviewed officials from IRS, other federal agencies and organizations, selected tax practitioners, and more than 20 U.S. persons living overseas. The GAO states, that they reviewed applicable documentation; analyzed tax data; and interviewed officials from IRS, other federal agencies and organizations, selected tax practitioners, and more than 20 U.S. persons living overseas to finally recommend seven steps to the IRS and other agencies to enhance IRS’s ability to leverage FATCA data to enforce compliance, address unnecessary reporting, and better collaborate to mitigate burdens on U.S. persons living abroad (Link). State and Social Security Administration agreed with the GAO’s recommendations. Treasury and IRS neither agreed nor disagreed with the GAO’s recommendations.

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