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Q1 2019 Update

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April 29, 2019

Hello Julie,

The quarterly ACA Voice focuses on in-depth analysis of core issues relevant to Americans abroad. For frequent news updates and information on ACA developments, be sure to visit our website, Facebook page, and Twitter feed. 




Congressman Holding has taken the first step with introduction of his legislation, Tax Fairness for Americans Abroad Act of 2018 (TFAA) – HR 7358. The basic principle of the bill mirrors the thinking behind ACA’s residency-based taxation (RBT) approach, that is, separating foreign-source and US-source income and excluding from US taxation specified foreign-source income earned when a US citizen is a qualified resident abroad. As can be seen in the bill language, the toggle switch determining whether an individual is taxable on US income – and not on foreign income – is residency. A summary outline prepared by ACA of the act can be found here.

ACA’s work on development of its RBT approach and the development of revenue estimates for that approach provided important data and knowledge for the tax staffs working on HR-7358. ACA, as a non-partisan voice, will continue to be called upon for its knowledge and expertise on the subject.

An important initiative by ACA was the production of webcasts on March 13th and 14th with Representative Holding’s Tax Counsel, Matt Stross, providing detailed updates and next steps for the legislation here.

Having the US House Ways & Means Committee hold hearings on the wide-range of tax issues facing US citizens living and working overseas is the next step in the process. This is supported by Representative Holding and other Members of Congress. ACA is a key player in the push for hearings, advocating to offices to support hearings, collecting data and information on the problems and issues, updating current research – ACA revenue estimates – and fielding new research.

All this requires community support. Your support!

1. Write your Representatives in Congress and ask that the US House Ways & Means Committee hold hearings.

2. Support ACA. ACA, with no political affiliation, and working only in the interest of the community, is ideally positioned to advocate for TFAA. Donate Today.

Here is how your contribution will help:

1. ACA will lobby for enactment of a residency-based taxation regime. It is registering as a lobbyist, following the House and Senate guidelines in order that there not be any question as to correctness of our efforts.

2. ACA will pound the pavement and walk the hallways of the Capital, meeting with Members, Members’ staffs and staffs of the committees, like Joint Committee on Taxation, House Ways & Means Committee, and Senate Finance Committee. It will also lobby the Treasury Department, including the Office of the Tax Legislative Counsel.

3. ACA will hold meetings with other key “players” to educate and build support. Ex: American Chambers of Commerce, Americans for Tax Reform, and others.

4. ACA will work to activate others that, in turn, will lobby in favor of legislation. These include companies employing Americans abroad and groups of small businesses.

Donations to ACA for lobbying are not tax deductible and donations must be made here for lobbying efforts (button). At this time no ceiling on this effort is anticipated.

Tax-deductible donations raised by American Citizens Abroad Global Foundation ("ACAGF") will not be used for lobbying but will be used for efforts to support additional research and analysis leading to improved database and detailed revenue estimates (See ACAGF website for details on this.

If you want to send a check for your donation, please make the donation payable to:
-American Citizens Abroad, Inc. for lobbying efforts and
-American Citizens Abroad Global Foundation for tax-deductible donations.

11140 Rockville Pike, Suite 100-162
Rockville, MD 20852


Academic and Professional POV Articles

Time Travelling with the Section 962 Election
By Eli S. Noff, Esq. CPA, Partner, and Peter Palsen, International Tax Advisor

Latest News

ACA Writes to Speaker Pelosi on Tax Reform for All US Citizens Living Overseas
April 10, 2019 ACA writes to Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives, urging Congress to enact residency-based taxation and requesting immediate comprehensive hearings on the taxation of Americans abroad.  See letter here.   [More Info
ACA Submits Written Testimony to House Ways and Means Committee on TCJA
April 8, 2019 American Citizens Abroad, Inc. submits written testimony to US House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee in connection with the hearing on The 2017 Tax Law and Who It Left Behind held on March 27, 2019.   Click here for Testimony. [More Info
ACA contributions to GAO report on FATCA important in highlighting issues for Americans overseas
ACA was asked to contribute the the US Government Accountability Offices’s (GAO) report on the implementation of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and its effects on US persons living overseas.  A link to the report can be found here: Important summary conclusions were that close to 75% of taxpayers reporting foreign assets to the IRS also reported them separately to ... [More Info


Washington, DC March 22, 2019 On March 13th and 14th, American Citizens Abroad (ACA) and American Citizens Abroad Global Foundation (ACAGF) hosted two webcasts updating the community on the recently introduced legislation, Tax Fairness for Americans Abroad Act (TFAA). Introduced on December 20, 2018 by Representative Holding (R-NC), TFAA (H.R. 7358) would change the approach to taxing US citizens living and working overseas ... [More Info
Update on US Passport Legislation and Regulation
March, 2019 update on US passport legislation and regulation.   The IRS has issued an advisory for US citizens to settle tax debts in light of the passport revocation provision ( ACA continues to highlight to the Congress the serious negative impact that the Passport Revocation legislation could have on Americans living overseas.  Little consideration has been given to the fact that a ... [More Info
ACA update on Transition Tax and GILTI advocacy
March 4, 2019The US Treasury Department GILTI latest announcement on tax regulations (issued March 4th) gives some relief to individual taxpayers, including Americans abroad, heretofore slammed by the GILTI provisions enacted as part of TCJA in December 2017. Taking notice of the strong arguments made in 34 sets of comments submitted in response to the proposed regulations, the Treasury Department has modified the regulations.  The ... [More Info
ACA writes letter to Treasury Department Requesting Form 5471 Relief
February 25, 2019 ACA writes to Treasury requesting relief from the substantial reporting burdens imposed on U.S. citizens abroad with respect to their ownership of foreign corporations (the large majority of which are small businesses as generally characterized in the Internal Revenue Code).  See letter here. [More Info

ACA in the Media

Law360 Tax Authority (April 15, 2019)

US Tax Code Disproportionately Burdens Americans Abroad

Jonathan Lachowitz, ACA Director and independent investment advisor, provides his perspective on current US tax policy for US citizens living overseas, “US Tax Code Disproportionately Burdens Americans Abroad”. Mr. Lachowitz’s article is a rebuttal to Cardoza Law School Professor Zelinsky and his opinion piece supporting the current US tax policy for US citizens living overseas, published in Law360 on March 26th. Mr. Lachowitz explains why the current tax policy is unfair and needs to be changed. Having these opinion pieces published in media outlets like Law360 is key to supporting tax reform for Americans living and working overseas. 


Bill Proposes New Taxation Standard for Americans Abroad. published by Law360 Tax Authority (April 5, 2019)

Recent article on TFAA written by Glen Frost, ACA Associate Legal Counsel



Arab Times (March 26, 2019)

Bill seeks to lift tax liability on foreign income for Americans

'Invited to speak at the webcasts were Matt Stross, Tax Counsel for Representative Holding, ACA Legal Counsel Charles Bruce and, several tax professionals (March 13 bios) (March 14 bios). 'ACA and ACAGF felt it important to have an update on the extensive work that Representative Holding’s office has been doing on this legislation and inform the community on next steps,' said Charles Bruce, ACA Legal Counsel and ACAGF Chairman. The proposed legislation would work off the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE) and would create an exclusion for income earned outside of the United States by qualified non-resident US citizens."



Tax Notes International (March 15, 2019) p. 1379, published by Tax Analysts

House Bill to Create Residency-Based Taxation in the Works

By: Jad Chamseddine

"Rep. George Holding, R-N.C., is working with the Joint Committee on Taxation and the House legislative counsel to revive the bill, which would exclude all individual foreign-source income from U.S. taxation, but not U.S.-source income, according to Matt Stross, his legal counsel. 'We are hoping to piggyback on the foreign earned income exclusion,' Stross said during a March 14 webcast organized by the American Citizens Abroad Global Foundation. Under section 911, U.S. taxpayers living abroad could exclude up to $104,100 in income from U.S. taxation as of 2018...Jonathan Lachowitz of White Lighthouse Investment Management said the bill would ensure that many Americans living abroad wouldn’t have to spend money for return preparation, because they wouldn’t owe anything. Lachowitz also said it would make it easier for multinational corporations to hire American workers. 'It is more expensive to hire U.S. citizens by about 40 percent,' he said."



The American (March - April 2019 Edition)

Overseas Taxation Latest

Michael Larsen, Director and UK Chapter Chairman of American Citizens Abroad and Jonathan Lachowitz, ACA Chairman look at The Tax Fairness for Americans Abroad Act – where is it going and what will happen next?



The German Times (March 1, 2019)

Many Americans abroad face an increased tax burden as a result of President Trump’s tax reform. Dual citizens are renouncing their US nationality at record rates

"Charles Bruce, a US tax attorney affiliated with the American Citizens Abroad advocacy group, agrees. 'Most individuals do not have a clue as to how to develop a number for their accumulated earnings or how to do the calculation for the tax.'"

Read More... 


Tax Notes International (February 18, 2019) pp. 764-766, published by Tax Analysts

French ‘Accidental Americans’ Seek to Advance FATCA Fight

By: Jennifer McLoughlin

“American Citizens Abroad supports the proposal as an 'extremely important first step,' said Charles M. Bruce, the group’s legal counsel. Ultimately the legislation needs to be revenue neutral and resistant to abuse, he said, adding that 'no one should be worse off than they are now.' "



The Globe and Mail (February 11, 2019)

Proposed tax changes could have a big impact on U.S. citizens living in Canada

"The change would be great for American investors abroad, Mr. Bruce says. He encourages these people to review their assets with their advisors to see how they might be able to lower their tax bills if the bill does go through. 'You’d have to examine the possibility to restructure a bunch of holdings,' Mr. Bruce says."


Upcoming ACA Events


Taxation and Tax Planning for Americans in Switzerland after the Passing
of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Focusing on ACA’s efforts in Washington,
Estate & Financial Planning for US Taxpayers in Switzerland

Tuesday, 30 April 2019
18:30 to 21:30 – Doors open at 18:00

Webster University
15, route de Collex, Bellevue 1293

On-line Registration is preferred:

Please register in advance – No Charge for ACA Members who register in advance, US $30 per person online registration for non-members.  Click here for more details and to register.  


Tuesday, 17 September 2019
More Detail to Follow

Recent ACA Events

April Australia Events

Dunhill Financial in association with ACA Global Foundation and AWA, brought to Australia two financial/tax related events tailored for US citizens living overseas.  A presentation was made in Sydney on April 16th and subsequently in Melbourne on April 17th. Read more...

ACAGF Webcasts: Tax Fairness for Americans Abroad Act (HR 7358), residency-based tax legislation for Americans living overseas

On March 13th and 14th, American Citizens Abroad (ACA) and American Citizens Abroad Global Foundation (ACAGF) hosted two webcasts updating the community on the recently introduced legislation, Tax Fairness for Americans Abroad Act (TFAA). Read more...


A Call to US Citizens, Dual Citizens and "Accidental Americans"

On March 12, 2019, the Stanford Alumni Association of Spain hosted the Washington DC-based American Citizens Abroad "ACA" to speak on the latest developments of tax legislation in the US Congress and on other ACA advocacy efforts. Nearly 80 persons attended and heard about ACA’s advocacy efforts for new tax legislation, the Tax Fairness for Americans Abroad Act (TFAA), the organization’s work in Washington, DC, and practical information on current US citizenship topics. Attending and speaking on behalf of ACA were Marylouise Serrato, Executive Director, and Karl JauchACA Board Member and go-to-person for topics on US citizenship, who presented current criteria for who is a US Citizen, including "Accidental Americans". Read more...

Check Out Members-only Content

Don’t forget that ACA members have access to the Members-only section with exclusive ACA content.
Past issues of the ACA newsletter along with our entire member-only E-blast mailings; updates, press releases, media articles, can also be found in the Members-only section.
Visit today for exclusive content available only to ACA members. Let us know what you think!
ACA-Members/SDFCU Account - Did you know?
  • As an ACA member, you have access to State Department Federal Credit Union (SDFCU) U.S banking services. Visit to learn more.
  • You can get debit card ATM and ISA Fees reimbursed up to $15 or $25 a month with an Advantage or Privilege Checking Account. Learn more about SDFCU Checking accounts at
  • You can avoid foreign transaction fees with an SDFCU Visa Platinum Card, plus get a low APR and earn rewards. Visit to learn more.
  • If you need help developing a savings plan or need tips on how to avoid identity theft, you can take advantage of the free financial counseling BALANCE Program available through SDFCU . View the online tools today at
  • SDFCU offers both prime and premiere money market accounts which allow up to six pre-authorized transfers a month. Learn more at

How To Get Involved

Contact Your Members of Congress

ACA’s website now hosts several links that can help you contact members of Congress.They include addresses, fax numbers, sample letters and general advice on contacting a member of Congress. Remember, our efforts depend on our Representatives continuously hearing from Americans abroad. Tell your Representatives in Congress to support tax reform for Americans overseas and to hold hearings!


Send us your testimonials on how current legislation is affecting you.  These testimonials are important to our advocacy work but even more important is your work in contacting your own Congressional representative.  We ask you to write to your representative today and let him or her know your thoughts and personal experience, and please send a copy to ACA as well. 

You can also support our work by writing directly to the Tax Committees responsible for tax reform and asking for Residency-based taxation (RBT) and submitting comments to those committees holding hearings on tax reform.

You can also write your own Representatives in Congress about Residency-based taxation (RBT) and your support for it.  Tell them about yourself, so that they learn about a real-life overseas American. 

Join Us!

If you haven’t done so already, Join ACA!  Since 1978, ACA has been the “Voice of Americans Overseas,” advocating for and defending the rights of U.S. citizens living and working abroad.

ACA on the Web, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

ACA’s website and its quarterly News Updates are its key communication channels to ACA members and to the millions of Americans all over the world. The ACA website includes a wealth of information: descriptions of the impact of U.S. laws on the various issues – citizenship, voting, Social Security, Medicare, banking and taxes – as well as ACA position papers, references to ACA in the press and a multitude of links to press articles related to ACA issues.

Many members and supporters follow ACA on Facebook, and this provides ACA with an opportunity to connect with them on a more regular basis. To get the most immediate, up-to-date information on ACA’s work and initiatives visit us on Facebook or our website, and sign up for our Twitter feed. 

In addition to keeping Americans abroad up-to-date through our website, member mailings, Facebook and Twitter, we are delighted to announce that you can now find ACA on
 InstagramIf you aren't on Instagram already, download the app onto your smartphone, search for us with our handle, americancitizensabroad, and give us a follow. We hope to connect with you on IG! 

Support ACA

There are many ways you can support ACA.  The best way is to become a member, so we can count on your ongoing support in our efforts to make changes in Washington, D.C., on your behalf.

In addition, you can volunteer, or make a donation to support our cause.  ACA has a number of volunteer positions available. As long as you have an internet connection, anywhere in the world, we could use your help!

To join ACA and get access to State-side banking services visit us online

ACA does not provide individual tax filing advice. For professional tax services please see the ACA Tax Preparer Directory.



Advertise with ACA

Are you looking to reach Americans overseas? Do you have a company or service targeting Americans overseas? Then consider advertising with ACA.  ACA website and ACA newsletter advertising opportunities available.  Click for more details.

Disclaimer:  This information was provided by a volunteer board member of ACA as a service to fellow U.S. citizens. While ACA and its Board members make every effort to transmit accurate information, such information is not considered a substitute for qualified professional advice. 

ACA is a non-profit organization whose mission is to educate, advocate and inform both the U.S. government and U.S. citizens living and working overseas on issues of concern to the overseas U.S. citizen community. ACA works to find practical solutions to resolve issues impacting overseas U.S. citizens and communicates results to constituents stateside and abroad. ACA is the premier thought-leader on issues affecting U.S. citizens living and working overseas.

American Citizens Abroad, Inc. (ACA, Inc.) is a section 501 (c)(4) tax-exempt, non-profit, nonpartisan, volunteer organization.

Alongside is American Citizens Abroad Global Foundation, a publicly-supported charity under section 501(c)(3).
Copyright © 2019, American Citizens Abroad, Inc., All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
American Citizens Abroad, (ACA, Inc.), 11140 Rockville Pike, Suite 100-162, Rockville, MD 20852, USA

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