The federal government devotes extensive time and resources to ensure that American taxpayers with foreign holdings pay appropriate taxes on these accounts. The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) is one of the primary laws in this field. FATCA imposes many responsibilities on individual and business taxpayers with foreign holdings.
As we wrote recently, the Supreme Court of Israel was considering a challenge to the legality of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or FATCA. FATCA is a U.S. law under which banks and other financial institutions outside the United States are required to report financial information on American citizens and green card holders who have $50,000 or more. Failure to do so would lead to substantial penalties on any American assets.
The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or FATCA, has major implications for people with dual citizenship in Israel and the United States. Under FATCA, foreign financial institutions are to provide account information for taxpayers holding more than $50,000 in foreign accounts to the U.S. government. Institutions that refuse to provide this information could face a withholding tax of up to 30% on any U.S. assets. FATCA is controversial in many locales as many believe the U.S. Government is infringing on privacy and interfering with the sovereignty of other nations.
If you have foreign bank accounts, you are probably already aware of how important it is to report these accounts to the U.S. Government. Under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), any United States person (citizen or resident) who has a financial interest in or signature authority over any financial account in a foreign country with an aggregate value of over $10,000 at any time during the calendar year, must file a FinCEN Form 114 Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts or "FBAR".