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Will the Supreme Court hear a battle over the FATCA?

The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) has faced serious opposition. It was signed into law in 2010 by President Obama and is currently part of a  lawsuit that alleges the law causes harm to a number of individuals.  

Who is bringing this lawsuit? The lawsuit, as noted in a recent piece in International Investment, was brought by a group referred to as the Republican Overseas Action group. It includes members like Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul as well as expat United States citizens that span both parties. 

What is the claim? As noted above, the claim is basically rooted in the contention that the law causes harm. Expatriates state that at the same time FATCA was signed into law foreign bank accounts asked that they take their accounts elsewhere. These same individuals also experienced difficulties getting mortgages and loans and contend that these difficulties were due to the FATCA.

Will the claim against FATCA succeed? The latest court to hear the case, the Court of Appeals, ruled in favor of the law. The court stated that the law caused the plaintiffs no harm. As such, they did not have standing to sue.

The plaintiffs have stated that they will pursue the claim by filing an appeal to the United States Supreme Court.

It is important to note that this is not the first challenge to the law. A group in Israel also attempted to challenge the law and its enforcement within Israel. Ultimately, the challenge failed. The current and previous cases provide a good example of the evolving nature of tax law. As such, anyone that is experiencing a tax law issue, particularly one involving foreign assets, is wise to note that this area of law changes frequently.

These changes can have a direct impact on your tax obligations. Anyone attempting to navigate these issues is wise to seek legal counsel. An experienced attorney will consider the most current tax law when advising you on your legal matter.

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