A few days ago Ms. Rebecca Wilkins, executive director of the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency Coalition, wrote an ill-considered and insulting editorial in support of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act which was published in The Hill, a blog for politicians and their staffers in Washington, D.C.
She really put her foot in it and she's still smelling her shoe - angry comments and emails are flying at her from all around the world pointing out the unintended consequences of this very broadly written extra-territorial law.
Her claim that being against FATCA is akin to endorsing tax evasion is about as silly as me claiming that she is for FATCA because she's a shill for the compliance industry (FATCATS of another sort).
I will put this as plainly as I can, Ms. Wilkins, FATCA is a very bad law with a slew of unintended consequences. It is not a well-designed net, it is a fine-meshed trawl that indiscriminately hauls in the minnows and the plankton along with the whales, leaving devastation in its wake.
Somehow it escaped the notice of Congress, President Obama, and now you, Ms. Wilkins, that there are 7 million Americans working and living abroad, most of whom work as teachers, translators, and artists. FATCA makes no distinction between "wealthy Americans [who] hide their assets and use offshore accounts to evade tax" and English teachers in Eastern Europe or France or Korea holding basic savings and checking accounts and the local equivalent of an IRA in the country where they actually live.
FATCA falls on the just and the unjust alike (but the unjust have better lawyers). Right now it's everyone's foreign-to-the-US-but-local-to-them checking, savings and retirement accounts abroad that are in peril because of FATCA. The choices that Americans abroad are having to make as a result are ghastly: your house or your US citizenship; your retirement savings or your US citizenship; your marriage or your US citizenship.
This is why Americans abroad, Ms. Wilkins, get a little testy when you write something that extols the virtues of FATCA and say that anyone who is against it is in cahoots with the criminals. Those are fighting words these days. Opposition to the law has united Americans abroad all over the world and you are hearing their voices from Canada and China, France and Finland, Vietnam and Venezuela. These minnows are not "for tax evasion", they just want the country they have been loyal to to fix the mess you and other homeland zealots created.
They are asking for something you should understand very well because you say you are for it too: