The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act of 2009

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Recent events have highlighted the growing use of foreign financial institutions, foreign trusts, and foreign corporations by U.S. individuals to evade U.S. tax. In order to prevent this tax evasion and money laundering, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act of 2009 would provide the U.S. Treasury Department with significant new tools to find and prosecute U.S. individuals that hide assets overseas from the Internal Revenue Service.

Based on proposals included in President Obama’s 2010 Budget, on legislation proposed by Senator Carl Levin and Representative Lloyd Doggett, and a draft released by Senator Max Baucus, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act would force foreign financial institutions, foreign trusts, and foreign corporations to provide information about their U.S. accountholders, grantors, and owners, respectively. The nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation has estimated the provisions of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act would prevent U.S. individuals from evading $8.5 billion in U.S. tax over the next ten years.

The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act of 2009 has been developed in close consultation with the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and is the legislative product of numerous hearings conducted in the Senate Permanent Select Committee on Investigations, the Select Revenue Measures Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee, and the Senate Finance Committee.