Fresh off new delays in its implementation of the disastrous FATCA legislation, the Treasury Department has announced that it is in discussions with more than 50 countries to sign bilateral agreements:
The U.S. Treasury Department said Thursday it’s talking to more than 50 countries and jurisdictions around the world to implement a law aimed at making foreign banks and foreign governments into deputy enforcers of bad American tax policy.
Treasury said Thursday that by year end it hopes to finalize intergovernmental agreements with a long list of countries, including France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Switzerland.
It’s “actively engaged in a dialogue” with jurisdictions such as the Cayman Islands, Israel, Malaysia, Singapore and Cyprus, and Treasury said it expects to conclude the negotiations by the end of the year.
Treasury said it is “working to explore options” for engagement with the British Virgin Islands, Gibraltar, Russia, the Czech Republic and others.
Treasury’s list of suckers is longer than one might have imagined. They are promising foreign politicians “reciprocal” information, in hopes that the prospect of finding new potential taxpayers to fleece will convince them to relinquish their fiscal sovereignty to the IRS.
This news is troubling for several reasons. For one, it is shocking the degree to which Treasury is willing to make up law to expand its reach. The Department should not be promising to saddle American banks with the burdens of reciprocation. FATCA, for even as poorly as it was conceived and written, contained no such promises. Is Treasury accountable to anyone at all? Is Congress capable of doing its job of oversight?
Also concerning is the degree to which foreign governments seem to be biting at Treasury’s bait, ushering us every closer to a FATCA reality of global information sharing (even with corrupt and venal governments) that excites only spendthrift politicians and the compliance industry, but will unquestionably be bad news for taxpayers and the global economy.