The Grassroots Corner August 29, 2022

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  • Source: FAIRtax
  • 08/29/2022


Georgia FAIRtax State Director Jim Duffie and I received an invitation from a candidate for U.S. Senate with an unusual interest. Vikram Mansharamani, running in the Republican primary election in New Hampshire, has directed his attention to the sliver of voters most adversely affected by the federal income tax: U.S. citizens living abroad. The invitation to Jim and me came from a group called Republicans Overseas.  They wanted us to join a Zoom conference featuring Mansharamani. 
FATCA (the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) came up front and center in the discussion.  FATCA imposes onerous reporting requirements on foreign banks that open accounts for American citizens.  Consequently, most foreign banks simply refuse to open accounts for American citizens living in their country because they don’t want to put up with all the red tape.  You can imagine how difficult this makes life for those Americans.

The broader issue is citizenship-based taxation. American citizens are subject to U.S. taxation on their worldwide income no matter where they live. That means that American citizens residing outside the United States are subject to two often conflicting income tax systems: the U.S. federal income tax and the income tax of their host countries. 

Eritrea is the only other country in the world that subjects its citizens to this double taxation.  Every other country uses residency-based taxation and taxes only those citizens that live within its borders.  (The Philippines used to tax its ex-pats because it continued with our tax code when it became independent. It wisely repealed that provision.)

Jim and I tried to show how the FAIRtax would solve the problem.  Since the FAIRtax gets rid of the US income tax, ex-pats would only have to deal with the income tax code of their host countries. Jim wanted to go further and talk about border adjustment under the FAIRtax and the subsequent improvement in our economic posture worldwide against the other OECD countries. Unfortunately, time ran out before Jim could speak.

Mr. Mansharamani said he does not know enough about the FAIRtax at this time to sign the FAIRtax Candidate Pledge, but says he wants to learn more about it.  We are trying to contact his campaign to arrange a meeting with him so we can bring him up to speed on the FAIRtax.

Mansharamani burnishes impressive credentials. He is currently a lecturer at Harvard University, where he teaches students to use multiple perspectives in making tough decisions. Previously, he was a lecturer at Yale University. In addition to teaching, he also advises several Fortune 500 CEOs. He has a Ph.D. and two Masters degrees from MIT and a Bachelor’s degree from Yale University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He is a sought-after speaker.

Mansharamani is running in a field of ten or eleven other Republicans. The primary election will take place on September 13, 2022, and the winner will face Democrat incumbent Maggie Hassan in November.

Although we do not yet have a commitment from Mansharamani to cosponsor the FAIRtax if elected, we must give him credit for taking the time to speak to a narrow but motivated group of voters.
I would love to hear from you about candidates who take an unusual interest and who might become FAIRtax supporters.
Jim Bennett
AFFT Grassroots Coordinator & Secretary


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