At today's Mises Daily, Cezary Blasczyck explains why FATCA is a threat to bank secrecy, and ultimately to freedom.
Among the many recent revelations about American surveillance operations was the fact that, according to Der Spiegel, the U.S. intelligence apparatus “not only conducted online surveillance of European citizens, but also appears to have specifically targeted buildings housing European Union institutions,” Few, if any, of those commenting of late on such affairs mentioned that numerous nations across the globe actually acknowledged the U.S. government’s anti-privacy offensive months before by accepting its Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).
The FATCA legislation attempts to combat bank privacy on many levels and for many reasons including the American state’s desire for more effective tax collecting. According to U.S. tax law, every American taxpayer is obligated to fill out tax forms and pay taxes for their income attained not only on U.S. soil but overseas as well. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) does not distinguish where the taxpayer lives, since U.S. taxation is based on either residency or citizenship.
The author goes on to show that bank secrecy was what helped combat the 20th century dictatorships and that high tax rates—not Swiss bank accounts—is what accounts for tax evasion.