The “Accidental Americans” are a group of people who are entitled to American citizenship, with some being born in American hospitals, remaining in the US for a short time before returning to France, and some not even speaking English. As a result, the group says French nationals with dual American citizenship face de facto discrimination, even though
most of these people have no links with the United States.
The group has been battling for years to be exempt from a US law that states all citizens overseas file bank details along with yearly returns. The group wants to be free from this annual filing and to stop their French banks handing details to the US tax department.
In 2017, Washington accepted a temporary suspension on the rule known as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). However, the exemption finishes at the end of this year with the French banking federation stating that 40,000 accounts will potentially be closed if filing requirements are not fulfilled.
French banks are obliged to enforce the closure of accounts as if the account remains open and filing is not submitted the French banks would be subject to penalties.
This agreement of filing falls under the Franco-American agreement from 2013 which allows for FATCA’s application in France, but the Accidental Americans state that it “violates EU laws on data protection” by authorizing “the transmission and storage of huge amounts of personal data in the United States,”
The European Commission has a year to decide if it will launch any proceedings against Paris on the issue.
Image Source by American Expat Finance