The US government feels that there are peop
The US government feels that there are people who have left the country who have not paid the lawful taxes owed to them. That obviously does not affect me or my husband, because we do not owe taxes to the US government, but I am sure that there are people over the years who have left the US owing everything from child support to taxes. The US government wants their taxes. So in order to oversee that, you need to file a Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) form and if you do not do it, the bank does it for you. So if you have a bank here in Panama, the bank will fill out the FATCA form and has to turn it into the US government.
That has taken place as of July 15th but it is still not effective to this point yet. It became a law in March 2010, but has not been put in place yet. We spoke with our banker two or three weeks ago and they told us that they have filled out the form, so now the bank will know if you own a house and if there is any mortgage on it, so the US government can go after assets in another country in the event that money is owed in the United States.
Because of the problem with that, the expats who feel that they do not want to disclose this information to the US government can go to places other than Panama and open up accounts that do not comply with FATCA. But at this point, in Panama, they have not filled out the paperwork on our bank accounts For people who have offshore assets, any of the countries that comply with FATCA will have to comply with United States law.