While FATCA came into effect for Americans abroad in 2011; that is to say, it required that a Form 8938 be filed with tax returns of any US person with foreign financial holdings meeting certain thresholds, US citizens and deemed residents are finding themselves facing dilemmas. These dilemmas include being denied foreign banking privileges by those institutions unwilling to comply with the FATCA. They also include being denied credit and even job opportunities abroad.
But what if you are married to a non-US person? If you are unable to have joint custody on a foreign financial account with say your French spouse and he dies, then what?
One expatriated American was so upset at the intrusiveness of reporting bank account information to IRS that she couldn't sleep. Already the cost of hiring professional tax preparers to do her annual US tax returns and the FBARs was costing her nearly $2,000 a year with the prospect of FATCA more than doubling those fees. After living many years abroad, she no longer introduces herself as American even if in her heart she still feels those ties.
Another American married to a Frenchman asks whether her bank accounts will be closed or whether she will have to be removed from her husband's accounts. As an unemployed person recovering from breast cancer, she had to pay $1,000 to accountants this year for tax help. But with strong ties to parents in the Pacific Northwest, she is not ready to make that appointment at the US Embassy.