by Robert W. Wood, Forbes.com
Never heard of FATCA? You will. FATCA-the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act-is America’s global tax law. It was quietly enacted in 2010, and after a four-year ramp up, it’s finally in effect. What is most amazing is not its impact on Americans-although that is considerable-but its impact on the world. Yes, the whole world.
Never before has an American tax law attempted such an astounding reach. And it’s clear FATCA has succeeded, after shrewd diplomacy by President Obama and his Treasury Department. (There are probably some congratulatory emails somewhere!) FATCA requires foreign banks to reveal Americans with accounts over $50,000. Non-compliant institutions could be frozen out of U.S. markets, so everyone is complying.