In what appears to be a growing trend, a veteran UK-based tax expert has set up his own practice aimed directly at the hundreds of thousands of expat Americans who need to get their houses in order financially speaking ahead of sweeping new compliance rules.
David Treitel, who has worked for such accountancy giants as Ernst & Young and KPMG before more recently working at US Tax and Financial Services, an international firm, established his own business, American Tax Returns, in early August. He is based in southwest London.
The US FATCA Act, enacted late in 2010 and due to kick in from 2013 in stages, imposes heavy reporting requirements on what the act designates as Foreign Financial Institutions. Failure to comply means FFIs must pay a 30 per cent withholding tax on income at source. The burden of establishing the identity and investments of potential US clients has deterred a number of the world’s biggest banks, such as HSBC, Singapore's DBS and Germany's Deutsche Bank, from dealing with expat US citizens.
At a time when under a million of the estimated total of 7 million expat US citizens worldwide file annual US tax returns, the scope for getting business from such people is enormous, Treitel told this publication recently in an interview.
“There are a growing number of firms of tax advisors focusing on expat Americans given that the IRS are effectively creating a great marketing effort for US tax specialists worldwide and that FATCA is simply going to increase the demand,” he said.
Filling the gap
While some firms are shunning expat Americans, others see the value of putting an offering on the table, such as the UK-headquartered London & Capital, Switzerland’s Reyl & Cie, and the deVere Group, the global IFA firm.