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Legislation meant to help the United States government locate overseas assets of American tax cheats created little stir when it was quietly slipped into a jobs bill last year. But the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or Fatca, as it is known, is now causing alarm among businesses outside the United States that fear they will have to spend billions of dollars a year to meet the greatly increased reporting burdens, starting in 2013. American expatriates also say the new filing demands are daunting and overblown.

1. After reading the article, do you think that Fatca was a good Act to put in place? Why or why not?
2. What will any foreign company, in which Americans are beneficial owners, have to do according to the new legislation?
3. What is the deadline for companies who must register under the Act?
4. Why did the article call it a “sledgehammer” approach?


Jolly, D. and Knowlton, B. (2011). Law to Find Tax Evaders Denounced, The New York Times, Dec. 26 (Retrievable online at