updated 12:26 PM CET, Nov 26, 2021

French Parliamentarians, to Macron: Action called for as 'difficulties persist' for France's 40,000 accidentals

French President Macron French President Macron

Six well-known French Parliamentarians have called on French President Emmanuel Macron to take action with respect to the "tax and banking difficulties" the country's estimated 40,000 'accidental Americans' are "still" struggling with, as a result of the 2010 American law known as FATCA.

The lawmakers' call for action came in the form of a two-page letter, on French Senate stationery, that was dated Wednesday (Feb. 3), and which noted that the recent "political changes in the USA" suggested that the time could at last be right to enable "developments in this matter" – that have thus far failed to materialize over the approximately six years that French citizens with legacy American citizenship have been struggling with the unintended consequences of FATCA – to take place.

The letter noted that France's Association des Américains Accidentels (AAA) had urged the letter's signatories to request Macron's intervention in the matter.  

"It is with great pleasure that we echo the AAA's concerns to you, hoping that the advent of the new administration, and the announcement of a new cooperation with our American friends, will allow new developments in this matter," the letter (written in French) said.

"We have intervened many times with successive governments since 2014, when French banks started to require all their customers to sign specific forms to verify whether they were American citizens...

"Nevertheless, difficulties persist.

"In addition, the Association of Accidental Americans informs me that the closure of the American Embassy to the public due to the pandemic has made it impossible, since March 2020, for accidental Americans to meet two requirements required by the extraterritorial American FATCA legislation: To obtain a Social Security Number, or to provide a Certificate of Loss of Aerican nationality.

"As for the banks, they still fear sanctions, as not all of their dual-citizen account-holders have been able to comply with the FATCA law, and the 2013 agreement." 

The letter spelled out in detail some of the efforts that have been made over the years on behalf of the accidental Americans living in France as well as in Europe, including  the European Parliament's 2018 adoption of a resolution in support of the bloc's accidental Americans, and a 2019 National Assembly report on the matter.

The letter's six signatories were Senators Jacky Deromedi (who represents French citizens living outside of France), Christophe André Frassa, and Antoine Lefèvre; National Assembly members Laurent Saint-Martin, Guy Teissier and (Senegal-born) Marc Le Fur.

Saint-Martin and Le Fur had been the co-authors of that 2019 report, which, as reported, had found, among other things, that France should consider unilaterally giving up FATCA reporting.

Fabien Lehagre, the U.S.-born, Paris-based founder of the AAA, thanked the French Parliamentarians "fore renewing their support for the accidental Americans," in a statement on LinkedIn.  

"We now hope that President Emmanuel Macron undertakes to protect [France's] 40,000 fellow citizens who have been impacted for fore than five years by the extraterritoriality of the American legislation #FATCA.

"Diplomatic action at the highest level of the state is needed!"

Efforts to reach President Macron for a statement weren't immediately successful.