Member of the European Parliament Sophie in 't Veld (ALDE/D66) requested the European Commission in March 2012 to publicly disclose all documents and correspondence regarding the American Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). FATCA is US legislation against tax evasion and tax fraud. Every bank, insurance company or investment agency with activities in the US are obliged to give information of their clients whom reside outside the US, to the US authorities. Refusal will be sanctioned with a fine. FATCA has extra-territorial effect and is directly applied on EU-territory.
Personal information of EU-citizens, for example Europeans with a double nationality or with financial ties to the US because of study, work or family are being shared with the US without a proper justification, and without the possibility to object.
The European Commission refused to provide the relevant documents to In 't Veld, asserting initially that it would be too much work to scrutinise all relevant documents before disclosure and that In 't Veld needed to specify which documents she deemed relevant. As it is impossible to make a selection as long as the documents are not disclosed, In 't Veld referred to the European Ombudsman with a complaint. In February 2014, the Ombudsman recommended that the Commission would reassess In 't Veld's request. After more than a year, the Commission responded with the letters below:
- In 't Veld - EN final 09.08.2012
- In 't Veld - EN final second decision 22.11.2012
- FATCA - COM reply confirmatory application - Part I
- In'T VELD - PART II - Decision - Part II
Please find the zipped version of the disclosed documents here. (Please note that due to the size of the files, downloading could take a while).