When we tell other Australians about the issues we face from the long reach of the United States, it is easy to lapse into technical speak – double tax, PFICs, NIIT, FATCA, IGAs and the like. But the reality of the situation is something more and deeply emotional: fear, anger, frustration and resentment are only some of the gut feelings most of us experience.
To affect positive change, we need to educate Australian policy makers and the public on the harm being inflicted on not only a large group of people but also the Australian economy. By its very nature, this is a technical topic and our arguments require verifiable stats, well thought-out positions, identified and viable alternatives, a business case and the like.
However, like any good novel, we will stand a better chance of hooking our audience if we also appeal to them on an emotional or gut level.
This is where you come in.
We are often privately told the most shocking stories of how the existing system has caused real stress and damage to actual people. Most Australians have no idea that this problem exists and this needs to change. Fix the Tax Treaty! is seeking people such as yourself to publicly tell your stories to demonstrate the human dimensions to this problem.
We plan to add an “Our Stories” area to our public website and to use these stories with the public, media and policy makers to document some of the very real harm being done and to further illustrate why changes must be made to the underpinning legacy tax treaties and intergovernmental agreements to provide a fair go for all Australians.
So what are we after?
- Tell your story how these issues have impacted you and your family both financially and emotionally. Your stories will be featured on our website and potentially shared with media, government and policy makers.
- Publishing your story under a pseudonym or alias is okay. We recognise that privacy concerns coupled with the fear of US persecution prevents many of you from taking a public position under your real name. However, we would ask that you make yourself known in confidence to the Steering Committee.
- Consider, if asked, speaking to media or policy makers to provide further detail or colour around your story. This can be done publicly or in confidence – your choice.
Each of you has a story to tell; please take the time to write it down and send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org (or fill in the form below).
UPDATE 13 Feb 17: You can find submitted stories on the Our Stories page