March 2, 2011 - Phil Hodgen

Tell Your Voluntary Disclosure Horror Stories Here

The nonprofit group “American Citizens Abroad” will be doing their annual trip to Washington DC in April, 2011 — Overseas Americans Week 2011.  This is an annual tradition going back several years; ACA is one of the sponsoring organizations.

I previously wrote about an email I received from Jackie Bugnion (an executive committee member of ACA) asking for real life stories of people in the Voluntary Disclosure Program.

This morning I awoke to an email from Marylouise Serrato, the Executive Director of ACA:

Dear Phil,

Thanks for this effort.  As you noted it is very important that we get as many cases as possible to present to Washington legislators.  If you make a second appeal, you should note that there is an automatic input link on our website for submitting the stories and should ask people to use that link.  By using,, people will be automatically directed to a form where they can select their own level of anonymity and the testimonial will arrive to us in a ready to use/submit format.  We can still accept testimonials via email but the link bypasses many of the sensitive issues people coming forward might have (name, contact info. etc.).

Thanks again for your support and interest in this issue and in ACA.

Marylouise Serrato

Executive Director

This is useful information.  Now there are two ways for you to tell your story:

  • Go to, where you can type something in directly on the webpage.  (Better yet, write it on your computer, then cut/paste it into the box on the webpage).
  • Alternatively, you can email your story to

Please do this. Tell your story. (Especially you, the guy who called me from London last night, an ordinary American with not a lot of money, living a perfectly ordinary life working and paying taxes in Britain, who will now lose the equivalent of a year’s university tuition for his kids to the IRS simply for some paperwork mistakes).

ACA is comprised of Americans living abroad who are keenly aware of the problems faced by ordinary, law-abiding U.S. citizens living ordinary lives, then finding to their utter horror that the IRS perceives them as criminals and treats them accordingly.

The average Member of Congress is probably oblivious to what the IRS is doing. The average Member of Congress may or may not care, and may or may not do anything. But at least they need to hear from us.

Americans Living Abroad Voluntary Disclosure