The Internal Revenue Service recently overturned 90 years of United States foreign and tax policy by finalizing and codifying its efforts to report interest income earned at domestic banks for accounts held by nonresident aliens. While the IRS felt its need to collect the data and revenue outweighs concerns raised against the proposal, the rule change has broad ramifications in the areas of tax, commerce, international policy and law, and the war against transnational criminal organizations and terrorism. This article argues that the rule change has the potential to wreak havoc on a fragile economic recovery by leading to a steep loss of foreign bank deposits within the United States. The rule change will also foreseeably lead to the targeting and kidnapping of nonresident aliens by criminal gangs and drug cartels, who are likely to obtain financial information which could be utilized to target individuals for the purposes of kidnapping, extortion, ransom, and quite possibly, torture. Far from assisting the war on criminal gangs and drug cartels, the rule change will undermine it and likely subject the government of the United States to litigation in domestic courts through the Federal Tort Claims Act and Alien Tort Claims Act. Moreover, the rule change weakens the foreign policy commitment of the United States against torture, deteriorates the United States' general commitment in the fight against terrorism and drug cartels in the Mexican drug war, and generally weakens international law. For many economic, legal, and moral reasons, the article contends the IRS' rule change is the wrong policy choice.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/chad_marzen/20/