Overseas Americans Week (OAW) brings together AARO and its coalition partners each year for a five-day "door-knock" campaign in Washington to bring our issues personally to the attention of lawmakers, agencies and their staffs. Our traditional partners include American Citizens Abroad (www.americansabroad.org) and the Federation of American Women's Clubs Overseas (www.fawco.org). The first Overseas Americans Week was in May 2002.
The prime focuses over the years have remained the same, though immediate priorities change from year to year: ensuring that military and civilian overseas voters can vote using secure, efficient technology and know that their ballots will arrive in time to be counted; reducing the financial reporting burden on Americans living and working abroad; working to create an equitable tax system for overseas Americans and, more recently, to move from "citizenship based taxation" to "residence based taxation" in line with other industrialized countries around the world.
We have reacted swiftly in the face of new challenges like the creation of FATCA legislation in 2010, provisions to deny or refuse to renew passports for overseas Americans with outstanding fines or debts to the IRS, increasing numbers of financial institutions refusing service to Americans living abroad, the closing of IRS offices abroad, etc.
We promoted the creation in 2007 of the Americans Abroad Caucus. We have honored various legislators and policymakers for their work benefiting overseas Americans: Senator Jay Rockefeller and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (2002) for their ongoing support for the overseas community; Senators Chris Dodd and Mitch McConnell and Representatives Steny Hoyer and Bob Ney (2003) for crafting the Help America Vote Act; and United States Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson (2014) for her support for "fair tax treatment for the global American population".
See the sidebar for the most recent position paper on overall goals.
Voting, FATCA, taxation... so many questions! Need a quick answer?