Banks street in Downtown Beirut, Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
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Some bankers have said that European states are expected to follow the example of the United States and ask their citizens abroad to disclose their bank accounts to European financial authorities in a bid to combat tax evasion.On the first of July of this year, Lebanon became one of the first countries in the world to fully comply with the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, which requires American citizens, including individuals who live outside the United States, to report their financial accounts held outside of the United States, and requires foreign financial institutions to give the Internal Revenue Service information about their U.S. clients.Bankers stressed that FATCA is not optional, because the price Lebanese banks would pay for failure to comply is too high and no one is willing to take this risk.Jammal said no bank was willing to challenge FATCA for the sake of few accounts.
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