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FATCA compliance letter

FATCA compliance letter

Old Jul 7th 2016, 1:59 am
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Default FATCA compliance letter

Hmm, so yesterday I got a letter from the bank (a Canadian bank) asking me if I'm a US person for tax purposes.

Apparently I gave them "US related information" at some point and they are required to act on it.

Buggered if I know what that was.

I think it's probably more to do with the fact I converted all my money into USD because I was scared by Brexit and they seem to think that is suspicious.

But anyway, remember to file your FBARs and tax returns I guess, because if you've got a foreign bank account in a country with a FATCA agreement they do check up on you.

What I find deeply ironic is that this form asks me for my SSN and I've been trying to give it to them for years for a variety of reasons and they keep saying they have no way of inputting it. But now they're demanding that I give it to them, so the CRA can look me up with the IRS under the tax treaty.

Last edited by Steve_; Jul 7th 2016 at 2:01 am.
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Old Jul 7th 2016, 12:06 pm
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Default Re: FATCA compliance letter

I have similar frustrating issues with my two Isle of Man bank accounts. They keep sending me letters along the lines of "we have reason to believe you might have a connection to the United States. This might be because you have a U.S. address...." (Blah blah blah.) I send back the W9 duly filled in, only for them to send me the same bulky package again a couple of months later. I've now sent it to them three times, I received yet another letter last week.

Needless to say, they already know I'm a U.S. person from ten years back, when I opened the accounts.

I have a feeling either the banks are very inefficient, maybe losing my mail when it reaches them, or the USPS routinely seizes mail addressed to offshore banks and diverts it to the Treasury financial crime people so it never reaches my bank. In the past, I've sent them instructions by mail and they've never received my letters.
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Old Jul 7th 2016, 5:59 pm
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Default Re: FATCA compliance letter

I guess it's that time of year. I'm on my second letter in the last 6 months. What made me laugh is this time I was told I had 45 days from the date of the letter to reply. It took 3 weeks get here from the UK!!

They still demand I drop the documents off at my local branch, so I once asked them on the phone if they will pay for the flights
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Old Jul 7th 2016, 7:59 pm
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Default Re: FATCA compliance letter

Originally Posted by LonelyCloud View Post
They still demand I drop the documents off at my local branch, so I once asked them on the phone if they will pay for the flights
This wouldn't be World's Local Bank by any chance?

HSBC Canada was happy with scanned documents, my Finnish bank had an online form (imagine that!), but HSBC UK demanded I drop off the documents in person...
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Old Jul 7th 2016, 8:33 pm
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Default Re: FATCA compliance letter

It is indeed.

Funny enough I wasn't comfortable sending my passport via the mail service, which they actually suggested over the phone...
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Old Jul 8th 2016, 12:04 am
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Default Re: FATCA compliance letter

It all seems very random. Hubby had a couple of forms to fill in last year from First Direct on the basis of 'you appear to have a US connection'*; I have accounts there too, including a joint account with him, but have had nothing. HSBC UK haven't sent us anything either.

*This is not Sherlock Holmesian level detecting - they, like all our financial account holders, have our US address.
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Old Jul 8th 2016, 1:50 am
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Default Re: FATCA compliance letter

One of my relatives who is a US citizen and lived in the US for many years has an account with RBS and they still haven't figured out she's American. I mean, she had a US address on the account for over a decade.

But anyway I checked with the bank and unfortunately Canada Post is about to go on strike so now they want me to go to a branch in person to make the declaration. Should I go in waving a flag or something? Marching band?

The "US related information" on my account apparently is that one of the contact numbers I gave them was my American cellphone number. Which they've had for years so why they've suddenly decided to send this out to me I dunno.

Hmm... just reading through this FATCA implementation law they told me to have a look at (and what a light read it is): Canada–United States Enhanced Tax Information Exchange Agreement Implementation Act It says Canada will issue rules for banks saying they have to collect various bits of information, so this rule has obviously been implemented recently and the banks are now sorting through all their records.

(b) Canada commits to establish, by January 1, 2017, for reporting with respect to 2017 and subsequent years, rules requiring Reporting Canadian Financial Institutions to obtain the U.S. TIN of each Specified U.S. Person as required pursuant to subparagraph 2(a)(1) of Article 2 of this Agreement.
So now they're required to collect SSNs.

And... Canada decided to make it all reciprocal so:

(a) The United States commits to establish, by January 1, 2017, for reporting with respect to 2017 and subsequent years, rules requiring Reporting U.S. Financial Institutions to obtain and report the Canadian TIN of each Account Holder of a Canadian Reportable Account as required pursuant to subparagraph 2(b)(1) of Article 2 of this Agreement;
So now US banks have to collect Canadian SINs as well.

Oh joy, I'm sure that won't cause me another problem.
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Old Jul 8th 2016, 2:01 am
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Default Re: FATCA compliance letter

Originally Posted by robin1234 View Post
I have a feeling either the banks are very inefficient, maybe losing my mail when it reaches them, or the USPS routinely seizes mail addressed to offshore banks and diverts it to the Treasury financial crime people so it never reaches my bank. In the past, I've sent them instructions by mail and they've never received my letters.
They'd need a warrant to open your mail, but all mail is scanned by USPS and the FBI can see the front of it. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/04/us...nail-mail.html

Possibly the person at the post office that your mail goes through has no clue where the Isle of Man is and it's all ending up being sent to the wrong place? I had that happen once with a letter I sent to Jersey, came back with "address does not exist" stamped on it and I had to go to the post office and explain to them that Jersey is an island off the coast of France. Hence the reason it said "British Isles" under "Jersey".

My own personal favourite was when I took a parcel in addressed to the United Kingdom and the Canada Post clerk looked up the rate for England and the girl standing next to him said: "No, he said United Kingdom, not England."
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Old Jul 8th 2016, 4:10 pm
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Default Re: FATCA compliance letter

Originally Posted by Steve_ View Post
They'd need a warrant to open your mail, but all mail is scanned by USPS and the FBI can see the front of it. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/04/us...nail-mail.html

Possibly the person at the post office that your mail goes through has no clue where the Isle of Man is and it's all ending up being sent to the wrong place? I had that happen once with a letter I sent to Jersey, came back with "address does not exist" stamped on it and I had to go to the post office and explain to them that Jersey is an island off the coast of France. Hence the reason it said "British Isles" under "Jersey".

My own personal favourite was when I took a parcel in addressed to the United Kingdom and the Canada Post clerk looked up the rate for England and the girl standing next to him said: "No, he said United Kingdom, not England."
I've often been surprised, they're always pretty aware of the Isle of Man. After all, it's there in their alphabetic listing of all foreign countries. I once needed to get a letter there in two days, cost $60, but the desk clerk was immediately on it just by me saying "Isle of Man." Jersey may be more of a challenge, since there's a Jersey here too....
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Old Jul 8th 2016, 8:54 pm
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Default Re: FATCA compliance letter

Originally Posted by kodokan View Post
It all seems very random. Hubby had a couple of forms to fill in last year from First Direct on the basis of 'you appear to have a US connection'*; I have accounts there too, including a joint account with him, but have had nothing. HSBC UK haven't sent us anything either.

*This is not Sherlock Holmesian level detecting - they, like all our financial account holders, have our US address.
Maybe they only send these letters to "rich" people.
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Old Jul 8th 2016, 10:54 pm
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Default Re: FATCA compliance letter

Originally Posted by robin1234 View Post
I've often been surprised, they're always pretty aware of the Isle of Man. After all, it's there in their alphabetic listing of all foreign countries. I once needed to get a letter there in two days, cost $60, but the desk clerk was immediately on it just by me saying "Isle of Man." Jersey may be more of a challenge, since there's a Jersey here too....
My experience is that using the correct full address for Isle of Man postings, using 'British Isles' around 50% of the time the item ended up heading for the British Virgin Islands. Once I'd had a few pieces of mail suffer that I switched to 'United Kingdom' instead. Incorrect it may be but it gets the mail there!
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Old Jul 8th 2016, 10:58 pm
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Default Re: FATCA compliance letter

Originally Posted by celticgrid View Post
My experience is that using the correct full address for Isle of Man postings, using 'British Isles' around 50% of the time the item ended up heading for the British Virgin Islands. Once I'd had a few pieces of mail suffer that I switched to 'United Kingdom' instead. Incorrect it may be but it gets the mail there!
I used to live in Vacouver, WA and people still insisted on addessing mail to Vancouver, BC. I think I still got most of my mail. I suppose it was on the same continent.
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Old Jul 9th 2016, 3:06 am
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Default Re: FATCA compliance letter

Originally Posted by mrken30 View Post
Maybe they only send these letters to "rich" people.
Doubt it, based on us - we only keep around £1k in the UK accounts. And it's all in non-interest bearing checking accounts, so they know we can't be hiding that UK income from the IRS.
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Old Aug 1st 2016, 9:48 pm
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Default Re: FATCA compliance letter

Originally Posted by LonelyCloud View Post
I guess it's that time of year. I'm on my second letter in the last 6 months. What made me laugh is this time I was told I had 45 days from the date of the letter to reply. It took 3 weeks get here from the UK!!

They still demand I drop the documents off at my local branch, so I once asked them on the phone if they will pay for the flights
Interesting. We were in the UK two weeks ago and decided to ask the local Barclays to re-issue my wife's atm card as though the current one is still valid, it's nearing expiry and it was the devils own job getting her current one. Phone calls, notarized copies of passports etc. They duly obliged and on the day it arrived here, there was a second letter requesting W-9 & self certification. Coincidence? or do they have the systems set up to trigger the letters based upon some action...eg: renewing an expired atm card.
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Old Aug 1st 2016, 10:02 pm
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Default Re: FATCA compliance letter

What I find interesting is that I have the same US cellphone number on my UK account, and for various security purposes said bank is always try to text me, so I tell them, you can't, it's a US number. Not like once or twice, many times. Yet they still haven't spat out a FATCA compliance letter and the agreement with the UK is very similar to the agreement with the US.
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