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Finding a bank in us, for uk citizen!!!!

Finding a bank in us, for uk citizen!!!!

Old Jun 24th 2013, 12:20 am
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Default Finding a bank in us, for uk citizen!!!!

I am a uk citizen married to a us citizen and waiting on my green card but are having trouble opening a joint bank account without a ssn? Any tips?
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Old Jun 24th 2013, 1:22 am
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Default Re: Finding a bank in us, for uk citizen!!!!

Originally Posted by Southamptonjack View Post
I am a uk citizen married to a us citizen and waiting on my green card but are having trouble opening a joint bank account without a ssn? Any tips?
You do not need a SS# to open a bank account. Go in person to the bank. If the front line teller says you must have one, ask to speak to her supervisor. The Patriot Act says you must have a "unique identifier" and, for most US residents, that'd be a SS#... but your passport number will also suffice.

If the bank's policy is to not open an account without a SS#, go to another bank - and make sure you tell the manager of the first place that he is losing your business.

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Old Jun 24th 2013, 1:47 am
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Default Re: Finding a bank in us, for uk citizen!!!!

Originally Posted by Southamptonjack View Post
Any tips?
Yes. Make sure the account you're trying to open is non-interest-bearing. If it earns interest, then they need a SSN to report the interest. But a non-interest account should be fine to open without a SSN. If they still won't, then ask to see someone higher up at that branch/bank, or go to a different bank.

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Old Jun 24th 2013, 7:12 am
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Default Re: Finding a bank in us, for uk citizen!!!!

Hi,

I have a joint US bank account with my USC wife. We have had it for three years. My wife has a SSN and they used my passport number for me. We earn interest on it and we were excused for paying tax on the interest because we do not live there. Once we do, it will become taxable.

We use BoA.
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Old Jun 25th 2013, 7:32 am
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Default Re: Finding a bank in us, for uk citizen!!!!

My wife has an account with FirstBank in Colorado. As it was a current account, and therefore not interest bearing, the bank added me on as a joint account holder with no issues whatsoever. All I had to do was complete a form declaring that I was a non-resident and within a few days my bank card arrived.

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Old Jun 27th 2013, 6:00 pm
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Default Re: Finding a bank in us, for uk citizen!!!!

Same with us. My husband visited me over the holidays, and one of the things we did while he was here was start a new bank account together. As the USC, I had to be designated the primary accountholder, but everything went smoothly at Wells Fargo, where both the clerk and manager were fairly recent immigrants themselves. We used my SSN and his passport number.
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Old Jun 27th 2013, 6:53 pm
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Default Re: Finding a bank in us, for uk citizen!!!!

Originally Posted by Speedwell View Post
Same with us. My husband visited me over the holidays, and one of the things we did while he was here was start a new bank account together. As the USC, I had to be designated the primary accountholder, but everything went smoothly at Wells Fargo, where both the clerk and manager were fairly recent immigrants themselves. We used my SSN and his passport number.
It's good to see that Wells Fargo know how to get it done!
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Old Jun 28th 2013, 3:02 am
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Default Re: Finding a bank in us, for uk citizen!!!!

Originally Posted by Carlisle401 View Post
Hi,

I have a joint US bank account with my USC wife. We have had it for three years. My wife has a SSN and they used my passport number for me. We earn interest on it and we were excused for paying tax on the interest because we do not live there. Once we do, it will become taxable.

We use BoA.
The IRS doesn't excuse Americans from paying taxes on interest just because they don't live in the US. I suspect the bank would issue a 1099-INT to your wife (if they have her address) and report it to the IRS if the amount of interest exceeds $10 (a 1099-INT is not issued or reported to the IRS for less than $10). With interest rates so low for the last three years (especially the from the big banks), a 1099-INT may not have been issued.

Last edited by Michael; Jun 28th 2013 at 3:07 am.
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Old Jun 28th 2013, 3:21 am
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Default Re: Finding a bank in us, for uk citizen!!!!

i never thought of asking that question here, i am going to get onto that
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Old Jun 28th 2013, 5:50 am
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Default Re: Finding a bank in us, for uk citizen!!!!

Originally Posted by Michael View Post
The IRS doesn't excuse Americans from paying taxes on interest just because they don't live in the US. I suspect the bank would issue a 1099-INT to your wife (if they have her address) and report it to the IRS if the amount of interest exceeds $10 (a 1099-INT is not issued or reported to the IRS for less than $10). With interest rates so low for the last three years (especially the from the big banks), a 1099-INT may not have been issued.
Our bank sent the form to us here in the UK, we filled it out and a few weeks later our accounts were credited with the tax previously paid.
I am only telling what happened to us.

The amounts were not great, we intend to move to USA soon, so this will have to be reversed once we get there.
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Old Jun 28th 2013, 8:28 am
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Default Re: Finding a bank in us, for uk citizen!!!!

Originally Posted by Carlisle401 View Post
Our bank sent the form to us here in the UK, we filled it out and a few weeks later our accounts were credited with the tax previously paid.
I am only telling what happened to us.

The amounts were not great, we intend to move to USA soon, so this will have to be reversed once we get there.
Which form? If it was form 8-WBEN, that is the form for non resident aliens (you) to reduce or eliminate the required 30% withholdings when residing in a treaty country. Generally it is assumed that the treaty country will tax that income. Countries like the Cayman Island are not treaty countries and 30% is withheld on interest, dividends, capital gains, or any unearned income made in the US.

For USC's, there isn't any withholding on unearned income (unless requested by the USC or the USC doesn't pay taxes on that income and then the IRS may order withholdings) but the USC must report that income on their US tax return and claim foreign tax credits to offset any US tax owed. It generally takes the IRS about 3 years (that is when the computer compares tax returns to IRS reported income) to determine that US unearned income is not reported and if the amount is small, they may likely ignore it instead of placing an order of withholding.

Last edited by Michael; Jun 28th 2013 at 9:07 am.
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Old Jun 28th 2013, 9:01 am
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Default Re: Finding a bank in us, for uk citizen!!!!

Originally Posted by Michael View Post
Which form? If it was form 8-WBEN, that is the form for non resident aliens (you) to reduce or eliminate the required 30% withholdings when residing in a treaty country. Generally it is assumed that the treaty country will tax that income. Countries like the Cayman Island are not treaty countries and 30% is withheld on interest, dividends, capital gains, or any unearned income made in the US.

For USC's, there isn't any withholding on unearned income (unless requested by the USC or the USC doesn't pay taxes on that income and then the IRS may order withholdings) but the USC must report that income on their US tax return and claim foreign tax credits to offset any US tax owed.
The amount is not that great. I will be paying US tax from next year, but will inform the bank in August to say that I am a resident, Mrs C doesn't earn much, so I don't see a problem. I pay tax today to Norway and that is high.
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Old Jun 28th 2013, 9:15 am
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Default Re: Finding a bank in us, for uk citizen!!!!

Originally Posted by Carlisle401 View Post
The amount is not that great. I will be paying US tax from next year, but will inform the bank in August to say that I am a resident, Mrs C doesn't earn much, so I don't see a problem. I pay tax today to Norway and that is high.
If her income is below the threshold for filing a US tax return, then there isn't any problem. If there is a problem, she could always file an amended return and use half the tax credits paid for her half of the interest income to offset any US taxes owed. However since the amount is small, the IRS generally doesn't bother.

Once you become a LPR, taxes will not be withheld on unearned income just like a USC and you and your wife will get a joint 1099-INT at year end.

There is an foreign earned income exclusion of $93,000 for USCs living in s foreign country but no exclusion for unearned income. However, foreign tax credits above $93,000 earned income also can be used to offset any US taxes owed. On unearned income, foreign tax credits are immediately used to offset US taxes. However even through there is the exclusion and foreign tax credits, a USC still must file a US tax return if above the threshold level to file a return. In most cases, no US tax is owed on any income if living in a high tax country.

Last edited by Michael; Jun 28th 2013 at 9:38 am.
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Old Jun 28th 2013, 9:46 am
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Default Re: Finding a bank in us, for uk citizen!!!!

Originally Posted by Michael View Post
If her income is below the threshold for filing a US tax return, then there isn't any problem. If there is a problem, she could always file an amended return and use half the tax credits paid for her half of the interest income to offset any US taxes owed. However since the amount is small, the IRS generally doesn't bother.

Once you become a LPR, taxes will not be withheld on unearned income just like a USC and you and your wife will get a joint 1099-INT at year end.

There is an foreign earned income exclusion of $93,000 for USCs living in s foreign country but no exclusion for unearned income. However, foreign tax credits above $93,000 earned income also can be used to offset any US taxes owed. On unearned income, foreign tax credits are immediately used to offset US taxes. However even through there is the exclusion and foreign tax credits, a USC still must file a US tax return if above the threshold level to file a return. In most cases, no US tax is owed on any income if living in a high tax country.
Thanks for the info. She is well below the threshold. It shouldn't be a problem.
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Old Jul 1st 2013, 12:07 pm
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Default Re: Finding a bank in us, for uk citizen!!!!

I'm a UK citizen and I opened a Bank of America account. I just walked into the bank with my UK passport and a couple of US utility bills. Account was opened in about 10 minutes. No problems.

Later that day it was actually harder for me to get a library card!
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