Thursday 17 October 2019

Dutch tax minister urges banks to be accommodating to ‘accidental’ Americans

Tax minister Menno Snel has urged Dutch banks to be accommodating towards American nationals who face having their bank accounts closed because of US fiscal regulations.

The banks are threatening to close the accounts of people with American nationality by the beginning of next year, unless they can furnish them with a US tax number.

But there are thousands of Dutch nationals in the Netherlands with American nationality who do not have a tax number because they have never lived in the country and may not even have realised they are also American.

The legislation, known as FATCA – Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act –  requires all US citizens to supply the government with information about any assets they hold abroad, including bank accounts, houses and more.

It also requires non-US banks with American clients to furnish the IRS with information about those holdings.

Although the IRS in the US has made some changes, ‘no complete solution’ has been found for the problem, Snel told MPs in a briefing. ‘Advances have been made, but I do not see a total solution,’ Snel said in answer to MPs questions.

An approximate 1,000 ‘accidental’ Americans in the Netherlands have been told by their banks that they will lose their accounts unless they comply.

Banks

Banks, Ton Daniels, of the Dutch banking association NVB told the Financieele Dagblad, are concerned that they will be removed from the ‘white list’ if they don’t comply and stopped from doing business in the US.

Snel, however, says the banks are being too hasty and that they will only be classed as non-compliant if they have not provided the information by 2023.

Rabobank and ABN Amro both say that closing accounts is not their preference but told the FD they can give no guarantees.

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