Did you receive a notice from your Canadian or Australian bank asking you to complete an IRS Form such as a W-9 or W-8BEN?
If so, then it’s likely your bank has performed a review of its records and flagged your account as subject to additional reporting requirements to Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) or the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), who will in turn share your account information with the IRS.
As we mentioned in a previous article, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) requires Canadian and Australian financial institutions to flag accounts owned by United States Persons (which includes U.S. Citizens and residents).
To flag account holders for reporting under FATCA, Canadian and Australian banks are reviewing their records for indications of U.S. status, such as the following:
• US Identification such as a passport or driver license
• US place of birth
• US Address
• US Telephone number
• Standing instructions to transfer funds to a US account
• Power of attorney with a US address
If they find one or more of these items on your account record, then they will ask you to complete either a Form W-9 (to certify US status) or Form W-8BEN (to certify non-US status). In the case of TD Canada Trust, they are also providing a Form SCI-W8 that can be used to certify you are not a U.S. Person.
To help our clients comply with their FATCA reporting requirements, Gedeon Law & CPA prepared the following summary that will help you determine which form to complete:
If you ARE a U.S. Citizen or Green Card holder, then submit a Form W-9.
If you are NOT a U.S. Citizen or Green Card holder BUT you file a Form 1040 because you claim tax residency in the United States, then submit a Form W-9.
If you are NOT a U.S. Citizen or Green Card holder AND you file a Form 1040NR because you claim tax residency outside the U.S. , then submit a Form W-8BEN or SCI-W8.
The tax professionals at Gedeon Law & CPA are available to provide assistance with preparing these forms.