6. Will my financial institution be asking me if I was born in the U.S.?
A financial institution complying with the Agreement will not be required to ask its account holders about their place of birth.
If a financial institution, applying the due diligence rules of the Agreement to its accounts, discovers any records connected to the account that have an unambiguous indication of a U.S. place of birth, the financial institution may treat the account as a reportable account or follow up with the account holder to obtain documentation that shows the account holder is not a U.S. resident or U.S. citizen.
A recent posting to IBS from BC Doc (from around the same time the servers went down):
RBC Direct Investing: The US Persons Round-Up:
I was helping a family member open an on-line investment account with RBC Direct Investments today. I couldn’t help but notice the many different ways RBC DI is trying to identify so-called “US Persons.”
Here are the questions asked by the on-line application:
Are you a U.S. Citizen or a U.S. resident for tax purposes?
If you answer yes, the next prompt is:
To comply with regulations, you will be presented with a W9 form with your application package.
Enter your US Social Security Number (SSN).
If you answer no, the next question is:
How many countries are you a resident of for tax purposes?
You are then asked:
Country of residence for tax purposes.
Next up is:
Enter your City of birth.
Enter your Country of birth.
Next up is:
Are you, the co-applicant, a U.S. Citizen or a U.S. resident for tax purposes?
If you answer yes, you are prompted to enter your US Social Security Number (SSN).
You also get the statement, “To comply with regulations, you will be presented with a W9 form with your application package.”
If you answer no, the next prompt is:
How many countries is the co-applicant a resident of for tax purposes?
This is followed by:
Co-applicant’s country of residence for tax purposes.
Co-applicant’s city of birth.
Co-applicant’s country of birth
Are you married or do you have a common-law spouse?
Is your spouse the joint applicant?
I think we can consider this a sign of things to come from Canadian banks and investment firms in the coming months. Forewarned is forearmed.
One more thing. A W-8BEN for is a part of the package. RBC-DI requires completion of the W-8BEN form so that Canadian citizens are given the more favourable 15% tax withholding by the US on their dividends (versus the standard 30% I believe if a W-8BEN is not completed). New on the W-8BEN are two questions:
City of Birth
Country of Birth
I have banked with RBC-DI since 2007. Prior W-8BEN forms did not ask city and country of birth.
The net has been cast!
My questions for today:
Why is RBC DI asking for country of birth if this information is not required by CRA?
If this information is not required, is it illegal for RBC DI to ask for it?
The questions about city of birth and country of birth on the W-8BEN appear to have been added by RBC DI. I don’t see these questions on the official IRS version of the W-8BEN.
Again, if this information is not required, is it legal for RBC-DI to ask?