Strata corporations of townhouses and condominiums exist all over Canada to maintain and operate common interests of the owners of the individual units. Some of these strata corporations have dozens of members. It would not be uncommon for such corporations to have funds that may need to be invested in order to maintain buying power in an inflationary environment. But no more, if the following comment by Michael is true:
I’m on a board of directors for a non-profit corporation (condominium corporation). We are a Canadian corporation, Canadian-owned, and can only invest in GIC’s that are CDIC-covered. Our investment institution (our bank – as well as all other Canadian Banks as I am lead to understand) is requiring us to fill out form W-8BEN-E, which seems to make no sense whatsoever since it is impossible for us to have exposure to US withholding tax. On top of that, it appears (although the full requirements too confusing for me to understand on 1st reading) that I need to list condo owners who may fit one or more of the following requirements: US citizens, have substantial US holdings, spend a significant amount of time in the US, have substantial US dealings through their corporations, etc. In my position, I don’t believe that I can gather that information.
I don’t want to be part of this witch-hunt; but if I don’t cooperate we won’t be able to invest our money anywhere to maintain its value for the corporation.
Under Canadian Law, does the status of my condo corp exempt us from filling out this form (regardless of what the Banks may want)?
I wonder if Stephen Harper had this in mind when his government signed the IGA with the USA.
In any case, I encourage Michael to refuse to fill out the W-8BEN-E. Resistance is not futile.