LM has posed the following query to readers. It is another true life scenario in which the Canadian government and Canadian banks have put certain Canadian citizens at risk by promising to expose them to the US Federal government.
OK Brocker folks, I have a situation and need support /answers / information.
I invest with a Canadian FFI (for example, RBC-Dominion) and just got a W-8BEN from them that “has to be” filled out and signed; otherwise, they will no longer allow me to trade/invest with them. I spoke with my investment counselors associate (who knows my situation totally and has discussed much about FATCA with me) and told her I found it outrageous that I should be required to sign a US IRS form to say to my Cdn investment firm that I am not a US citizen. They (the FFI) got this exact same information from me back in 2013 via a “Substitute W-8BEN” when I transferred all my accounts there and I would be happy to sign an additional “Substitute W-8BEN” from them now. I’d even be willing to provide a copy of my CLN.
My recollection is that the IGA includes wording that allows Canadian FFIs to use their own equivalent of a W-8BEN (in this case, the “Substitute W-8BEN” with a page heading of XYZ Wealth Mgmt, ABCD Securities”) rather than the actual US form (which has, at the top “Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service”, so that any signature is “under penalty of perjury” to the US).
I don’t intend to perjure myself or in any way lie, but is it required, under Cdn law now, that I must sign a US legal document to prove that I am not a US citizen to my Canadian financial institution? I would hate to lose my investment advisor of many years but this has really angered me and I’m sure I am not the only one who will be getting this document to sign now that the FFIs are beginning to look more thoroughly at “established” accounts.
Any advice / information / links to the part of the IGA stating that FFIs are not required to use the US form / etc would be very greatly appreciated.