Dutch government asks banks to give American expats more time to deal with FATCA

Pedro Gonçalves
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Dutch government asks banks to give American expats more time to deal with FATCA

The Dutch government is urging banks to be accommodating towards American nationals who risk having their bank accounts closed because of US fiscal regulations as it calls on EU member states to campaign together for changes to American tax laws which are affecting thousands who have American nationality but no ties to the country.

Junior finance minister Menno Snel said was that "any American sanctions [against financial institutions] will only be considered in the summer of 2023" which gives time for matters to be sorted, and thus a case for banks to be more accommodating to their accidental American clients.

"There is agreement on this from the American and Dutch sides," he added,  according to DutchNews.nl. 

Any American sanctions [against financial institutions] will only be considered in the summer of 2023"

FATCA was passed in 2010 and forces banks wanting to operate in the US to report any assets held by American citizens overseas. While the measure is aimed at tax avoidance, it has created problems for many American expats and dual nationals who have been rejected by retail banks seeking to avoid hassle and risk.

Ton Daniels, from the Dutch banking association NVB, told the Financieele Dagblad banks are concerned that they will face repercussions if they do not comply and even be barred from doing business in the US.

An approximate 1,000 ‘accidental' Americans in the Netherlands have been told by their banks that they will lose their accounts unless they provide a US tax number before October 1

Snel said MPs the government does not share the banks' view that they could face tough sanctions for non-compliance and pointed out that under European law, banks are required to provide everyone living in the Netherlands with a basic bank account. "In the end it is up to the regulators to take action if rules on access to basic bank accounts are not met," he added.

The Dutch government has said it wants a European approach to dealing with FATCA. "The cabinet thinks a coordinated signal by Europe is the strongest approach, whereby other European countries would join the Netherlands and France," he told Parliament.

In the UK, a US-born British citizen has started a crowdfunding campaign to stop HMRC sharing her personal information with the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) under the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).

Banks in France have warned that they could be forced to close up to 40,000 accounts belonging to US citizens because of ongoing difficulties with the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).

 

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