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mesquite

Thai Banks And The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (Facta)

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As I understand it, effective June 30 of next year, all non-US banks dealing with the US must be on board with FACTA. If not, the US will withhold 30% of any transfer from the US to that bank. I have a bank in Europe that complies with FACTA and I had to fill out some US IRS forms as part of this.

I have received no information about FACTA from my Thai banks. Does anyone know if they are on board with this?

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The latest info I have been able to find goes back to April this year in an article in the Nation:

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/opinion/Thai-finance-faces-major-hurdles-uncertainty-ahead-30180121.html

"Few banks have dedicated adequate resources to the problem to-date. The Bank of Thailand is aware of this issue and has indicated that most Thai banks will have to comply with FATCA".

I don't think a lot of progress has been made so far. What I am doing is checking with the Thai branch of Citi in Bangkok to see if they will be complying. I would think they will be since they are a US-based bank. I have already set up an account with Citi in the US that can be linked to an account with Citi in Thailand.

BofA also has a branch in BKK.

If the Citi/BofA branches in Thailand are not going to comply be the June 2013 deadline, it's going to be messy, but I think they will get it sorted out.

The people that are really going to be in a world of hurt are the US Citizens who have not been reporting their foreign bank accounts and should have been. Eventually this FATCA law will flush them all out.

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I have a US brokerage account as my main reserve. I fill in a W8 for non taxable status.

If I want to send money to my BKK bank acct as a non-American will this affect me?

Thanks

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The people that are really going to be in a world of hurt are the US Citizens who have not been reporting their foreign bank accounts and should have been. Eventually this FATCA law will flush them all out.

I think that was the general idea. whistling.gif

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The people that are really going to be in a world of hurt are the US Citizens who have not been reporting their foreign bank accounts and should have been. Eventually this FATCA law will flush them all out.

I think that was the general idea. whistling.gif

Not sure about that - I read in another thread on the forum that a US person can't relinquish US citizenship by choice.

Claiming money from people who don't live in the US and don't have any economical ties to the US is just wrong.

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Claiming money from people who don't live in the US and don't have any economical ties to the US is just wrong.

Indeed. But since when did governments ever care about wrong and right?

And of course the US government isn't targeting foreign people here, it is targeting foreign banks. The account holders are merely casualties of war.

Presumably Uncle Sam finds it easier to get others to find out what his citizens are up to than to do it himself.

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Of course they are after people! Money launderers, terrorists, drug dealers, tax evaders, and otherwise totally innocent Americans who fail to file FBARs.

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If not, the US will withhold 30% of any transfer from the US to that bank

Naah. It would only be withholding on certain income, or proceeds from income-producing property, sent directly to one's foreign account. Wiring or ACHing money from your US account to your Thai account isn't subject to FACTA withholding.

And I'm sure all Thai banks will be on-board, as the reporting research requirement isn't too onerous. And, since the de minimis account value begins above $50,000, this narrows considerably how many accounts are subject to this scrutiny and reporting. They're also given a lot of leeway for existing accounts (no need to poll for a Yankee connection, for example). And new accounts may just require a questionaire to establish a US connection. So, yeah, the banks do have to put some resource into identifying a US connection -- and provide "due diligence" in their research and reporting. But, certainly not too difficult.

Now, if someone lies on the questionaire, not the bank's fault. And if someone refuses to answer the questionare (a "recalcitrant" in FATCA speak), the bank just doesn't open the account (or closes the existing one).

Anyway, hard to get too worked up about FATCA.

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The people that are really going to be in a world of hurt are the US Citizens who have not been reporting their foreign bank accounts and should have been. Eventually this FATCA law will flush them all out.

Not with the line drawn at $50,000 (an aggregate of all your accounts in the same bank). Yes, above this amount, the bank will need to report to the IRS your earnings. So, yeah, hard to evade taxes with your Thai bank sending in a 1099 (or equivalent). But for most of us with well-below $50k in our Thai bank, nothing will change.

I wonder if they'll raise the FBAR threshhold from $10k to $50K? Makes sense, right? Thus, don't expect any change.

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They're also given a lot of leeway for existing accounts (no need to poll for a Yankee connection, for example).

Would you clarify the above statement?

Tnx for your astute comments.

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whistling.gif Well we have...or at least had....one or two farangs working for Bangkok bank that often read this forum topic as I recall.

They were from the U.K. as I recall.

Maybe we can get a comment from at least one of them for U.S. Bangkok Bank account holders that are retired in Bangkok and maintain a Thai bank account as required by Thai immigration?

How will this law affect U.S. retirees in Bangkok?

I already file reports on my 800K Bangkok Bank retirement account so I'm not to worried about that part.

But is Bangkok Bank aware of these new U.S. government reporting requirements?

Will Bangkok Bank be compliant by June 2913?

whistling.gif

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One thing I'm confused about. For those of us U.S. nationals with EXISTING Thai bank accounts, are we supposed to provide the Thai banks with more information about ourselves so they can comply with this or should they be asking us to come in about that? I think many of us including me are concerned that some of our accounts will just be closed without warning.

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The people that are really going to be in a world of hurt are the US Citizens who have not been reporting their foreign bank accounts and should have been. Eventually this FATCA law will flush them all out.

I think that was the general idea. whistling.gif

Not sure about that - I read in another thread on the forum that a US person can't relinquish US citizenship by choice.

Claiming money from people who don't live in the US and don't have any economical ties to the US is just wrong.

just for the record: a U.S. person is not a U.S. citizen. being resident in the U.S. can make even a tourist liable to pay income tax and thus "converting" him/her into a U.S. person. income originating in the U.S. can be taxed in various specific cases depending on the source and whether the taxed person is resident in a jurisdiction which has not signed a double tax agreement with the U.S. the same applies to offshore corporations.

the OP's claim that a witholding tax can and will be levied on any transfer is incorrect.

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One thing I'm confused about. For those of us U.S. nationals with EXISTING Thai bank accounts, are we supposed to provide the Thai banks with more information about ourselves so they can comply with this or should they be asking us to come in about that? I think many of us including me are concerned that some of our accounts will just be closed without warning.

From everything I've read (and FATCA is still in the shaking-out process, so expect more changes), information used in opening -- and maintaining -- existing accounts (i.e., accounts opened *before* the bank enters into agreement with the US) will be the only information banks need to process. They will NOT be required to gather more information from all/foreign existing account holders.

The following link is informative, being a 'model intergovermental agreement' that probably resembles something that will occur with Thailand.

http://www.treasury....nreciprocal.pdf

The section on gathering info on preexisting accounts is as follows:

Review Procedures for Preexisting Individual Accounts With a Balance or

Value as of December 31, 2013, that Exceeds $50,000 ($250,000 for a Cash

Value Insurance Contract or Annuity Contract), But Does Not Exceed

$1,000,000 (“Lower Value Accounts”)

1. Electronic Record Search. The Reporting [FATCA Partner] Financial

Institution must review electronically searchable data maintained by the

Reporting [FATCA Partner] Financial Institution for any of the following U.S.

indicia:

a) Identification of the account holder as a U.S. citizen or resident;

b )Unambiguous indication of a U.S. place of birth;

c) Current U.S. mailing or residence address (including a U.S.

post office box or U.S. “in-care-of” address);

d) Current U.S. telephone number;

e) Standing instructions to transfer funds to an account maintained

in the United States;

f) Currently effective power of attorney or signatory authority

granted to a person with a U.S. address; or

g) An “in-care-of” or “hold mail” address that is the sole address

the Reporting [FATCA Partner] Financial Institution has on file for the

account holder. In the case of a Preexisting Individual Account that is

a Lower Value Account, an “in-care-of” address outside the United

States will not be treated as a U.S. indicium.

So, no requirement to gather more data from existing account holders. Just do an electronic search on existing data and, yep, for me they'll find my US passport number (well, probably not, since they'll limit their searches to accounts/account aggregates that had $50,000 or more at the end of the year).

Opening a new account? Well, expect some kind of survey to help identify whether or not you're a "specified US person."

New Individual Accounts.

With respect to New Individual Accounts [over $50,000], the Reporting

[FATCA Partner] Financial Institution must obtain a self-certification which may be

part of the account opening documentation, that allows the Reporting [FATCA

Partner] Financial Institution to determine whether the account holder is resident in

the United States for tax purposes (for this purpose, a U.S. citizen is considered to be

resident in the United States for tax purposes, even if the account holder is also a tax

resident of another country) and confirm the reasonableness of such self-certification

based on the information obtained by the Reporting [FATCA Partner] Financial

Institution in connection with the opening of the account, including any

documentation collected pursuant to AML/KYC Procedures.

C. If the self-certification establishes that the account holder is resident in the

United States for tax purposes, the Reporting [FATCA Partner] Financial Institution

must treat the account as a U.S. Reportable Account and obtain a self-certification that

includes the account holder’s U.S. TIN (which may be an IRS Form W-9 or other

similar agreed form).

I seriously doubt Thai banks will be closing any Yankee accounts, or preventing opening of new ones, as such accounts, at above $50k, certainly aren't nuisance accounts. And banks such as Bangkok Bank, with its New York presence, will necessarily need to dance the FATCA shuffle.

JSixpack -- did this answer your question?

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tea party, stamp act...

early US freedom fighters would turn over in their grave if they knew about what the IRS is doing.

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One thing I'm confused about. For those of us U.S. nationals with EXISTING Thai bank accounts, are we supposed to provide the Thai banks with more information about ourselves so they can comply with this or should they be asking us to come in about that? I think many of us including me are concerned that some of our accounts will just be closed without warning.

From everything I've read (and FATCA is still in the shaking-out process, so expect more changes), information used in opening -- and maintaining -- existing accounts (i.e., accounts opened *before* the bank enters into agreement with the US) will be the only information banks need to process. They will NOT be required to gather more information from all/foreign existing account holders.

The following link is informative, being a 'model intergovermental agreement' that probably resembles something that will occur with Thailand.

http://www.treasury....nreciprocal.pdf

The section on gathering info on preexisting accounts is as follows:

Review Procedures for Preexisting Individual Accounts With a Balance or

Value as of December 31, 2013, that Exceeds $50,000 ($250,000 for a Cash

Value Insurance Contract or Annuity Contract), But Does Not Exceed

$1,000,000 (“Lower Value Accounts”)

1. Electronic Record Search. The Reporting [FATCA Partner] Financial

Institution must review electronically searchable data maintained by the

Reporting [FATCA Partner] Financial Institution for any of the following U.S.

indicia:

a) Identification of the account holder as a U.S. citizen or resident;

b )Unambiguous indication of a U.S. place of birth;

c) Current U.S. mailing or residence address (including a U.S.

post office box or U.S. “in-care-of” address);

d) Current U.S. telephone number;

e) Standing instructions to transfer funds to an account maintained

in the United States;

f) Currently effective power of attorney or signatory authority

granted to a person with a U.S. address; or

g) An “in-care-of” or “hold mail” address that is the sole address

the Reporting [FATCA Partner] Financial Institution has on file for the

account holder. In the case of a Preexisting Individual Account that is

a Lower Value Account, an “in-care-of” address outside the United

States will not be treated as a U.S. indicium.

So, no requirement to gather more data from existing account holders. Just do an electronic search on existing data and, yep, for me they'll find my US passport number (well, probably not, since they'll limit their searches to accounts/account aggregates that had $50,000 or more at the end of the year).

Opening a new account? Well, expect some kind of survey to help identify whether or not you're a "specified US person."

New Individual Accounts.

With respect to New Individual Accounts [over $50,000], the Reporting

[FATCA Partner] Financial Institution must obtain a self-certification which may be

part of the account opening documentation, that allows the Reporting [FATCA

Partner] Financial Institution to determine whether the account holder is resident in

the United States for tax purposes (for this purpose, a U.S. citizen is considered to be

resident in the United States for tax purposes, even if the account holder is also a tax

resident of another country) and confirm the reasonableness of such self-certification

based on the information obtained by the Reporting [FATCA Partner] Financial

Institution in connection with the opening of the account, including any

documentation collected pursuant to AML/KYC Procedures.

C. If the self-certification establishes that the account holder is resident in the

United States for tax purposes, the Reporting [FATCA Partner] Financial Institution

must treat the account as a U.S. Reportable Account and obtain a self-certification that

includes the account holder’s U.S. TIN (which may be an IRS Form W-9 or other

similar agreed form).

I seriously doubt Thai banks will be closing any Yankee accounts, or preventing opening of new ones, as such accounts, at above $50k, certainly aren't nuisance accounts. And banks such as Bangkok Bank, with its New York presence, will necessarily need to dance the FATCA shuffle.

JSixpack -- did this answer your question?

Excellent info! Very helpful, tnx.

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I have a US brokerage account as my main reserve. I fill in a W8 for non taxable status.

If I want to send money to my BKK bank acct as a non-American will this affect me?

Most likely, no.

Presumably you opened your BKK Bank account with no "indicia" of being a US person (no US address, no US phone number, etc.). But even if BKK Bank flagged your account as indicating a "US person," they will accept your W8 as proof otherwise, and will not need to label this a "US reportable account."

This assumes BKK Bank signs-up as a participating FFI (which certainly they will). Otherwise, yes, you'll be subject to 30% withholding (which you can get back later, after much laborious paperwork -- but FATCA trumps tax treaty laws, so their 30% withholding rules).

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Here's a bit of a FATCA update... interesting direction the debate is turning...

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Obama administration may soon ask Congress for the power to require more disclosure by U.S. banks of information about foreign clients' accounts to those clients' home governments, as part of a crackdown on tax evasion, sources said on Monday.

In a move facing resistance from some in the U.S. banking industry, two tax industry sources said the administration was considering asking Congress in an upcoming White House budget proposal for the authority to require more disclosure from U.S. banks....

http://www.thaivisa....p/#entry6084721

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If not, the US will withhold 30% of any transfer from the US to that bank

Naah. It would only be withholding on certain income, or proceeds from income-producing property, sent directly to one's foreign account. Wiring or ACHing money from your US account to your Thai account isn't subject to FACTA withholding.

And I'm sure all Thai banks will be on-board, as the reporting research requirement isn't too onerous. And, since the de minimis account value begins above $50,000, this narrows considerably how many accounts are subject to this scrutiny and reporting. They're also given a lot of leeway for existing accounts (no need to poll for a Yankee connection, for example). And new accounts may just require a questionaire to establish a US connection. So, yeah, the banks do have to put some resource into identifying a US connection -- and provide "due diligence" in their research and reporting. But, certainly not too difficult.

Now, if someone lies on the questionaire, not the bank's fault. And if someone refuses to answer the questionare (a "recalcitrant" in FATCA speak), the bank just doesn't open the account (or closes the existing one).

Anyway, hard to get too worked up about FATCA.

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I cannot believe that so much incorrect and dangerous information is passed around so freely on this forum.

After the pass-throuigh provisions of FACTA are implemented, wiring or ACHing funds of any amount or type to a non-compliant Foreign Financial institution will certainly be subject to the 30% withholding. What makes you think otherwise?

Apparently you don't understand much about modern retail banking. There are two FACTA stages to consider: in stage one, FFIs are required to determine if new accounts hold any financial interest of any US person. May sound simple, but it's not. Let's say you are opening a joint account with your TGF or wife. Since the bank doesn't know if the threshold of the new account will ever pass the 50k mark, they must treat ALL account openings as (potentially) exceeding the threshold. SInce you are a US person, you must provide all the IRS-related information (like your SSN, for starters) on the new account opening paperwork. But wait, there's more. Since it's a joint account, you must fully disclose all the information about your TGF or wife. If she refuses (as she should --- this is a gross violation of banking privacy regulations enacted to protect Thai citizens). Now, imagine trying to train hundreds of new-account clerks to enforce these preposterous rules --- which are written and updated in English. Next, imagine trying to develop/enhance account-opening software that implements the provisions of an Act which is scheduled to go into effect before its provisions have been fully defined.

In stage two, a year later, each and every existing account must be subject to the same screening. There is no "leeway".

You should be both better informed and plenty worked up about FACTA. If you a a US person, it is going to make your banking experiences 100 times worse than they are now.

The IRS claims that FACTA will increase tax collections from foreign accounts by 45 billion every year. There are approximately 6 billion expats living abroad. If these numbers are correct, (and factoring in IRS historical record of success on implementing new programs) on average each and every expat has a hidden account somewhere worth about 25,000. Do you believe that? Neither do I.

The facts are that FACTA will collect far less than it costs in dollars, will impose Orwellian new levels of government intervention in the lives of every single citizen of every nation where US expats are found, and will make retail banking a nightmare for most of us, solely to accommodate the whims of Finra and the IRS.

Which is why there is a decent chance that FACTA will fail. Repealing it needs the support of informed expats everywhere. Don't go telling people not to worry. Educate yourself before sounding off: See these URLs:

http://www.accountingtoday.com/news/Rand-Paul-Introduces-Bill-Repeal-Parts-FATCA-66634-1.html

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2247615

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After the pass-throuigh provisions of FACTA are implemented, wiring or ACHing funds of any amount or type to a non-compliant Foreign Financial institution will certainly be subject to the 30% withholding. What makes you think otherwise?

First and foremost, it's highly unlikely that Thai banks -- at least the large ones -- will be non-compliant FFI's. Hard to tell if an IGA is in the works -- to preclude individual handshakes with the IRS -- but even if not, Thai banks will be participating with FATCA (so says both the Thai press -- and logic). And, as such, there will be *NO* 30% withholding by withholding agents in the US (And even if there were to be, i.e., the bank was non-compliant, it would only be on "withholdable payments," not a chunk of money wired or ACHed from your personal bank account.)

The FATCA provisions generally impose a 30% withholding tax on all “withholdable payments” made to a FFI unless such FFI satisfies certain reporting requirements. For these purposes, a withholdable payment includes any US source payments of interest, dividends, rents, compensation and other fixed or determinable annual or periodical (“FDAP”) gains, profits and income, as well as the gross proceeds from the sale or other disposition of property of a type which can produce interest

or dividends from US source.

The only scenario where an ACH or wire transfer might be in jeopardy (and where the "pass through" nomenclature comes into effect) is if the ACH/wire were sent to a Thai bank (again, I'm assuming Thai banks will participate in FATCA) and the account of the US person is labelled "recalcitrant." As such, the Thai bank can withhold 30% of that incoming amount. More likely, however, that Thai bank would have closed that account (or never opened it) if the US person had been uncooperative in providing information.

Thus, for sure, Bangkok Bank (with its presence in NY) will participate in FATCA. And, as the only avenue for ACH transfers -- and the fact that being recalcitrant makes no sense for me -- my ACH and SWIFT avenues won't be blocked by FATCA -- even if I were to have more than $50,000 in Bangkok Bank on Dec 31st.

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Apparently you don't understand much about modern retail banking.........Since the bank doesn't know if the threshold of the new account will ever pass the 50k mark, they must treat ALL account openings as (potentially) exceeding the threshold.

But, they probably won't do anything more than flag the account as "US person" upon showing your US passport with your application. Then, come Dec 31st, if your account(s) exceeds $50,000, you'll get a notice to please stop by and fill in some paperwork (with a reminder, if you don't, your account will be "recalcitrant," and thereby closed).

However, I'm sure the large majority of US flagged accounts won't exceed $50k, so no additional paperwork required -- if the banks wait until the $50k barrier to initiate any paperwork. Doesn't sound insurmountable to me.......

The IRS claims that FACTA will increase tax collections from foreign accounts by 45 billion every year. There are approximately 6 billion expats living abroad. If these numbers are correct, (and factoring in IRS historical record of success on implementing new programs) on average each and every expat has a hidden account somewhere worth about 25,000. Do you believe that? Neither do I.

FATCA is mainly after tax cheats that live in the US -- from whom the preponderance of lost collections occurs. That's why FATCA Form 8938, which you attach to your Form 1040, starts at $100k in foreign assets for married filing jointly, and living in the States. If living abroad, the cut-off doesn't start until $400k. Your math includes the wrong population.

If you a a US person, it is going to make your banking experiences 100 times worse than they are now.

Another math error.

Indeed, FATCA is a complex mess. Interestingly, however, the number of reciprocal IGAs being signed, or worked on, are multiplying rapidly. Others in the global economy are realizing they too just might collect more taxes from their cheating citizens. And, that the dual tax treaty they signed with the US decades ago, where "we agree to share tax-related information" was penned in, can be today more than just words.

And, it's now the US bankers with the greatest push-back, as they have to screen their clients for nationality -- whereby the Treasury will now share 1099 data with those countries having FATCA IGAs. But, this too doesn't seem to be that insurmountable....

Educate yourself before sounding off:

Good advice.

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JimGant said:

Indeed, FATCA is a complex mess. Interestingly, however, the number of reciprocal IGAs being signed, or worked on, are multiplying rapidly. Others in the global economy are realizing they too just might collect more taxes from their cheating citizens. And, that the dual tax treaty they signed with the US decades ago, where "we agree to share tax-related information" was penned in, can be today more than just words. And, it's now the US bankers with the greatest push-back, as they have to screen their clients for nationality -- whereby the Treasury will now share 1099 data with those countries having FATCA IGAs. But, this too doesn't seem to be that insurmountable....

CBinParadise repies with:

Jim, it looks like you have done some research --- the level of accuracy in this conversation has improved considerably. That's good. I will now stop the snarky remarks and concentrate on known facts.

The number of signed Reciprocal IGAs currently stands at 4: the UK, Italy, France, and Spain. However, implementation of these IGAs is stalled. Germany said it would be signing an IGA but that has stalled as well. Russia and China have both categorically stated that they will not participate. When FACTA was first annound, several other countries (possibly as many as 50) "expressed an intent" to go forward with FACTA compliance in one form or another, but as you know, an "expression of intent" is worth diddlysquat.

The fact is that the number of IGA is not multiplying, the whole FACTA+IGA processs is grinding to a halt at countless FFIs and Central Banks, with only 6 months to go before FFIs are supposed to start reporting new accounts opened by US citizens. It has begun to dawn on the rocket scientists at the IRS that if Model 1 (reciprical) IGAs were universally implemented, every bank in the USA would be required to report, to the Treasury, all accounts held by citizens of 190 separate nations.

JimGant said:

FATCA is mainly after tax cheats that live in the US -- from whom the preponderance of lost collections occurs. That's why FATCA Form 8938,

which you attach to your Form 1040, starts at $100k in foreign assets for married filing jointly, and living in the States. If living abroad,

the cut-off doesn't start until $400k. Your math includes the wrong population.

CBinParadise replied:

It is misleading to call 8938 a FACTA form. 8938 is the IRS' attempt to get Foreign Bank Account information directly from US citizens --- you are not required to file a 8938 if your foreign holdings are below certain thresholds at the end of the tax year. FACTA is an attempt by the IRS to extort information from FFIs by threatening them with witholdinds of 30% of all the FFI's US-source income (not just transfers made by US citizens). Just to be clear, Facta requires foreign financial institutions to identify their U.S. account holders and to disclose the account holders' names, TINs, addresses, and the accounts' balances, receipts, and withdrawals. There are no account-size thresholds that I could find while researching this reply. This is a lot more onerous than merely "flagging" accounts held by (or whose beneficial owners are) US persons.

But you're right, my math was off in my earlier posting. The total number of US citizens is about 315 million or about 100 million families. About 20% of them hold passports, which I will use as a proxy for the number of people who have foreign bank accounts. So let's suppose 20 million foreign accounts (I know, that is probably way too high --- but lowering it just strengthens my argument). Now, the IRS claims that FACTA will increase collections by 45 billion. That is the TAX on unreported INCOME on the balances of the accounts. Let's say that foreign accounts yield about 2.5% on average. So (tax rate) * (balance * yield) = 45 billion. Let's solve for balance = 45 billion /(tax rate * yield) So assuming a tax rate of 30% the IRS claims there is 6 trillion unreported dollars sitting in banks worldwide. Dividing by our population of foreign account holders we get an average balance of $300,000 that each american passport holder (wherever they live) is hiding in a foreign bank account. Do you think that's possible? Do you believe the IRS? Neither do I.

Jim, I don't have time to go back and address the remaining mistakes you and I have maade in this discussion. But I will say this: If you want good answers to important financial questions, don't go looking on TV.

CB

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