Sign Up

Why sign in to the Community?

  • Submit a question
  • Check your notifications
or and start working on your taxes
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
marloviisa
New Member

A foreign bank where I have a small account wants my ss# and info about my assets in here USA. Do I have to comply?

There are no more details. I have never taken money from US to that account or from that account to my US accounts. I am wondering if it is safe to give my social sec.#?
The country is Finland.
1 Best answer

Accepted Solutions
GeoffreyG
New Member

A foreign bank where I have a small account wants my ss# and info about my assets in here USA. Do I have to comply?

You have an excellent question here.  The answer to it is yes; your bank in Finland has a legal right to ask for your United States Social Security Number (SSN).  And, in fact, under current US law, they are required and compelled to do so . . . or they risk losing their banking privileges in the Unites States, and can be subject to legal action by the US Treasury Department.  If you don't provide your SSN to the Finnish bank, they will probably have to close your account and send your deposit money back to you. 

It actually doesn't matter (from a legal compliance perspective) whether you have ever moved money from a US account to or from this Finnish bank.  What does matter is that you are either a US citizen or permanent resident with an interest in a "foreign financial asset" or account.  The United States, both within the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as well as the broader Treasury Department, have become much more aggressive in enforcing these foreign account reporting rules in recent years.

They've even taken the steps of forcibly "enlisting" the help of foreign banks and financial institutions in the effort to track foreign financial assets of US citizens and residents.  What you are experiencing with your bank in Finland is almost certainly a small part of this larger effort.  Basically, your Finnish bank has no reasonable choice but to collect your SSN (and use it to fill out their own compliance reports with the US Treasury Department) or to close your account as the alternative.

Aside from the bank's perspective on compliance, and the matter of providing your SSN (which should be as safe as giving your SSN to a domestic US bank), here's what you need to know as an individual US taxpayer.

There are actually two separate United States disclosure forms that may be required for foreign bank account holders; each also has different reporting rules.

One is known as IRS Form 8938, and can be attached to the taxpayer's relevant yearly Form 1040 tax return.  The other is FinCen Form 114, which can only be filed via the internet.  The following Internal Revenue Service webpage describes them in detail, and provides their dollar value reporting levels:

https://www.irs.gov/businesses/comparison-of-form-8938-and-fbar-requirements

 

Form 8938 is included with TurboTax.  FinCen Form 114 is not included with TurboTax, as it must be filed over the internet by using a special tax document from the US Treasury Department.  You would need to access that reporting webpage separately, if your foreign financial assets total over the limit(s).  Note, however, that you can get to the FinCen reporting internet site through the above IRS link.

Thank you for asking this important question.


View solution in original post

2 Replies
GeoffreyG
New Member

A foreign bank where I have a small account wants my ss# and info about my assets in here USA. Do I have to comply?

You have an excellent question here.  The answer to it is yes; your bank in Finland has a legal right to ask for your United States Social Security Number (SSN).  And, in fact, under current US law, they are required and compelled to do so . . . or they risk losing their banking privileges in the Unites States, and can be subject to legal action by the US Treasury Department.  If you don't provide your SSN to the Finnish bank, they will probably have to close your account and send your deposit money back to you. 

It actually doesn't matter (from a legal compliance perspective) whether you have ever moved money from a US account to or from this Finnish bank.  What does matter is that you are either a US citizen or permanent resident with an interest in a "foreign financial asset" or account.  The United States, both within the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as well as the broader Treasury Department, have become much more aggressive in enforcing these foreign account reporting rules in recent years.

They've even taken the steps of forcibly "enlisting" the help of foreign banks and financial institutions in the effort to track foreign financial assets of US citizens and residents.  What you are experiencing with your bank in Finland is almost certainly a small part of this larger effort.  Basically, your Finnish bank has no reasonable choice but to collect your SSN (and use it to fill out their own compliance reports with the US Treasury Department) or to close your account as the alternative.

Aside from the bank's perspective on compliance, and the matter of providing your SSN (which should be as safe as giving your SSN to a domestic US bank), here's what you need to know as an individual US taxpayer.

There are actually two separate United States disclosure forms that may be required for foreign bank account holders; each also has different reporting rules.

One is known as IRS Form 8938, and can be attached to the taxpayer's relevant yearly Form 1040 tax return.  The other is FinCen Form 114, which can only be filed via the internet.  The following Internal Revenue Service webpage describes them in detail, and provides their dollar value reporting levels:

https://www.irs.gov/businesses/comparison-of-form-8938-and-fbar-requirements

 

Form 8938 is included with TurboTax.  FinCen Form 114 is not included with TurboTax, as it must be filed over the internet by using a special tax document from the US Treasury Department.  You would need to access that reporting webpage separately, if your foreign financial assets total over the limit(s).  Note, however, that you can get to the FinCen reporting internet site through the above IRS link.

Thank you for asking this important question.


View solution in original post

dev1234
New Member

A foreign bank where I have a small account wants my ss# and info about my assets in here USA. Do I have to comply?

Problem with this is third world countries where mendating to give SS number to the native bank as well as institution (or foreign tax authorities) to put US citizens and permanent resident at enormous risk of identity theft. In many third world countries; your personal and financial information could be easily circulated without consequences. In reality one become a marked individual not for victim of criminals and you have no effective legal protection in US as well as anywhere in the world. If what you are saying is true; in my opinion US government did not do a good job to guide treaty countries to efficiently and securly gather information. my other councern is the corruption and black market in third world countries. for example; if I am selling my foreign real estate; most proceed would be paid as soft money, dirty money, unaccounted money (whatever you call it). In the eyes of of US law it is a criminal act. On the other hand, would you and should you refuse to take fair market value of your own property and yet no one would believe that you behaved according to the law because of reality on the ground? There should be a way to protect the law abiding tax payers by US government as well as foreign government. 

Dynamic AdsDynamic Ads
Privacy Settings
v