Memo from UBS in regard to non-US person status

Hey posters!

I set up an account with Interactive Brokers and set up a standing order of 1k monthly from a UBS account into my IB account.

Now I received a letter/memo from UBS stating I have one of the following “US Indicia” under FATCA

  • US place of birth
  • standing order to an account in the US
  • US mailing or residence address
  • US phone number
  • an in care of address

This is true as I now have a newly set up standing order.
Then it says they need to update their documentation on file regarding my US or Non-US person status.

They then attached a W8ben for me to sign and return in addition to a “declaration of status as a non-US or US person” form.

I’m wondering if anyone got this memo after setting up a standing order to IB?
And why would they need a W8ben on file? I have no US products at UBS.

I guess I’m just a bit concerned about my status as a non-US person being compromised and the implications that come with it.

If anyone could put me at ease it would be appreciated.

Thank you!

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I think it’s just regular paperwork that is done automatically. I had to fill W8BEN with several banks, too as well as all the non-US person paperwork, sometimes even multiple times.

In my understanding the status of non-US person is based on objective criteria. If you were not born in the US, do not have US citizenship, do not have any green card, do not have any address there (or maybe do not even ever go there) and do not do any business there, it seems difficult for me to believe that this can cause any difficulty beyond filling up paperwork. But it’s just my feeling.

And for people who are Swiss citizens born in Switzerland, it is almost a no brainer for them and the paperwork is straightforward and just for their archives.

Maybe having a chat with your advisor can help put you at ease too. If you case is clear they will see it immediately (KYC…) and maybe it will help.

But if you have doubts because you have ties to the US in different ways, a tax advisor may be a better person to talk with.

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Thanks for the response. This was my understanding as well which is why confusion set in when receiving this memo.

I have zero ties to the US. All that has changed is that I now have a standing order to my IB account. I’m assuming this is the case for many moustashian posters.

But your IB account is technically “in the UK”, not US, no?

It doesn’t matter, even with IB UK, the account holder at Citi where you send your money is Interactive Brokers, United States.

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Yes, the same happened to me once I set up a standing order to IBKR.

I have no relations with the US in any other form whatsoever.

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I don’t think that’s correct. When booked at IBKR UK you normally deposit CHF on either a GB or CH account if I remember, but certainly not a US one. Who is behind is irrelevant.

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You deposit CHF at a CH IBAN at Citibank. But the account is in the name of IB US not IB UK. The account owner is:

Interactive Brokers LLC
One Pickwick Plaza
06830 Greenwich
United States

what probably triggered the FATCA workflow at UBS for mace21. You can check this in your standing order or account deposit screen in the client portal if you don’t believe it.

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This is indeed correct. The standing order is to that account owner. Still a weird workflow rule to me

I know that. What I am saying is that it shouldn’t have triggered it because for FATCA are only relevant standing instructions to transfer funds to an account maintained in the US. Whether a US company or individual holds the foreign account is irrelevant. Just wanted to point that out.

Ok well as long as my non-US status isn’t affected I’m happy :slight_smile:

Quick question with regards to the US-person standing. The initial plan for this year was to get an expat assignment for a position in Shanghai. However due to the current situation there is a freeze of this plan until further notice. However, there is now a possibility showing on the horizon to get a temporary assignment in the US.

Is there any recommendation from a tax/investment standpoint? If I go to the US with an L1 visa and not a green card will that mark me as a US person for life?

Just looking at all the potential benefits and down sites right now.

No. If you’re neither US citizen nor green card holder, you’ll be considered a US person only as long as you meet the substantial presence test for the calendar year: Substantial Presence Test | Internal Revenue Service. As I understand it, you may be considered a US person for a while after leaving the US but at most for an additional year (if you don’t reenter the US).

Thanks a lot that is already quite helpful

FATCA as the name indicates (= Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) has nothing to do with accounts maintained in the US, or US accounts. Accounts in the US are anyway within the reach of the US government so there is no need for an additional compliance act. FATCA is aimed at foreign accounts at foreign institutions (outside of the reach of the US government) where assets are held by US persons (because then they are obliged to pay taxes to the US government).

In the past, lots of US people where hiding assets in foreign accounts not paying taxes for those assets and that’s why we have FATCA now. Because banks pay high fines when not complying with FATCA, they monitor for potential transactions that may be an indication for a person to be a US person and if in doubt, they will have the person to fill and sign a new FATCA declaration. So, I think the UBS request was within reason.