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  • FIRST POST
    • blackfish
    • By blackfish 2nd Apr 16, 10:30 AM
    • 11Posts
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    blackfish
    Unexpected request to confirm tax residency - Halifax
    • #1
    • 2nd Apr 16, 10:30 AM
    Unexpected request to confirm tax residency - Halifax 2nd Apr 16 at 10:30 AM
    I have received a letter from Halifax: "Confirm where you are resident for tax purposes" plus a form to fill in and return: "Tax residency self-certification for individuals and sole traders".

    Letter purports to be from Halifax PO Box 548 Leeds LS1 1WU.

    The gist of the letter/form is that I need to tell them my "Country [or countries] of Residence for Tax Purposes" since 01-July-2014 (apparently some law of disclosure came into force then) so that they can share information between countries such that correct taxes are paid.

    Requested information is name, adresss, DOB, "TIN" (it says that means NI number for UK citizens) and countries of residence with from/to dates.

    They have not cited any of my (several) account numbers so I don't know which account(s) have triggered this [if it is genuine of course].

    Envelope for return of form is addressed to Tax Compliance Service Centre, PO Box 7082, Willenhall, WV1 9AD. It has a Business Reply Plus Licence Number RTTK-HSUA-XEAR


    Thing is, while I do have have current and savings accounts with Halifax and did open a new on-line savings account with them about a year ago (significant amount - pension lump-sum) there is nothing to suggest that I am other than life-long UK citizen (born here as were my parents and all of my grandparents) or that I have invested the money overseas.

    The letter says if I don't reply by 17-May-2016 they may need to pass my details to the appropriate tax authorities. There's a phone number 0345 850 9064 but I don't know whether that's genuine (can't see it on the Halifax website page for contacts).


    Any ideas what this is about? Suppose I need to go into a branch (and be told: "Yes, you just need to fill it in and post it") but thought I'd post here first to see whether I'm alone in this.
Page 12
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 2nd Apr 17, 2:34 PM
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    Pollycat
    Banks were supposed to request this for all new accounts starting a couple of years ago. Maybe this one didn't start when they should have, and are now scrambling to catch up on newer accounts where they failed to capture this information? Who knows.

    Look, I'm not defending this. I think it's all utter nonsense too. I'm just pointing out that the utter nonsense we're all seeing is a direct result of a) US tax laws, and b) the UK govt's subservient response to US demands that UK banks should enforce US domestic tax laws at that bank's own expense. Under the circumstances the banks are probably doing the best they can while avoiding huge costs that would invariably eventually fall on their customers (you, and me).
    Originally posted by EdSwippet
    If the banks - and it seems to be different financial institutions - hadn't gone about this in such a half-ars*ed manner maybe it wouldn't have created an 11 page thread.

    Reports of the main bank not being aware of these letters leading to suspicion of a scam, dubious quality of the print outs, different paper weights, not the usual bank paper stock from Lloyds all leading to suspicion.

    Very poor explanation in the letter received by my friend's daughter.
    I'm talking here about a 16 year old who was warned that if she didn't reply, they may pass her information to the tax authorities based on their current records.

    Words like 'we need you to' and 'you must'.
    And a reminder sent in January even though the original letter said she had until 21st March to respond. That's just pure harassment.

    All the letters are demanding in tone.

    I have been bombarded with these letters over the past few months. I gave in and went into my local Halifax where they assured me this was genuine and helped me complete as I found some questions confusing, ie I had no idea what a TIN is. Then I got yet another letter telling me they still needed more information from me as some information was missing or incomplete, but not telling me what information, and sending me yet another form to complete by 9/4/17

    I just rang the helpline frustrated and although he offered to help me complete the form I raised concerns about the whole procedure and Data Protection issues and that I didnt really want to send the form back.

    He then told me I could simply update the 'my profile' section on my online banking and then I wouldn't need to return the form, it only took me a couple of minutes to do this.

    Why don't they just give you this information in the letter and give you the option to do this rather than complete pages of paperwork, I am sure most people with online banking would choose this option.
    Originally posted by akh43
    Such a simple option. ^^^^

    So why did they make it so hard?
    • badmemory
    • By badmemory 2nd Apr 17, 5:12 PM
    • 581 Posts
    • 573 Thanks
    badmemory
    It's amazing that a whole year down the line (1st post 2/4/16) & they STILL can't get it right. Although at least now customer services seem to have heard about it, which is a significant improvement.
    • Gers
    • By Gers 2nd Apr 17, 5:26 PM
    • 5,697 Posts
    • 32,893 Thanks
    Gers
    Update after I sent my letter back to Lloyds -

    They've updated my online current account details to show United Kingdom as country of residence for tax purposes and populated my National Insurance number.

    Wouldn't it have been a lot easier just to ask me to do this originally?
    Originally posted by uknick

    I don't have any of that information showing on my Lloyds profile or current account page.
    • badmemory
    • By badmemory 2nd Apr 17, 5:33 PM
    • 581 Posts
    • 573 Thanks
    badmemory
    I don't have any of that information showing on my Lloyds profile or current account page.
    Originally posted by Gers
    You need to go into the "change my details" it doesn't show until you go into that.
    • gregswhu26
    • By gregswhu26 7th Apr 17, 10:47 AM
    • 6 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    gregswhu26
    I got a letter back from TSB today saying theyvare happy they im not a US citizen and no details will be passed on to the US authorities
    • Cook_County
    • By Cook_County 8th Apr 17, 10:18 AM
    • 2,885 Posts
    • 2,067 Thanks
    Cook_County
    I got a letter back from TSB today saying theyvare happy they im not a US citizen and no details will be passed on to the US authorities
    Originally posted by gregswhu26
    It would breach data protection law for TSB to pass any data to the US authorities. Hopefully, their letter said they will not pass data to HMRC?
    • EdSwippet
    • By EdSwippet 8th Apr 17, 2:46 PM
    • 525 Posts
    • 495 Thanks
    EdSwippet
    It would breach data protection law for TSB to pass any data to the US authorities.
    Originally posted by Cook_County
    It would. And yet we both know that the main -- perhaps sole -- purpose of the FATCA intergovernmental "agreements" drawn up between the US and other countries was to bypass any data protection law in the other country.

    Under the UK FATCA intergovernmental agreement, banks pass information to HMRC only so that HMRC can then subsequently pass it on to the US authorities.

    Hopefully, their letter said they will not pass data to HMRC?
    Originally posted by Cook_County
    Hopefully.
    • badmemory
    • By badmemory 8th Apr 17, 3:00 PM
    • 581 Posts
    • 573 Thanks
    badmemory
    The banks are already obliged to report taxable savings to HMRC so I think this will be just another "the bank has to tick a box" notification. The only data protection that seems to apply these days is used as an excuse to prevent them from telling you what they know about you.
    • hvc19oct
    • By hvc19oct 13th Jun 17, 10:14 AM
    • 4 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    hvc19oct
    I got one from Natwest today - I have never been a US citizen or lived there - what the hell are they going on about
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 13th Jun 17, 12:06 PM
    • 17,384 Posts
    • 44,272 Thanks
    Pollycat
    I got one from Natwest today - I have never been a US citizen or lived there - what the hell are they going on about
    Originally posted by hvc19oct
    Have you read the thread?
    • Felicity111
    • By Felicity111 31st Jul 17, 10:37 AM
    • 3 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Felicity111
    Thank you everyone
    I'd just like to say Thank You to everyone on this thread. I received one of these letters a couple of weeks ago and it has been sat in a pile of "Hmm" papers whilst I worried about it a bit. I decided to do a bit of research this morning and this thread has been extremely helpful in echoing all of my concerns and providing useful advice about updating my profile (I feel comfortable doing this) rather than returning the paper form (which I certainly do not feel comfortable about).

    By way of further information, I came across an FAQ on the Lloyds website (google self certificate tax purposes Lloyds) which suggested to me the letter might be genuine. However, the FAQ is not worded in a particularly helpful fashion and I was none the wiser after having read it. It may make sense to others though.

    Many thanks again. Profile updated
    • WorriedFriend2017
    • By WorriedFriend2017 4th Aug 17, 2:45 PM
    • 20 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    WorriedFriend2017
    Received one of these from Halifax for my 4 year old and their savings account! 'According to records you live in the USA'.

    Quick and stern phonecall sorted it out.
    • Cook_County
    • By Cook_County 7th Aug 17, 6:19 PM
    • 2,885 Posts
    • 2,067 Thanks
    Cook_County
    Received one of these from Halifax for my 4 year old and their savings account! 'According to records you live in the USA'.

    Quick and stern phonecall sorted it out.
    Originally posted by WorriedFriend2017
    Someone born in the UK to a US citizen parent might be a US citizen and tax resident from birth. Simply being UK resident does mot remove the possibility of the child also being US tax resident.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 7th Aug 17, 6:33 PM
    • 17,384 Posts
    • 44,272 Thanks
    Pollycat
    Someone born in the UK to a US citizen parent might be a US citizen and tax resident from birth. Simply being UK resident does mot remove the possibility of the child also being US tax resident.
    Originally posted by Cook_County
    This ^^^^ may be true but doesn't explain the bit in bold below - does it?
    Received one of these from Halifax for my 4 year old and their savings account! 'According to records you live in the USA'.

    Quick and stern phonecall sorted it out.
    Originally posted by WorriedFriend2017
    What records?
    How come they have - according to their records - this child being resident in the USA?
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