Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • blackfish
    • By blackfish 2nd Apr 16, 10:30 AM
    • 11Posts
    • 0Thanks
    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
    • 18,551 Posts
    • 47,769 Thanks
    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
    • 1,051 Posts
    • 1,113 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
    • 5,952 Posts
    • 35,472 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
    • 1,051 Posts
    • 1,113 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
    • 2,903 Posts
    • 2,072 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
    • 625 Posts
    • 583 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
    • 1,051 Posts
    • 1,113 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
    • 18,551 Posts
    • 47,769 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
    • 31 Posts
    • 10 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
    • 2,903 Posts
    • 2,072 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
    • 18,551 Posts
    • 47,769 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?
    • Amata
    • By Amata 10th Sep 17, 8:39 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Amata
    Interestingly I just received two of these letters - one from Halifax and the other from Lloyds.
    I'm a UK citizen who's been living in Ireland for the past 5 years, no new accounts in easily 8-10 years though with either bank, so am guessing they've only just around to updating their details about me...

    Am presuming that I will have to give them my Irish PPS number rather than my UK NI number though - don't really know why they might need that - would the Irish details be any of their business since it's from another country??

    Glad I found this thread though as I wanted to confirm that these letters are real - it's been so long since I moved to Ireland that I thought any moving country correspondence would have been done with years ago...
    • WorriedFriend2017
    • By WorriedFriend2017 11th Sep 17, 11:27 AM
    • 31 Posts
    • 10 Thanks
    WorriedFriend2017
    What records?
    How come they have - according to their records - this child being resident in the USA?
    Exactly. Very odd.

    They just said it was a mistake?
    • CompChrissy
    • By CompChrissy 11th Sep 17, 9:36 PM
    • 364 Posts
    • 16,813 Thanks
    CompChrissy
    Halifax Solution
    I'm going with the train of thought that it isn't a scam and just a general Halifax check so to save time and effort I logged on to my online banking and updated my info, it specifically asks to state country of residency and goes on a bit about tax which I can't remember it doing before (but that doesn't mean it didn't!)
    Hopefully that'll satisfy their needs ��
    Originally posted by LoopyLoop
    Thank you so much - after hours of reading I saw your post and have logged in to my Halifax account and filled out my tax residency... this is definitely a new field. I will not be sending the form back.
    • bowlhead99
    • By bowlhead99 12th Sep 17, 12:52 AM
    • 6,987 Posts
    • 12,582 Thanks
    bowlhead99
    Interestingly I just received two of these letters - one from Halifax and the other from Lloyds.
    I'm a UK citizen who's been living in Ireland for the past 5 years, no new accounts in easily 8-10 years though with either bank, so am guessing they've only just around to updating their details about me...

    Am presuming that I will have to give them my Irish PPS number rather than my UK NI number though -
    Originally posted by Amata
    You should give them all your current tax residencies. If you are UK tax resident you can give them your UK tax ID number (an NI number or UTR). If you are Irish tax resident then yes, you confirm that and give them your Irish tax ID number (which for an individual in Ireland is a PPS).
    don't really know why they might need that - would the Irish details be any of their business since it's from another country??
    Because the UK government has agreed with about 100 other countries that they will participate in an OECD agreed programme of automatic exchange of information for tax purposes in which financial institutions here will share information about their customers with HMRC who will forward it to the home country tax authorities of the jurisdictions in which those customers are tax residents. You could read about that here http://www.oecd.org/tax/automatic-exchange/common-reporting-standard/

    Within the EU there is a Directive which tells the individual countries they have to implement local laws compliant with the international agreements and how to go about doing it, but the UK was an early signatory to the OECD multilateral convention anyway, whether or not Europe got involved.

    In order for HMRC to do this, they have to get the data from the banks - and the banks if they don't know your tax ID and countryof tax residence for certain, will have to get it from you - otherwise they will have to guess on your country of tax residence and the data they submit about your account balances and interest earnings will only include date of birth and address etc and could get muddled up with someone elses, leaving your local tax authority thinking you have more income or assets than you actually do. So it is best to participate and provide your tax ID information so they are receiving 'neat and tidy' data rather than a load of guesswork.

    But basically the banks are duty bound to collect this from you so that they can submit information annually about your accounts to HMRC who will share it with your home country tax authority.

    Similarly the other way round, if you were UK resident with bank accounts in Ireland (or the other tens of countries participating in the scheme including France, Germany, Channel Islands, Australia, etc etc etc) you would give them your UK tax ID so that the bank could report your details to their local tax authority so that it could be shared with HMRC.

    Glad I found this thread though as I wanted to confirm that these letters are real - it's been so long since I moved to Ireland that I thought any moving country correspondence would have been done with years ago...
    The information-sharing for "US FATCA" and the UK's equivalent regime for its Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories (e.g. Isle of Man, Guernsey, Cayman, Gibraltar etc) began in 2014. The extension of this to cover the OECD's "Common Reporting Standard" and the other 100-odd countries only began for the 2016 calendar year onwards and banks in UK and Ireland have until 31/12/17 at the very latest to conclude on the status of their pre-existing accountholders.

    If you moved country years ago they may not have been required to collect your foreign tax ID if it pre-dated the current rules, but they are required to look into it now. The EU savings directive which had been going for a decade or more already provided for some information reporting to allow people to effectively be taxed on interest receipts in their home countries, but this has been superseded with more comprehensive and internationally-agreed rules.

    The new rules cover information to be shared automatically by banks, brokers, investment funds and some insurance companies to improve the quality of information shared annually automatically for tax purposes, rather than one country having to specifically request it from another.

    The relevant HMRC link: "Automatic Exchange of Information: accountholders" - is here
    Last edited by bowlhead99; 12-09-2017 at 12:58 AM. Reason: added link
    • Cook_County
    • By Cook_County 16th Sep 17, 4:55 PM
    • 2,903 Posts
    • 2,072 Thanks
    Cook_County
    Exactly. Very odd.

    They just said it was a mistake?
    Originally posted by WorriedFriend2017
    A US citizen is always a US resident for US tax purposes. Residence has very specific meaning for tax purposes. A 4 year old born in the UK who has never visited the USA could still be US tax resident.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 16th Sep 17, 5:33 PM
    • 18,551 Posts
    • 47,769 Thanks
    Pollycat
    A US citizen is always a US resident for US tax purposes. Residence has very specific meaning for tax purposes. A 4 year old born in the UK who has never visited the USA could still be US tax resident.
    Originally posted by Cook_County
    Please explain how.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

4,940Posts Today

8,857Users online

Martin's Twitter