Americans risk French bank shutdown
Increasingly tough demands by US tax authorities for information about American clients of French banks have led to fears that tens of thousands of accounts could be closed by the end of the year.
The problem relates to Fatca, a US regulation against tax evasion, and French banks are calling on the Finance Ministry to find a solution.
Americans must declare their income to the US wherever they live in the world, though, depending on double tax treaties, not necessarily for it to be taxed again.
Due to Fatca and an agreement signed between France and the US, French banks are required to pass to US officials the American Tax Identification Number of American clients.
This can be hard for them to obtain, especially for “accidental Americans” – those who have US nationality by birth but have lived most of their lives in France.
The banks have been able to pass on the client’s date of birth if they have no access to the number but this option expires at the end of the year and the French Banking Federation says 40,000 accounts are at risk.