The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) is a U.S. law intended to promote better tax compliance by ensuring that U.S. persons (citizens and residents) with assets held outside of the U.S. are compliant with U.S. tax laws.
FATCA requires participating Foreign Financial Institutions (PFFI) to identify the “FATCA” status of their customers from the 1st of July 2014.
As a PFFI Equity Bank Limited is committed to being fully FATCA compliant.
It is important to note that FATCA affects all Participating Foreign Financial Institutions (That is, outside of the US).
As a participating FFI, the bank is required to identify all US persons who bank with us. Under U.S Tax laws, a U.S. person is determined by the following factors:
* U.S. citizenship (including dual citizenship of the U.S. and another country);
* Lawful permanent residency via Green card status;
* U.S. place of birth;
* U.S. residential address or a U.S. correspondence address;
* Standing instructions to transfer funds to or from an account maintained in the U.S. or instructions regularly received from a U.S. address;
* A Corporation created or organized in the United States or under the law of the United States or of any State, or the District of Columbia Under FATCA, the bank will report to IRS any account with a total asset value of $50,000 and above as at the end of the tax year, or an account that had a total asset value of more than $75,000 at any time during the tax year.
Beginning March 2015, all new and existing foreign accounts will be required to complete new W-9 tax certification forms used to establish your foreign status and provide tax identification number. Additional documentation may be required to substantiate your account status if you use any U.S.A. indicators such as address or phone number.
Forms of documentary evidence include a copy of one of the following:
• Current or unexpired U.S. passport, non-U.S. passport, or other form of government issued identification supporting claim of citizenship in a country other than the U.S.
• Most current utility bill or bank statement for a US residence
• Articles of Incorporation for organizations
• Partnership or Trust Agreement
For existing accounts, you will receive a letter with information on how to re-certify your US status and instructions of completing the form W-9 or W-8BEN.
In case you have any queries regarding this new law and what effect it may have on your accounts we urge you to consult your tax or legal advisor regarding FATCA and your status under the law.
If you would like to speak with us, please feel free to contact our Diaspora Branch on Kenyans.Abroad@equitybank.co.ke
We appreciate that you have chosen Equity Bank as a safe, sound place for you to do business. We ask for your co-operation so as to ensure that we are able to fulfill our obligations under this new law.
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