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FATCA overview

Retail Banking and Wealth Management – Canada

There are a number of substantial changes being made by financial regulators, governments and banks, to ensure the protection and long-term safety of both the financial system and our customers' interests.

One of these regulations is the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), effective 1 July 2014. This is legislation introduced by the United States Department of Treasury (Treasury) and the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to encourage better tax compliance by preventing US Persons from using banks and other financial organizations to avoid US taxation on their income and assets.

In Canada the principles of FATCA have been brought in to our local laws. Due to the Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) signed between Canada and the US, HSBC will be reporting information relating to US Persons' accounts to the Canada Revenue Agency, as required under local laws.

Impact to HSBC and our customers

HSBC is committed to being fully FATCA compliant in all countries where we operate. We will therefore be reviewing our existing customer base to confirm our customers' FATCA status, and where necessary we may have to contact our customers for further information and documentation.

FATCA will affect HSBC's personal and business customers. The degree to which customers will be affected will vary across the bank, depending on the type of account, policy or agreement they hold with HSBC, and particularly whether any US connections (US Indicia) have been identified.

Therefore, in order to establish customers' tax status, we may need to obtain certain documents such as IRS W forms that will enable our customers to declare and confirm their tax status to us for the purposes of FATCA.

Customers may receive more than one request for information if they have multiple relationships with different members of the HSBC Group. Therefore, it is important that our customers respond to all requests, even if they believe they have already supplied the requested information.

HSBC cannot offer any advice relating to FATCA, and we recommend customers contact a professional tax advisor to discuss their personal tax situation if needed.

Additional information

W-9 : This is a link to the form referred to as a 'W9'. This form is completed to confirm US tax status.

W-8 : This is a link to the form referred to as 'W8s' on the IRS website. This is a series of forms that are completed to confirm non-US tax status. One form is required depending on your situation.

In order to provide customers with further support when completing IRS W Forms, we have provided some additional customer guidance for W-9 and W-8BEN.

For Formal Trust Accounts

Under FATCA, a Trust is considered an entity and must provide appropriate IRS or other documentation to confirm their tax status to us for the purposes of FATCA. In order to provide customers with further support when completing these IRS W Forms, we have provided some additional customer guidance for the W-8BEN-E.

Please note that U.S. tax documentation (W-8BEN-E) requires information on Substantial U.S. Owners of Passive NFFEs (per the US regulations definition) whereas IGA countries such as Canada require information on U.S. Controlling Persons.  For FATCA purposes, if a W-8BEN-E is used to document a formal Trust account that is a Passive NFFE, please identify US Controlling Persons instead of Substantial U.S. Owners.

IGA Declaration for Active/Passive Non-Financial Foreign Entity (NFFE)

This is an HSBC document which you may be able to complete instead of a US W-8 series form to confirm non-US tax status. Please read the form carefully to ensure you meet the relevant conditions. If you believe that you do not meet the relevant conditions, please do not use this declaration and instead use the relevant W-8 series form or W9 form.

Thank you in advance for your support and cooperation.

(Page last updated May 2015)