U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA)

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA)

Q.    What is the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA)?

A.    The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) is U.S. legislation aimed at detecting U.S. persons evading tax obligations using financial accounts held outside of the U.S.  FATCA requires non-U.S. financial institutions to report information to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) about financial accounts held by U.S. persons.  Failure to comply could result in the IRS imposing a withholding tax on non-U.S. financial institutions and their account holders.

As a result of FATCA, the Canadian and U. S. governments reached an agreement, effective July 1, 2014, that will require Canadian financial institutions to perform due diligence in order to identify and report certain U.S. persons to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).  The CRA will then exchange the information with the IRS through existing provisions of the Canada – U.S. Tax Convention, which is consistent with Canada’s privacy laws.

For more information on FATCA legislation or the Canada and U.S. Intergovernmental Agreement, please visit the Canadian Bankers Association website.

Q.    How do I know if I’m a U.S. person?

A.    For Canadian Tire Bank, a U.S. person is considered a U.S. citizen or U.S. resident for tax purposes.

Generally, a U.S. citizen may be one of the following:

  • An individual who was born in the U.S. and has not relinquished U.S. citizenship;
  • An individual who legally became a U.S. citizen; or
  • An individual who holds a U.S. passport.

Please note: It is your responsibility to determine whether you are considered a U.S. person.

If you are unsure whether you are a U.S. citizen or U.S resident for tax purposes, you may want to consult the U.S. Internal Revenue Service website or contact your tax advisor.

Q.    Why do I need to complete the self-certification form?

A.    Under certain circumstances, Canadian Tire Bank is required to obtain self-certifications to establish whether an account holder is a U.S. person and / or a resident of Canada. For example, if your account has a U.S address, a U.S. phone number or a Power of Attorney with a U.S. address, a self-certification form is required. The self-certification form is also required if you provided ID issued by the U.S. government during the account opening process.  Failure to provide a completed self-certification may result in your account information being reported to the CRA or account closure.

If you are unsure whether you are a U.S. citizen or U.S resident for tax purposes, you may want to consult the U.S. Internal Revenue Service website or contact your tax advisor.

Q.    Why do I need to complete the attestation form?

A.    Under certain circumstances, Canadian Tire Bank may rely on select forms of documentary evidence, along with a completed self-certification, to establish whether an account holder is a U.S. person and / or resident of Canada.  For example, if your account has a U.S. address, a U.S. phone number or a Power of Attorney with a U.S. address, additional documentary evidence and a self-certification form is required. Obtaining an attestation from a commissioner of oaths or guarantor in Canada that they have seen a valid identification document issued by an authorized government body is an acceptable form of documentary evidence.

Q.    Why is my account being closed?

A.    Canadian Tire Bank is obligated to determine whether account holders with a U.S. address or U.S. phone number on file are considered U.S. persons. We make several attempts to contact you to obtain the necessary information regarding your U.S person and / or Canadian residency status.  If the required documentation is not provided in a reasonable time frame, it is Canadian Tire Bank’s policy to close the account.  Any tax free savings products such as the Canadian Tire Tax Free® High Interest Savings account or Canadian Tire Tax Free® GIC will remain open.