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I opened a TD bank checking account as a foreign tourist in 2013. I had filled the w8-ben form. Recently, I received a letter from the bank asking me to update my occupation because they didn't have in on file. Now they have sent me another letter asking for proof of foreign citizenship to avoid U.S withholding tax. They have also enclosed a W8-ben form.

I have spent less than 15 days in the USA last year and I receive no USA income. What exactly us the purpose of a W8-ben for a checking account? Under what circumstances can the bank withhold taxes? I receive no interest from the account.

closed as unclear what you're asking by Pete B., JoeTaxpayer May 8 '18 at 0:39

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Question, "I'm foreign to the US -Why does my bank want me to resubmit a W8-BEN?"

Answer: that is the precise piece of paperwork, which, is used to avoid withholding.

It's that simple.

You mention that you have no interest or other earnings so far: ok, paperwork still applies. No mystery there.

"What exactly us the purpose of a W8-ben for a checking account?"

It is the precise piece of paperwork, which, is used to avoid withholding.

"Under what circumstances can the bank withhold taxes?"

Any time at all you "make money" (interest - dividends - whatever).

  • Thanks. I understand that. In my situation, where the only deposits I make into the bank are in cash that I bring legally from my own country, what would happen if I don't summit a new W8-ben? Will the bank freeze my funds? Or close my account? – uberqe May 7 '18 at 20:12
  • Also, can you clarify what funds the banks are required to withhold? Does it apply on income paid by the bank itself or from other sources as well? – uberqe May 7 '18 at 20:14
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    What would happen? You'd have to ask the bank. As for your second question, they would only withhold taxes from income that they are providing to you (interest). If your balance and their rates aren't high enough to earn any interest then they won't withhold anything. – CactusCake May 7 '18 at 20:43
  • @uberqe they'll simply close your account after asking a few times. – Fattie May 8 '18 at 10:55

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