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American Expat Banking in Thailand: What Is FATCA?

Transcript of the above video:

Hello. My name is Benjamin Hart. I am an American Attorney and the Managing Director of Integrity Legal, here in Bangkok, Thailand.

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing banking. I am specifically going to discuss this with respect to Americans in Thailand because Americans have various obligations with respect to filing of certain types of disclosure forms to the Treasury Department in the United States, possibly as well as the Internal Revenue Service in association with banking overseas. 

There has been the FATCA, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act which came in to effective I believe back in 2014. That has changed some things with respect to the way that banks overseas report American banking activities back to United States agencies. So there is a brochure I have got. We are going to go ahead and put this up here and it is from the Thai Bankers Association and it is actually very informative.  So quoting directly from this:  "What is FATCA?  FATCA, which stands for the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, is a United States law. The main purpose of FATCA is to prevent individuals and juristic entities with US person status from avoiding taxation by holding accounts for financial transaction purposes with financial institutions outside the United States. FATCA requires foreign ie. non US, financial institutions "FFIs" including commercial banks to report information about accounts held by US individuals and US owned juristic entities and income credited to such accounts and in some cases to withhold tax on withholdable payments paid to certain accounts and remit the withheld taxes to the US Internal Revenue Service. 

So there is more to this and we are going to do other videos with respect to this particular issue but the thing to take away from this is if you are an American and you are looking to do banking here in the Kingdom of Thailand, be aware, there is going to be extra paperwork associated with opening a Thai bank account specifically because the institution in question needs to go ahead and deal with compliance associated with the Internal Revenue Service as well as the Treasury Department in the United States.  Some years back the former Ambassador to Thailand from the US signed an intra-agency memo between the Thai Finance Ministry and the US Treasury Department which basically brought all this on line. So not only from a legal standpoint back in the United States but also from a practical regulatory standpoint, this is being implemented.  

So Americans who are doing banking and conducting banking transactions overseas need to be aware of exactly how this is going to work so that they can go ahead and deal with those matters moving forward.