On July 12, 2017 the Dutch State Secretary for Finance sent a letter to the Dutch House of Representatives, which was a reaction to questions that were raised with respect to his earlier letter of April 11, 2017. As an annex to his answers, the State Secretary enclosed a letter that was sent by the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the EU to the U.S. Department of the Treasury.


The letter from the Maltese Presidency already dates from May 8, 2017 and regards the difficulties that Financial Institutions (FIs) seem to have to obtain the tax identification numbers (TINs) in relation to certain US persons that have a financial account with that FI. In the letter the Presidency states that FIs in EU Member States are concerned that they could be considered ‘non-compliant’ in relation to FATCA where this is the case and that they thus may be confronted with a 30% US withholding tax on income from US sources.


In its letter the Maltese Presidency suggests that a solution for part of the problems may be that FIs that show best efforts and act in good faith may still be considered compliant, even if not all TINs of all US persons with a financial account with that FI can be provided. Where, despite such best efforts/good faith of, the FI could not obtain the TIN, it would need to provide the date of birth of the relevant account holder. According to the Maltese Presidency, in most cases the combination of name and date of birth should give US tax authorities sufficient information to identify the account holder. In the letter it is furthermore stated that EU FIs would experience less compliance risks in providing regular financial services to US persons.


Click here to download the letter of the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the EU of May 8, 2017 from website of the Dutch Ministry of Finance. (The document comes in the form of a downloadable Pdf document)



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