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  • 1 Post By dynamco

US citizen holding 3 star HKID with a HK bank account question

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  1. #1

    Lightbulb US citizen holding 3 star HKID with a HK bank account question

    I'm a US citizen born and raised that has been working in HK for nearly 4 years with a 3 star HKID. I opened a HK bank account recently, which was the first time by myself. The first account I have was opened almost 15 years ago with my parents, it's the account I declare for US tax filing each year and comply with FATCA.

    Funny thing is, I'm guessing due to a combination of the clerk being negligent, me speaking Cantonese and the bank being a Chinese bank, I was never asked where I was born or what nationality I was. The clerk also swiftly had me sign some forms without filling in anything, which only later when I went home that I realized one of them was a W8BEN form. I had mistakenly misheard her Cantonese to tell me to sign a form declaring I would not buy US stocks.

    I've read some of the posts here about how dangerous it is to not comply with US tax filing, which is why I think it is better that I inform this bank, especially because I found out my HKID denotes that I wasn't born in HK. However, just out of curiosity, what are the risks? I already have another bank that I get paid salary with and file taxes, this new account is mainly for me to keep track of the money I spend on hobbies.

    If to this Chinese bank I'm just a regular HK individual, will they give my information to the HKMA to hand over to US authorities? Can the HKMA or IRD see every single bank account associated with my HKID? Can the W8BEN form be traced back to me even though I don't even intend to buy US stocks on this account? Any insights would be appreciated.


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    6,479

    If you have 3 stars on your HKID then you are most likely also a Chinese citizen, that's probably why they didn't ask for your citizenship. Declaring income is your responsibility, so I don't see where the problem is. Just declare everything on your US tax return, who cares if the bank reports it.


  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jan 2019
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    1,335

    Your 3 stars mean you are over 18 years of age and eligible or re-entry. Nothing to do with banking fraud.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    May 2008
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    1,707

    it means you are over 18 and eligible for a HKSAR Re-entry permit to and from the Mainland ie you are ethnic Chinese

    mrgoodkat likes this.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Taiwan and HK
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    It's not a tax reporting question it's a totally separate form that you send to the treasury department or some such. Super dire consequences for not reporting, much more dire than tax issues. Report it on the foreign account declaration form, will post the link later...doesn't matter what the bank does this is one rule that you don't want to run afoul of...

    Fines even just for late filing- and it's the aggregate value of your foreign accounts so even if this one is small if there is an aggregate total of around 10k US at any point in the year, you need to do the annual filing.

    Just another "privilege" to being an American...

    https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small...-accounts-fbar

    Last edited by MABinPengChau; 29-11-2020 at 01:31 PM.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Posts
    91

    Just report it on the fbar every year same as your other accounts. Nothing will happen to you. it is not the banks job to report you. It is your job to report yourself.

    When i was still on a work visa, I opened an account just when the US was starting to crack down on HK. The bank just took my HKID and opened it with that. Did not ask any nationality questions or for my passport even though my HKID was non-permanent. Around 10-11 years laters, the bank contacted me for a discrepancy on my bank info. I just applied for a bank loan. They said my loan said i was American but my bank account listed me as Chinese. So I only had to correct the info on my bank account and fill in all of the forms. I have always reported this account on the FBAR to the US.


  7. #7

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Sai Kung
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    Quote Originally Posted by actualhuman:
    If to this Chinese bank I'm just a regular HK individual, will they give my information to the HKMA to hand over to US authorities? Can the HKMA or IRD see every single bank account associated with my HKID? Can the W8BEN form be traced back to me even though I don't even intend to buy US stocks on this account? Any insights would be appreciated.
    As an account-holder, you're supposed to provide TRUE AND CORRECT information to the bank, which would then be used for banking, reporting and so forth. If you haven't declared your nationality to the Chinese bank, it's unlikely they would find about it directly. Banks are required to submit information to regulatory bodies (HKMA etc.) based on the information provided by their customers (i.e., whether or not they are a US citizen etc.). The ultimate responsibility falls back on to you for providing correct and up-to-date information to the bank, so they can perform their compliance and reporting etc. properly.

    There could be multiple ways to find out the number of accounts held by a US citizen (credit rating agencies who record everything about you in the background without you knowing about it etc.). Once the US agencies become aware of it, they would coordinate with the bank and you etc. etc., which would take up lot of time and cost (penalties etc.) for you. You could simply just update the details with the Chinese bank and let them be responsible for reporting it. Saves you the hassle.