Dutch tax minister Menno Snel has said that his country’s banks and financial institutions should not feel a need to panic over those of their so-called “Accidental American” account-holders who lack U.S. Social Security numbers and other key data soon to be required by the U.S. tax authorities, as he has been assured that any repercussions for failing to comply with the regulations in question could be delayed by as long as several years.
Snel’s comments came in a 16-page update to fellow Dutch lawmakers, written in Dutch, on various tax matters. He also made similar comments in recent briefing of Dutch MPs, according to DutchNews.nl, an English language news website based in the Netherlands.
Snel’s reading of the situation is likely to be viewed with interest and in some cases, relief by expat “accidentals” who lack Social Security numbers and who have been warned that they stand to lose their bank accounts by Dec. 31, or earlier, because of this. That’s the date when a “grace period,” during which non-U.S. banks and financial institutions have not had to report to the U.S. internal Revenue Services the Tax Information Numbers (TINs) of all of their American citizen account holders, ends.
U.S. authorities have not been forthcoming on the matter, nor have most non-U.S. financial institutions, beyond telling their clients that they need to get a Social Security number as soon as possible if they are not to lose their accounts. As many as 300,000 accidental Americans are believed to live in the European Union alone, according to European Parliament estimates, of which around 1,000 have been estimated to live in the Netherlands.