Germany

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Federal Government

What is “legal” is far from being morally correct. Carsten Schneider (Erfurt) (SPD) in defense of FATCA, 6 Nov 2014

The federal government has become aware of individual cases in which financial institutions threatened or announced dismissals... or have denied further services (e.g. securities trading) due to FATCA regulations... The federal government is aware that the U.S. International Accounts Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) may have implications for accidental Americans[1]

Progress has been made through the threat of the American government to revoke the license of European banks if they do not reveal the account details of American citizens - the so-called FATCA agreement. Carsten Schneider (Erfurt) (SPD), 06 Nov 2014

FATCA is the US instrument for enforcing the abandonment of banking secrecy... We can be grateful to the Americans for passing this law... dealing fairer internationally with everyone else... Everyone can see that the SPD is a good partner in this legislative period when it comes to fair taxation. [2] Lothar Binding (Heidelberg) (SPD); 08 Apr 2014

Intergovernmental Approach

24 Apr 2013 Draft agreement. 5 states commit to gathering information on regional accounts managed by US citizens and submitting them to the US authorities. In return, America exempts regional financial institutions from forming agreements to avoid withholding tax deductions under FATCA. US customers must consent to being excluded from banking secrecy in favor the US authorities. If they do not do so, the Financial intermediaries will terminate their business relationships with these customers. This applies to not only US citizens living in Germany, but also Euroepan citizens if subject to US taxation demands.

FATCA Agreement (IGA)

Article 6 paragraph 1 of the FATCA Agreement requires an equivalent level in the mutual exchange of information with Germany. [3] But FATCA includes birthplace as a reporting indicia, while US federal laws prohibit birthplace discrimination [4]. Thus, the required full reciprocity and equivalent level in the mutual exchange of information with Germany cannot be accomplished.

  • 12 Apr 2009 Federal Ministry of Finance Automatic exchange of information, as planned for the Savings Directive, is not the purpose of QI and rejected due to the anonymous transfer of data with foreign banks.
  • 26 Jul 2012 Model FATCA agreement
  • 31 May 2013 FATCA agreement
  • 09 Okt 2015 The federal government will work to ensure that the United States of America continues to honor its contractual obligation to establish full reciprocity.
  • 2 Nov 2015 A huge database is being built which will inevitably contains errors. This can happen with the transmittion of information about taxpayers, where actions are taken that are not understandable because the information is wrong... Highly sensitive data is being exchanged. This transmitted data shows where the account holder lives and how much in assets they had at the end of the reporting period. For outsiders with criminal energy, these datas are on a "silver platter" when presented outside financial management... In the end, you never have control with what happens to data abroad... The US rejects multi-sided agreements and does not participate with the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) of the OECD because they use FATCA to get data. They are only willing to send a small amount of data abroad.
  • 06 Jun 2017 Federal Agency for Political Education So far, 100 States signed a [FATCA] agreement, including all traditional tax havens, but not the United States. Indeed the country [USA] that enforced the automatic exchange of information, also rejects reciprocity in FATCA treaties. Doing so, it yields to resistance from domestic financial institutions against further reporting requirements. Unlike Liechtenstein or Switzerland, foreigners can therefore continue opening letterbox companies anonymously in some US states and hide fortunes from the domestic the treasury. The consequence is a redistribution of capital from the traditional Tax havens to the USA... The US is therefore not taking any firm action against corporate tax avoidance and enforced a double standard for the automatic exchange of information, which benefits the domestic financial industry.
  • 08 Oct 2019 Federal government Together with other governments, the federal government regularly reminds the United States of their obligation to work towards an approximation of the level of information exchange in connection with the FATCA agreement. The Federal Government regrets that no significant results were achieved so far.
Reciprocity

Due to the confidentiality regulations contained in the FATCA agreement, the information is kept secret in the receiving state. The federal government has not received approval for the publication of case numbers from the USA. [5]

Costs
in T Euro 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 Total
Planning 135 300 0 0 0 435
Development 29 827 300 0 0 1156
Maintenance 0 470 480 486 492 1928
Operation 0 500 288 318 318 1424
Total 700 164 2097 1068 804 810 5643

Source

Petitions

  • 14 Sep 2020 Petition 115931 Banks in Germany continue to discriminate against German citizens born in the USA. Accounts are closed and extensive evidence is required. In addition, contrary to the GDPR, personal, sensitive data from German citizens are passed on to the USA. In view of the rulings on the Privacy Shield and NSA espionage as well as the doubts of legality that were raised before the FACTA-IGA was signed with the USA, the Bundestag must now intervene. The existing FATCA-related (implementation) laws are to be changed, the effects on German citizens to be mitigated and, finally, fundamental rights and human rights to be strengthened.

Financial Discrimination

Constitution Article 1 (1) Human dignity is inviolable. It is the duty of all state authorities to respect and protect them. (2) The German people are therefore committed to inviolable and inalienable human rights as the basis of every human community, of peace and justice in the world.

Federal Chairman, Thomas Eigenthaler With the introduction of the international financial data exchange, the differentiation between domestic and foreign accounts and related income is no longer justified. This may be a discriminatory violation of European law, where domestic accounts receive anonymity and foreign tax resident accounts are open and transparent (account balances plus income).

  • 08 Apr 2016 Due to the enormous reporting obligations required by the Fatca Agreement, German banks are massively refusing to provide US customers with investment services.
  • 25 Aug 2018 It's difficult in Germany, but as far as I can see, FlatEx and OnVista, for example, still offer this for US taxable persons
  • 31 Oct 2018 For US citizens, it is also very difficult to open an account or custody account outside the US.
  • 05 Aug 2019 I have German and American citizenship. Because of my US citizenship, I don't get a deposit here in Germany.
  • 17 Aug 2020 Apparently it is a real problem if, as a US citizen, you have deposits with German banks.
  • 12 Nov 2019 Accidental Americans may lose their accounts.
  • 22 Jul 2020 Einige (oder alle?) Banken verweigern meiner Bekannten mit US-Pass die Eröffnung eines Depots.

Augsburger Aktienbank

German bank to close its doors to 'U.S. persons' from March, citing FATCA reporting burden. Augsburger Aktienbank is one of the largest banks in Bavaria.

ABB places the US client chair in front of the door. We have made the business policy decision to terminate existing accounts and custody accounts of US persons as of March 31, 2021. We will also no longer open any new accounts and custody accounts for US persons, effect immediately. The reason for this is the FATCA agreement, which causes a great expenditure.

Bethmann Bank

The brokerage and consulting services described here are not intended for US persons. Likewise, none of the services presented on this website for private customers, (including the acceptance and soliciting of deposits), insurance, land charge, consumer credit or credit cards are permitted for US persons. [6]

Binance

Note that under our Terms of Use we are unable to serve US persons [7]

Consorsbank

You can open a CFD account if you are not a US citizen. [8] [9]

Commerzbank

27 Oct 2011 Notice 2011-34 imposes strict geographical limitations as a prerequisite for an affiliate's qualification for deemed-compliant treatment under this category. According to Section III.B of Notice 2011-34, to be deemed-compliant, a Commerzbank subsidiary would not be permitted to have any US clients... some of these Commerzbank subsidiaries have, or will have, no US accounts, so that they would strive for deemed-compliant status in order to minimize FATCA compliance costs and to avoid the risks and consequences of being non-compliant. [10] [11] [12]

DAB BNP Paribas

US taxpayers have the option of opening a securities account and simply need form W-9 in addition to securities account opening documents. [13]

DEGIRO

We are unfortunately unable to offer you our services if you are considered a US person according to IRS guidelines. [14]

DekaBank

Due to US regulatory restrictions, mutual funds are not for sale in the United States of America or to or for the benefit of US persons... Subsequent transfers of units to the United States of America or to US persons are not permitted [15]

Deutsche Bank

“US persons” must hold at least one US share. The account holder acknowledges that the bank is subject to the applicable laws of certain foreign countries and may be forced to disclose the identity of the depositor for whom it holds custody assets vis-à-vis foreign Disclose to brokers, exchanges, custodians or regulators. [16]

DKB

The US withholding tax rate is currently 30%. If you belong to the group of "non-US persons" and are subject to tax in Germany, different reduced withholding tax rates apply: 0% for interest, 15% for dividends and 0% on capital gains. [17]

Equatex

collect your personal data and information about your financial account to report annually to the local tax authorities or the IRS. And we may need to hold a security equal to 24% of the total value on every transaction made through your account. [18]

eToro

For regulatory reasons, we cannot provide our services to US citizens residing outside the US. [19]

EthikBank

Opening a custody account for US citizens or persons residing in the United States is not possible because they may not have fonds. For this reason, US citizenship and tax Residency in the USA in inquired in the application to open a securities account. This must be always be ticked. [20]

European Bank for Financial Services

There are sales restrictions on the sale of funds in the US and to US citizens [21]

FBB Fidelity Group

With my / our signature on this application, I / we confirm that I / we are not a US citizen [22]

FIL Fondsbank

With my / our signature on this application, I / we confirm that I / we are not a US citizen [23]

FIL Invenstment Depot

With my / our signature on this application, I / we confirm that I / we are not a US citizen [24]

FondsClever

No offer for US citizens [25]

Fondsdepot Bank

Opening a depot for US citizens and people living in the US is not possible [26]

FondsDISCOUNT

I declare that I am not a US citizen [27]

HypoVereinsbank (Unicredit Bank)

If the bank becomes aware of US indicia, you will be asked to submit a new self-assessment. If self-assessment is not submitted, it will be assumed that the customer is a resident for tax purposes in the relevant country. Indicia according to FATCA: Birthplace [28]

GLS Gemeinschaftsbank

For tax reasons, we do not open a GLS depot for customers with a US connection. [29] US citizens cannot participate due to FATCA. [30]

ING (former ING-Diba)

Affected product: "Extra-Depot" "Die ING führt Direkt-Depots nicht für Personen mit US-Bezug." (ING-Diba does not offer account keeping for persons with US-relation) [31] page 4, para "1. Leistungsbeschreibung Direkt-Depot" line 8-9

LYNX

The pure execution-only services offered by LYNX are not intended for so-called "U.S. persons"... The customer guarantees LYNX to not be a U.S. person. An individual is a US citizen when born in the United States of America... [32]

Metzler

Investment funds are not intended for sale in the USA or to US citizens [33]

OnVista

Unrestricted tax liability can result... when born in the USA... The onvista bank can only open joint custody accounts when both owners have only German tax residence, or both owners exclusively have the same foreign tax residence. [34]

PROfinance

Opening a depot for US citizens and people living in the US is not possible [35]

PSD Bank RheinNeckarSaar

A sale of fund units to US citizens is not permitted [36]

Seedmatch

OneCrowd Securities' offering is not available to US citizens [37]

Smartbroker

US citizens are not allowed to keep a custody account with Smartbroker. [38]

Savedo.de

Affected products: all "Zudem sind US-Staatsbürger und Inhaber einer US-Greencard von dem Angebot ausgeschlossen." (US-Citizens and Greencard holders are excluded from the offer) [39] Page 1, Section "Präambel", para 1 last sentance

SÜDWESTBANK

Customers who were born in the USA are US citizens in connection with the so-called "Immigration and Nationality Act"... Citizenship in the USA causes unlimited tax liability. We are obliged to report those customers who, according to our information, may only be subject to US tax liability or for whom we have determined a US relationship. The following notes indicate a US relationship: Birthplace in the USA [40]

Trade Republic

US persons are excluded from our services. We do not accept customers who are US citizens or who are taxable in the USA (so-called FATCA customers). [41]

Union Investment

Eligible to use UnionFondsOnline are ... not citizens of the USA [42] [43]

Volksbanken Raiffeisenbanken

A sale of fonds to US citizens is not permitted [44] [45] [46] [47] [48] [49]

Weltsparen.de

Affected Products: all. "US-Staatsbürger und Inhaber einer Greencard nach dem Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) sind vom Angebot ausgeschlossen" (US-Citizens and Greencard holders are excluded from the offer) [50] page 6 para 1 "Geltungsbereich" last sentance

Data Protection

The level of data protection in the USA, especially for non-US citizens, is a significantly lower than in Germany. [51] Privacy of non-US persons needs to be protected... US citizens' privacy in the country is not protected enough. [52]

24 Apr 2013 The implementation of FATCA has raised considerable data protection problems, questioning whether the data would be transmitted to the US tax authority based on §§ 4b and 4c BDSG or is permitted on the basis of consent. Clarification should be provided by bilateral agreements on which five EU member states (France, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom and Germany) agree with the US. A corresponding model agreement was presented on July 26, 2012.[53]

Birthplace Discrimination

Das Allgemeine Gleichbehandlungsgesetz, das Grundlage unserer Beratung ist, schützt nur vor Benachteiligungen wegen der ethnischen Herkunft, des Geschlechts, der Religion oder Weltanschauung, des Alters, einer Behinderung oder der sexuellen Identität (vgl. § 1 AGG). Die Aufzählung der geschützten Merkmale in § 1 AGG ist abschließend. Das Geburtsland und die Staatsangehörigkeit eines Menschen gehört nicht zu den in § 1 AGG genannten Merkmalen.

Der Rechtsschutz gegen Diskriminierung ist im Allgemeinen Gleichbehandlungsgesetz so ausgestaltet worden, dass zunächst so genannte Indizien für eine Benachteiligung vorgebracht werden müssen. Solche Indizien müssen den Rückschluss auf eine Benachteiligung überwiegend wahrscheinlich zulassen.

Der Europäische Gerichtshof hat sich in einem Urteil dahingehend geäußert, dass das Geburtsland für sich genommen keine allgemeine Vermutung der Zugehörigkeit zu einer bestimmten ethnischen Gruppe begründet (EuGH, Urteil vom 06.04.2017, C-668/15, Celex-Nr. 62015CJ0668). Das ist in dem von Ihnen mitgeteilten Sachverhalt insofern nachvollziehbar, weil die Staatsangehörigkeit der USA von jedem Kind durch die Geburt in den USA erworben werden kann und daher gerade nicht mit einer bestimmten ethnischen Herkunft verbunden ist.

Sie haben in Ihrem Schreiben mitgeteilt, dass Ihnen wegen Ihres Geburtsortes in den USA die Eröffnung eines Bankkontos verweigert wurde. Die Bank geht daher vermutlich davon aus, dass eine US-Staatsbürgerschaft nicht ausgeschlossen ist. Sie könnten dieser Vermutung möglicherweise entgegentreten, indem Sie zum Beispiel nachweisen, dass die amerikanische Staatsbürgerschaft von Ihnen nach Ihrer Geburt abgelegt wurde. [54]

Eritrea

15.04.2015 Bundestag 18/4609

Die eritreische „Aufbausteuer“ („recovery tax“) in Höhe von 2 Prozent des Nettoeinkommens, wird seit dem Jahr 1995 bei im Ausland lebenden Eritreern erhoben. Bei Vorliegen des Tatbestandes, der die Steuerpflicht begründet, ist diese Steuer zu entrichten und somit nicht „freiwillig“. Die Erhebung der so genannten Aufbausteuer durch Eritrea als solche verstößt nicht gegen völkerrechtliche Regeln und auch nicht gegen deutsches Recht. Ein Verstoß gegen die Resolution 2023 (2011) des Sicherheitsrats der Vereinten Nationen würde vorliegen, wenn die eritreische Regierung diese Steuer zur Destabilisierung der Region des Horns von Afrika nutzen oder diese Steuer mit Erpressung, Gewaltandrohung oder anderen illegalen Mitteln eintreiben würde. Letzteres ist Eritrea mit Sicherheitsratsresolution 2023 (2011), Artikel 10 und 11, untersagt worden. Artikel 10 der o. a. Resolution verurteilt demnach nicht die Erhebung der so genannten Aufbausteuer durch Eritrea als solche, sondern die (vermutete) Verwendung der dadurch eingenommenen Mittel durch die eritreische Regierung. Artikel 11 der o. a. Resolution fordert die Mitgliedstaaten der Vereinten Nationen dazu auf, geeignete, mit dem innerstaatlichen und Völkerrecht vereinbare maßnahmen zu ergreifen, um die Eintreibung der Steuer durch eritreische Akteure mit illegalen Mitteln (beispielsweise gewaltsam oder durch Nötigung) zu verhindern. Artikel 14 der Resolution fordert die Mitgliedstaaten zudem dazu auf, Leitlinien zur Sorgfaltspflicht einzuführen, um u. a. Finanztransfers zu verhindern, wenn diese (erkennbar) zu Verstößen Eritreas gegen die einschlägigen Resolutionen beitragen würden. Artikel 11 und 14 verpflichten die VN-Mitgliedstaaten somit nicht, jedwede Zahlungen zur Begleichung von Verpflichtungen aus der „Aufbausteuer“ zu verhindern. Die Bundesregierung hat keine Hinweise darauf, dass in Deutschland eine Eintreibung durch Erpressung oder Gewaltandrohung erfolgt. Während die Forderung des eritreischen Staates zur Leistung der „Aufbausteuer“ nicht gegen internationales oder deutsches Recht verstößt, zählt die Eintreibung einer Steuer durch eine diplomatische Mission nicht zu den in Artikel 3 Absatz 1 des Wiener Übereinkommens über diplomatische Beziehungen (WÜD) genannten Aufgaben einer Botschaft. Es gibt mit Eritrea auch kein Abkommen zur Vermeidung der Doppelbesteuerung, in dem eine Beitreibung auf andere Art und Weise hätte geregelt werden können. Deshalb ist auch die Nutzung gesandtschaftsrechtlich privilegierter Botschaftskonten für diesen Zweck nach Auffassung der Bundesregierung völkerrechtlich unzulässig, da es in die steuerrechtlichen Hoheitsrechte des Empfangsstaats eingreift. Das Auswärtige Amt hat eine mögliche Beteiligung eritreischer Auslandsvertretungen an der Eintreibung der eritreischen „Aufbausteuer“ in den letzten Jahren mehrfach gegenüber der eritreischen Botschaft in Berlin angesprochen. Die Botschaft wurde förmlich dazu aufgefordert, eine faktische Eintreibung der „Aufbausteuer“ einzustellen, falls bis dato eine solche praktiziert worden sein sollte. Die eritreische Botschaft hat im Zuge dieser Kontakte bekräftigt, eine Eintreibung der „Aufbausteuer“ durch die eritreischen Vertretungen in Deutschland finde nicht mehr statt. Auch würden konsularische Leistungen, die die Botschaft bzw. das Generalkonsulat in Frankfurt am Main aus eigener Kompetenz erbringen, nicht mehr von der Vorlage eines Nachweises über die Zahlung dieser Steuer abhängig gemacht. Leistungen, die von eritreischen Behörden in Eritrea zu erbringen seien, könnten allerdings nur dann erbracht werden, wenn die Steuer gezahlt worden sei.

05.01.2018 Bundestag 19/370 To what extent do the federal government have any indications to the fact that the embassy of the state of Eritrea in of the Federal Republic of Germany as well as in the Netherlands levies a so-called “diaspora tax” on Eritrean refugees, and if such information is available, what is the federal government planning to protect Eritrean refugees blackmailed by the embassy?

Answer: According to information from the Eritrean authorities, the Eritrean "development tax" of 2 percent of net income is paid by all Eritreans living abroad 18 or above, on the basis of Eritrean tax legislation. Pensioners, students with no income and the sick are excluded from this. The federal government has no evidence that in Germany the "construction tax" is collected through extortion by the Eritrean embassy.

29.04.2019 Bundestag 19/9806 Does the federal government have any information as to whether Eritreas diplomatic missions in Germany also try to through threats and Coercive measures to force the payment of this diaspora tax?

Answer: The Federal Foreign Office classified the answer as "VS - For official use only". The answer is deposited in the parliamentary secretariat of the German Bundestag and can be viewed there by authorized persons.