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Old 04.10.2013, 15:08
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Re: Credit suisse - W9 form and waiver forms

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After my own comprehensive research, this is what I have found :

you must NOT file a return for 2012 if your gross income from worldwide sources is under 9'750 USD (can range until 21'800 USD, depending on age, sex, marital status) annually. In conclusion, you are not even required to fill out a Federal tax form!

I am genuinely surprised none of our "competent" EFers has pointed this out before!
Addressing this specific post for a moment - The way you write it, it comes across as a mandate not to file taxes if your income is under a certain level. That's not the case. You can file anyway, and I do. Why? Because if I don't give them any information, they'll go hunting for something that's not there and possibly make stuff up. It takes me no time to fill out the form and mail it, and then there are no back-records for me to fill out if I ever decide to give up the blue passport. Now, for those who do have high enough income, and other assets or investments, the tax paperwork can be a nightmare. I am SO thankful my husband and I opted to keep everything separate from the get-go. It has saved us a lot of headaches.

Now back to the bigger picture - As others have pointed out, this file vs. not file issue isn't directly related to FATCA. FATCA is about reporting assets that exist anywhere on the planet, regardless of whether those count as taxable income. It's this law that the banks are scared of. It's why they are requiring every American customer, regardless of whether said customer has a penny or a billion in the bank, to waive privacy under Swiss law and to allow the account information to be disclosed to the IRS.
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