updated 10:26 PM CEST, Jul 6, 2020

Frozen bank accounts latest: Dutch MPs submit questions on 'accidental American' issues to Treasury officials

 Meeting of accidental Americans with Dutch lawmakers in the Tweede Kamer, The Hague ©AA Netherlands Meeting of accidental Americans with Dutch lawmakers in the Tweede Kamer, The Hague

Dutch Parliamentarians have submitted a list of some 25 questions on the subject of "banks that, in response to the U.S. FATCA legislation, are refusing to provide services to Dutch nationals who also have American citizenship" to the country's treasury minister and deputy treasury minister, in the latest development in a long-running issue about how non-U.S. financial institutions should handle the accounts of those of their 'accidental American' clients who lack so-called tax information numbers (TINs). 

The submission of the 25 questions, on Friday, came almost a month to the day after a hearing in which around half a dozen members of the Dutch House of Representatives listened to the arguments of a group of dual Dutch/American citizens, who called for urgent action on the part of the Dutch government to help them in their struggle against what they say are the unfair efforts on the part of the U.S. government to force them to enter the U.S. tax system, and pay U.S. taxes.

As reported, the Dutch/American citizens sought to encourage their Dutch representatives to challenge the way an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) that governs the way Dutch financial institutions are expected to provide information to the U.S. authorities on their "American" clients under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, which they claim violates Dutch laws. 

"The next step will be that Treasury minister Wopke Hoekstra or deputy Treasury minister Hans Vijlbrief will answer these questions, either during a debate or in writing," Jet Barendregt, a member of the board of the Netherlands Association of Accidental Americans (NLAAA), told The American Expat Financial News Journal. She  added that this would take at least a few weeks, given that the government is in recess until March 2.    

The problem that a still-unknown number of European/American citizens have been having with banks freezing their accounts because of their failure to provide their banks with their TINs began to emerge in the first few days of 2020, as what began as reports of "dozens" of customers of Dutch banks coming forward with their personal stories of being told they could no longer access their bank accounts, or otherwise take advantage of their banks' services. A number of Dutch banks soon confirmed to Dutch media that they had indeed begun to freeze the accounts, as they sought to comply with FATCA, which had had a Dec. 31, 2019 deadline for non-U.S. financial institutions to provide U.S. officials with the TINs of all their U.S. clients. 

To see the list of questions that the Dutch Parliamentarians have put together and delivered to Treasury officials in the Netherlands, click here.