TD F 90-22.1

David,

In previous correspondence you have said that any account on which you have signing authority (be it a bank account or a church bake sale fund) has to be reported on TD F 90-22.1. ("Once the total of all accounts you have signing authority over including RRSP's, Trust accounts, bank accounts, credit union accounts, whole life insurance policies, universal life insurance policies, secured visa or MasterCard accounts, or the Girl Guide, Boy Scout, Church, or office Xmas party pool) has ever exceeded $10,000 during a year, EVERY ACCOUNT you have signing authority over, MUST HAVE ITS OWN T DF 90-22.1.") However, I am confused by your answer to the question below. You write, "If you are simply signing cheques for the Church Bazaar or a Girl Guide Troop or the company payroll cheques where you work, you would not have a financial interest." Am I to infer from this response that one only needs to file TD F 90-22.1 if one has a "financial interest" in the account (i.e., "if it is your money or half your money or ten percent your money" in the account)?

I run a research centre at xxxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxx, which is funded by an annual grant from a federal government department. I have signing authority on the account, which is managed by the Business Office. As Director of the Centre I am authorized to approve the release of those funds, by the Organization, for payment related to activities specified in the contract with the government department. As Director I am ultimately responsible for how that money is spent, and I do in fact account for our spending in a detailed annual report. The Business Office acts as the Centre's accountant, making sure that expenses are properly documented and consistent with the terms of the contract, and meeting all Treasury Board rules, and then cuts the cheques from the University's bank account. Question: do I have a financial interest in that account? Do I report it on TD F 90-22.1?

Many thanks for your response.

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david ingram replies:

The form is quite clear I think. You fill out the TD F 90-22.1 form for "any" account you have signing authority over.

Question 26 asks if you have a financial interest. If yes, stop. If "NO", then you answer questions 27 to 35 which tells the US Treasury whose account it "is".

Without a doubt, it is a complete invasion of privacy with tremendous penalties for failure to comply.

To put it bluntly, it leaves you open to intimidation and threat. All you need is another person in your organization to know that you sign an account and are an American. They can write a letter to Treasury and you are "caught". Easier to send in the form and not worry about offending Ralph or Joyce. Theoretically, you could report fourteen accounts and be penalized fro not reporting the one at work. -

However, in my 43 years in this business, at this point, I have NEVER seen anyone penalized for not reporting a company account where they are an employee of someone else's company or organization.

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At 03:32 AM 2/9/2007, you wrote:
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Subject: TD F 90-22.1
Expert: taxman@centa.com
Date: Thursday February 08, 2007
Time: 01:25 PM -0500

QUESTION:

Can you please explain the purpose of this form and tell me if I need to
file it. I am US citizen married to a Canadian and living in Canada for
several years. I am filing married separately in US. I was finally added to
the checking account, savings account, and GIC's in 2006. So I now have
signature authority, but what does "financial interest in" mean exactly?
Since we were married,have I had financial interest in his accounts prior to
my name being added? Since my US interest amount was over $1500 this year
and I had to fill out a Schedule B, I just noticed this. I hate this tax
stuff - do they just make it difficult on purpose??

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david ingram replies:

If the combined total of all the accounts you have signing authority over
exceeds $10,000 US, you MUST file a TDF form for each and every account. I
suggest that you do a whole form for each account rather than filling out
page two which allows for three accounts per page. That was, if you wish to
change an account it is much easier than pulling one out of the middle of
page 2.

The penalty for getting caught if you do not fill them in is up to $500,000
PLUS 5 years in jail.

I knew one person personally who has done jail time over these and know of
one other 68 year old lady who was given 6 months and a $60,000 fine but the
jail time was suspended and she did not go to jail. Another 105 year old
lady received a $10,000 fine.

You must fill them in.

A financial interest occurs if it is your money or half your money or ten
percent your money.

If you are simply signing cheques for the Church Bazaar or a Girl Guide
Troup of the company payroll cheques where you work, you would not have a
financial interest.

Depending upon your agreement with your husband, you may or may not have a
financial interest in the accounts. If you are simply capable of signing on
the accounts and they are still "his", you do not have a financial interest
while he is alive and the marriage is in good standing.

If, on the other hand, he specifically put your name on as a joint tenant
with right of survivorship, than you likely do have a financial interest.

The purpose of the TDF is to stop US citizens from hiding money in foreign
countries.

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