Would like to be an IB Customer!

Discussion in 'Interactive Brokers' started by AllenCook, Nov 28, 2002.

  1. Def, curious if you have an answer to my problem. Please don't take this as a ding to IB because I have had the exact same problem with other brokerages. The reason I am asking via ET is that it is Thanksgiving so I am sure IB is probably closed and was just curious (I also have some time on my hands tonight).

    After reading so much about Interactive Brokers so much I have decided I want to open an account with them. However, I seem to be in a communication loop that I can't get out of.

    My situation is that I am a US citizen but I live in Tokyo (been here a while now) and when I fill out the online forms part of the registration menu is the W-8 forms. The catch is that they are specifically not to be used by US citizens so I can't fill them out and the menu says that they need "to be completed". I have sent a couple of messages now online but the one reply I received was not helpful.

    Is there an easy out of this or am I missing something? Or do I need to wait and call someone at IB? At the other brokerages they acknowledged that the online system just assumed that a foreign residence meant a foreign citizen and the process had to be circumvented (not sure why they couldn't just fix it).

    Sometimes it is tough being an expat.
  2. W8 are FOR non-US citizens.
    (W8-BEN i think is the right one)
  3. That's exactly my point! I AM a US citizen. Actually, none of the W-8 forms (W-8BEN, W-8IMY, W-8ECI or W-8EXP) are applicable to US citizens. The instructions for each one specifically state they are NOT to be used by US citizens.

    In most cases, you are not to fill out any form except maybe a W-9 if you have to apply for a US taxpayer identification number (TIN) but I already have my social security number.
  4. def

    def Sponsor

    You need to fill out the W9.
    Zug (swiss office) should be covering the help desk for at least the next bunch of hours. Try an online chat. They should be able to walk you through. If not, send me a PM and I'll ask a rep from the HK office to take a look tomorrow.
  5. def

    def Sponsor

    I take that back. I just tried to open an account with Japanese address and it just gives the W8 choices (wasn't always the case as the application process looks like it has been revamped). I'll have to point this out to the US accounts group and ask them to add the choice for W9. (you might be able to print/fill the W9 form from the web site and fax it to us).
  6. Thanks, I just tried the online chat and did get someone. They got very confused about why I would pay taxes in 2 countries. They kept asking me to use my US address but I now only have a Japan address (had a US residence for a while but that got messy).

    Their "work around" was to start the process over and state in the "residence" question that I was in the US but put my Japan address on the account application.
  7. Def, Allen,

    I'm American in Taipei and ran into this same problem only a few months ago. When I opened a chat the person made some statement that I must not be paying taxes - I didn't know whether to laugh or cry ...

    My work around was to start over with the account registration and use family address in US as 'resident' address.

    Beyond account registration one of my concerns is if IB is granting account permissions based on residency. For instance, American residents are prohibited from trading certain overseas options and futures contracts. However, as expats Allen & myself should be allowed to trade these. Might our forced registration as US residents mark us as blocked for certain instruments? For example, would IB allow some clients to trade HSI/MSI options but not US residents?

    Allen: if your in a hurry you might just use the US address of a friend or relative and then change your address online once the account is set up. IB doesn't actually mail you anything anyway. (In order to lower commissions the budget for postage was cut!)

  8. When I decided to open an account at IB as a backup broker account...

    I'm a U.S. citizen living abroad in another country eventhough I'm also a citizen of a second country (not the one I'm currently residing in)...

    I simply used my mom's U.S. home address and then after a month or two...changed my address to my actual foreign mailing address.

    I've never had any problems after the address change for receiving mail from IB...like money from my account via checks.

    P.S. Get a good tax accountant that's familiar with trader taxes and living abroad issues...it'll be money well spent on such an accountant. :cool: