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“We don’t want your money!” Indian mutual fund cos deny Canadians because of the Americans
After the agonising effort to get my address dutifully updated with various mutual fund countries in India, I was slapped with a rude rebuff.
I can no longer invest in India.
It used to be that someone in my circumstances living long-term in India could invest in mutual funds. Which makes sense given this is my country of residence, where I’ve earned most of my money in the last 12 years, where all my global income is taxable.
It would be logical, therefore, that what little savings I have should be invested here. Right?
Wrong. I won’t go into all the details, but it has something to do with FATCA – Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act. Which on the face of it is for Americans. To make sure that Americans or those with direct interests in the US are properly paying their American taxes.
But wait – I’m Canadian. I’ve never worked in the US. I’ve never held property in the US. Frankly other than a few short visits, rarely am ever IN the US. And Canada even has an intergovernmental agreement with the US to fairly cover off these matters.
What does that have to do with India?
Well… heck if I know but apparently it does.
As I understand it, most Indian Mutual Fund companies didn’t register with the IRS by the Jan 2015 deadline. Which means they’ve simply decided to avoid any new investments from not only US citizens but Canadian as well!
Last time I checked, Canada was not the 51st American state. Except, apparently, according to the Indian mutual fund industry… I accidentally discovered this when I went to make an on-line switch. It was declined.
Further investigation revealed I’ve fallen down some bizarre global tax rabbit-hole. I made several efforts to find a solution, explaining to no avail repeatedly that I’m not actually American, have zero interests in the US, that my tax jurisdiction is India… nix! None will touch my money as they don’t want to get into trouble with the Americans.
Naturally, there were – ahem – creative suggestions on how to get around this. I won’t name names… but let’s just say I was encouraged to lie about my nationality to get around the restriction. Sorry, but I’m not about to do that.
So… anyone want my money??
Two steps forward, One step back… mutual funds address follies continue…
In our intrepid heroines continued adventures to update her address with various authorities, kahani main aaya nai twist! (in the story, comes a new twist!)
Just as I submitted the 3rd address update – nearly one year after the process began – I was informed that apparently the begging, pleading, persistence and head-bashing at the illogical logic lead to someone somewhere deciding they actually DID have enough evidence and instructions to make the changes based on the 2nd application. Huh?! (more…)
Agonizing Address Changes – Welcome to Indian Financial Services
As 2014 draws to a close, I’m revisiting my great big long list of pesky tasks that aren’t critical but still kinda sorta need to get done… sometime… You know – the ones you do your best to avoid?
I’ve made ‘progress’ but not exactly stellar:
- I still have that pesky vexing tax records issue that just doesn’t seem to go away!
- After changing my address at the Foreigners registration (FRRO)… Guess what? I officially no longer need to even register with the foreigners office at all?! Gaaakh!?
- Armed with my latest lease and landlord NOC (no objection certificate) trying to track down the form and process to tackle my address update with the Service Tax authorities. After all, I only moved how many years ago?!
- The “Mr Hickling” gender bender was a pain in the arse but I’m finally officially female (according to Vodafone)
However the worst by far is updating the mutual fund companies. (more…)