Here's a quick summary of our situation, I tried to write down any info that could help answer my question:

  • I am a french born citizen who also has american citizenship, my husband only has american citizenship and we both live in France.
  • I opened a bank account in France and later added my husband to it and made it a joint account, he does not have any other account, that is our sole account.
  • My husband recently received a letter from our bank asking to fill out a W9 form because he is american.
  • Our jobs are based in France, we're not hired by an american company to work overseas, the companies we work for are French.

We would fill out the form but we're not sure how, or if we need to fill out 2 of them, the puzzling things being:

  • I read somewhere that the "main" account owner needs to fill out the form, but the letter was addressed to my husband.
  • Also my bank doesn't seem to realize that I'm american as well since I opened it using a French ID, so I'm guessing the IRS probably wants to know my whereabouts as well.
  • And, this account being in both of our names, how do we need to fill out this form?
  • Do we need to fill out 2 forms?

I guess to sum it up, do we need to file 2 forms, each with our respective information? Or do we need to just file 1 form together, and if so, how?

Thank you for your help, this is a bit stressful and the information for situations like ours is not easy to find and not very clear.

  • 1
    The answer is yes, you need to fill out two forms, one for each of you. Although the country is different, this similar question and its answer has a good explanation
    – Giorgio
    Feb 18, 2017 at 15:05
  • Thank you, I did see this other question and answer, but just like this person I wasn't certain since the instructions just ask to write down the first person's name who's on the account. But it does seem more logical to have separate forms.
    – Nelly H
    Feb 19, 2017 at 11:57
  • And for purposes of the US gov't, the tax returns that you both of you file clarify that you both own the account. Make sure that you take full advantage of the foreign earned income exclusion, and to take advice from a tax attorney, should you need it..
    – Giorgio
    Feb 19, 2017 at 15:22


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