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The Big Banking Chat: your questions answered

We tackle the most common questions we’ve been asked about banking.

3 min read

We started The Big Banking Chat because we wanted to help everyone feel more confident talking about banking. We’ve explored how consumers across Europe and the US feel about banking and provided tips on managing your money, and the best way to talk to your bank. And the response has been brilliant—we’re thrilled by how many of you have got involved, sharing your experiences, your own tips and asking questions.

Some of those were so insightful that we wanted to share them—along with our answers—with a wider audience. Below, you’ll find two of the most common questions that kept coming up among new customers. And as always, if you’ve got any others you’d like answered, our social team is ready and waiting to help—just get in touch on Twitter.

If I open an N26 account in addition to my regular account, will I need to declare it for tax purposes?

We hear this question a lot and we can understand why—there’s nothing simple about international tax law. And this is especially true when it comes to second bank accounts, as it’s not only your country’s law which needs considering, but EU regulations as well.

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Each individual country has its own approach to tax law. For example if you live in France you need to declare any international accounts you hold. And as N26 is based in Germany, you’d need to declare your account to the French tax authorities as part of your regular tax return.

In general, it’s good practice to declare any taxable income you may have accrued in international accounts when it’s time to do your taxes, and in many countries you’ll also need to declare holding international accounts even if they’re not taxable.

Individual countries will then differ in whether money you hold abroad is taxable, and this will often depend on whether you’re accruing interests in your holdings. It’s also important to know that N26 has a duty to file reports to tax authorities when a customer holds an account outside of their country of residence.

My employer doesn’t want to pay me into an account that has a foreign IBAN number—what can I do?

This is a great question and something we know frustrates a lot of individuals who work across borders, either for different clients or because the company they work for is based in a different country. The good news is it’s illegal for them to refuse to accept your IBAN—this is a process known as IBAN discrimination and is banned under EU law.

The trickier part is getting your employer to obey the legislation. The starting point is to discuss the issue with them and point out that IBAN discrimination is illegal—the legislation that supports your case is documented on the EU’s website.

If that doesn’t work, then you’ll have to escalate the problem to your relevant authority. These are the bodies in each nation which oversee the IBAN process and you can find the relevant one for your country here.

When you contact them, you’ll need to provide your contact details, the name of the company which rejected your IBAN and a brief description of what happened. It’s essential that you provide documentation so they can act on your complaint. We hope this helps and good luck!

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We’re here to help

We don’t want the conversation to stop here. If this post has reminded you of a banking question you wanted answering, then please get in touch with us using #bigbankingchat on Twitter, and we’ll do our best to answer any and all follow up questions.

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