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Account Documentation - UK resident without photo Id


rabbierabbit
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Hi,

got an account that has been flagged for the US tax declaration stuff. I can't comply with the photo id requests, not in the US so no SSN, (LL can't validate a UK NI number anyway). Not using the account to transfer l$ to real money so hoping that might be a route. Support are, lets be kind and say, repetitive in following their script to ask for photo id.

.. any suggestions on how to stop the account being put on hold?

thanks.

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Please read...

http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Linden_Lab_Official:Required_Tax_Documentation_FAQ

Specifically...

What is a Form W-8BEN? What information will I need to provide?

This form collects the information that the IRS needs from non-US residents in order to exempt them from US tax reporting requirements. You only need to complete Part I, #1-5 (which does not require an EIN nor an ITIN).

Here is a direct link to the official form: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fw8ben.pdf

Part 1 is what you must complete, then sign the document and return [via fax] to Linden Lab.

Regarding 6 Foreign tax identifying number (see instructions) here are the instructions http://www.irs.gov/instructions/iw8ben/index.html

specifically To claim certain treaty benefits, you must complete line 5 by submitting an SSN or ITIN, or line 6 by providing a foreign tax identification number (foreign TIN). 

Since you have cashed out Lindens into a bank account or verified PayPal account at some time in the past [which is why this process was triggered], you need to provide the same ID you used to open that bank account. or verified the PayPal account. If you don't have a current Photo Id in the UK it's about time you remedied that situation.

 

 

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"you need to provide the same ID you used to open that bank account."

Let's hope then I'll never be asked for that, as my bank account was created for me by my mother (who since died) when I was about 4 years old. As it was a small local bank, no ID was needed as everyone knew everyone else in the village (and of course I at that age didn't even have a passport, let alone a driver's license).

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Quite! And even now, you don't need photo Id to open an account in the UK, you just need to show uk residency - which can be done in lots of different ways. Anyway, as I said originally, the account has not be used to cash in l$, it has received quite a lot of l$ for ingame items which is probably the real trigger.

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LL needs that info for USA laws, as account in SL you simply have to apply or log off /delete your account, as soon you log in you confirm you agree to all LL states in their TOS and policies.

 

if not.... don't give them the info, but don't be surprised you wil never see a dime of your L$ back

 

 

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The United Kingdom scraped plans for a National ID card. There is no requirement to have a driving licence and even when one does, there is no requirement to produce it immediately if requested by police. No requirement to carry it.

 

There is no requirement to have a passport or in fact any other photo ID.

 

The original poster has a valid point and similar happened to me.

 

I don't see an issue with preventing cashing out but putting an account on hold seems overreaching and NOT exactly necessary if further cash out is prevented.

 

If they don't have a current Photo ID of any kind, they're not going to get one in a hurry, the only rapid one would be a passport I would have thought and if they have no desire to travel, that's an unnecessary expense.

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Sassy Romano wrote:

The United Kingdom scraped plans for a National ID card. There is no requirement to have a driving licence and even when one does, there is no requirement to produce it immediately if requested by police. No requirement to carry it.

 

There is no requirement to have a passport or in fact any other photo ID.

 

The original poster has a valid point and similar happened to me.

 

I don't see an issue with preventing cashing out but putting an account on hold seems overreaching and NOT exactly necessary if further cash out is prevented.

 

If they don't have a current Photo ID of any kind, they're not going to get one in a hurry, the only rapid one would be a passport I would have thought and if they have no desire to travel, that's an unnecessary expense.

Sassy,

Your points are well taken. What's interesting is that for Linden Lab to cover it's bases all they need is the completed Form W-8BEN on file for the account holder. The signature with the requested information is all that is required technically. They are under no requirement from the IRS to have that verified against a Photo ID. Nor do they even have to submit the document to the IRS unless it is requested during an audit.

But that said, now comes the idiotic over-reaching part because they are a business in California. California employers are required to verify identification with a Photo ID.

But this is a 1099 Misc Income statement class of requirement for a contract or consulting employee. I'm a 1099 employee for several small businesses in California and I am under no requirement to provide a photo ID for my contract employment and income reporting. All I file is an executed IRS W-9 form with each of my employers. This is the resident version of the Form W-8BEN. My 1099 Misc Earnings statement is sent to the address on my W-9 every year like clockwork.

There is no requirement by California or the Federal Govrenment that the Form W-9 or the W-8BEN needs to be accompanied by a photo ID.  

Sigh.

 

 

 

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Sassy Romano wrote:

 

If they don't have a current Photo ID of any kind, they're not going to get one in a hurry, the only rapid one would be a passport I would have thought and if they have no desire to travel, that's an unnecessary expense.

There's also the CitizenCard. Cheaper than a passport (£15 vs. ~£110), and optional £30 sign-up to get the ID posted to you within 2 business days. Faster by a couple of months.

They give discounts and other benefits, so it might have value beyond redeeming currency from LL.

Word of warning: I don't see why LL couldn't vet a CitizenCard (beyond effort reqs.), but not heard of any case of them doing so. They're legit enough, it's what the compulsory ID card system turned into once it was watered down.

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I'm in the UK, and I'd never heard of the Citizen Card. It sounded like something the French would have brought out following the revolution there. I followed your link and discovered one important thing about it. It's not an official document/card. I.e. It's not issued by a government agency and there is no reason for anyone to accept it as proof of anything. So, imo, it's unlikely to be accepted as a proof of ID, but I may be wrong.

That's assuming that the website you linked to isn't merely a parasite - an entity inserting itself between the consumer and officialdom, hoping that the consumer won't notice. I've just been stung by one of those, to the tune of £75. It made me furious when I found out but there's nothing I can do about it now. I only mentioned it because I am currently very aware of such entities, and it's possible that the site you linked to is one of them - but I doubt it. I think it's just a private entity with a money-making idea.

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Well, naturally, everyone should do their own research before dropping money. CitizenCard's been around for quite a while and has a lot of industry and public-sector support within the UK (ACPO, TSI, etc.). I don't own one, but you can see ads for them (and apply for them) in newsagents, post offices around the country - not a fly-by-night. They're recommended by the CAB for when ID is necessary and no need to travel/buy a car/etc. CitizenCard is not a scam - I don't link to scams - it's part of the PASS scheme.

Correct that it's not issued by government, but it is endorsed by police and links your identity to official records in a way that can be mined for authenticity. To me, that's what 'ID' does. Again, no idea the work LL are willing to put into validating.

I do see that there are/were problems (2011) encouraging bars and clubs to accept them as proof of age. Doubt that's a problem here, probably more down to poorly-trained and barely-regulated bouncers.

Intention was only to provide options where Passport/Drivers License fail due to cost/time. Supplying the link was so people could become familiar with it for themselves, and so that the OP could determine suitability - the advertising's predominantly targetted at young people.

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rabbierabbit wrote:

Quite! And even now, you don't need photo Id to open an account in the UK, you just need to show uk residency - which can be done in lots of different ways. Anyway, as I said originally, the account has not be used to cash in l$, it has received quite a lot of l$ for ingame items which is probably the real trigger.

Why do I feel like we are not being told the whole story.

You keep referring to "the account."  Do you have other accounts in SL?  Have you transferred money from 'the account' to another account in order to cash out?  Or maybe this is just how you write? 

I won't say it hasn't happened because I've no way of knowing but this is the first time I have heard of a documentation request where NO cash out was involved.

You've told us that "the account" is receiving a lot of $L's but you haven't told us what you are doing with them.  When we hear only half the story it gets us curious. 

 

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I wouldn't choose to opt in to a non government ID scheme but that's just me. It appears that the whole scheme revolves around the integrity of every sponsor, something which is rather questionable and they don't say exactly how they verify each sponsor, probably because they can't provide that guarantee so instead sell it with a healthy dose of smoke and mirrors to auditors.

 

Seen that many times before.

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Perrie Juran wrote:


rabbierabbit wrote:

Quite! And even now, you don't need photo Id to open an account in the UK, you just need to show uk residency - which can be done in lots of different ways. Anyway, as I said originally, the account has not be used to cash in l$, it has received quite a lot of l$ for ingame items which is probably the real trigger.

Why do I feel like we are not being told the whole story.

You keep referring to "the account."  Do you have other accounts in SL?  Have you transferred money from 'the account' to another account in order to cash out?  Or maybe this is just how you write? 

I won't say it hasn't happened because I've no way of knowing but this is the first time I have heard of a documentation request where NO cash out was involved.

You've told us that "the account" is receiving a lot of $L's but you haven't told us what you are doing with them.  When we hear only half the story it gets us curious. 

 

what you said

a account is obtaining/bringing in a whole bunch of L$ (paid for in US$ by someone somewhere) which is then redistributed to other accounts seems like

one of the reqs of US regs (Homeland sec) is that US companies must not only know who they RL give money to (cash out). but also who they RL get money from (cash in)

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irihapeti wrote:


Perrie Juran wrote:


rabbierabbit wrote:

Quite! And even now, you don't need photo Id to open an account in the UK, you just need to show uk residency - which can be done in lots of different ways. Anyway, as I said originally, the account has not be used to cash in l$, it has received quite a lot of l$ for ingame items which is probably the real trigger.

Why do I feel like we are not being told the whole story.

You keep referring to "the account."  Do you have other accounts in SL?  Have you transferred money from 'the account' to another account in order to cash out?  Or maybe this is just how you write? 

I won't say it hasn't happened because I've no way of knowing but this is the first time I have heard of a documentation request where NO cash out was involved.

You've told us that "the account" is receiving a lot of $L's but you haven't told us what you are doing with them.  When we hear only half the story it gets us curious. 

 

what you said

a account is obtaining/bringing in a whole bunch of L$ (paid for in US$ by someone somewhere) which is then redistributed to other accounts seems like

one of the reqs of US regs (Homeland sec) is that US companies must not only know who they RL give money to (cash out). but also who they RL get money from (cash in)

OK.  All the discussions I'd read prior to this revolved around cash outs but reading the FAQ again I see:

"If you reach certain L$ sale transaction volumes, the forms you’ll need to submit depend on where you live:"

http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Linden_Lab_Official:Required_Tax_Documentation_FAQ

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irihapeti wrote:

 

one of the reqs of US regs (Homeland sec) is that US companies must not only know who they RL give money to (cash out). but also who they RL get money from (cash in)

Which makes sense but there's no requirement to fill in such forms or verify with LL just to transfer a large amount of L$ from one avatar to another (yet).  This process only applies to cashing out hence why I can't really understand the strong arm tactics to force the issue by suspending an account instead of just holding the funds.

Anyway, it is what it is *shrugs*

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the whole Homeland sec is a bit murky. These regs as it affect LL (same as any US company) are all about money laundering. Which are seperate and additional to any tax regs

LL will never tell us exactly what their procedures are for dealing with stuff that fall under the Homeland regs. Can only guess that when large amounts of L$ get accumulated by an account that they (LL) not sure off then they put a stop on it. Stop the account

then they go: make us (LL) sure of who you actual are and is all good. If we (LL) remain unsure then we gunna kill the account

+

the issue for LL isnt just that a nefarious person will cash out. It is also that they (the baddie) will convert it to US$ and then pay tiers with it. Or it gets washed even further. Like the L$ is spent in a shop or on some kinda skill game or on private estate rentals, etc;  and the owner (who may be the same person or in the same gang) then uses it (whole or part) to pay tiers.  LL then the receiver/beneficiary of hot money

if LL dont treat carefully (like have procedures in place to watch for this and act on any flags that the procedures raise) then the Homeland sec people will not be happy. LL be under the hammer

+

am not suggest that OP is into money laundering. Is just that what they said is happening with their L$ is similar to how money laundering is done in practice. Ergo the procedures flags going up and OP is affected by them now

if OP provide the ID that LL are asking for then they be good to go I think

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Just fake one.

I once got pulled over in LA by a black and white who wanted to see my driving licence - which I didn't have on me - so I showed him my 8-year-old son's Legoland certificate, which he perused carefully, then returned with the usual "Have a good day" wish.

And it's even easier to knock documentation up with colour photocopiers nowadays . . .

 

 

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the only certainty that you are aware of is that LL are gunna close your account if they dont get it (the photo ID). So basically is up to you to decide if the cost/effort to you is worth whatever is in the account balance

if you dont choose to do this right now and LL do close the account then is not lost to you forever

whenever you do decide later on then LL will restore the account to you at that time with all the balance intact

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irihapeti wrote:

the only certainty that you are aware of is that LL are gunna close your account if they dont get it (the photo ID). So basically is up to you to decide if the cost/effort to you is worth whatever is in the account balance

if you dont choose to do this right now and LL do close the account then is not lost to you forever

whenever you do decide later on then LL will restore the account to you at that time with all the balance intact

Not sure about that

"Warning: Even if your account is restored, the associated inventory, land, and Linden dollar balance may be unrecoverable."

http://community.secondlife.com/t5/English-Knowledge-Base/Accounts-overview/ta-p/700019#Section_.5.2

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irihapeti wrote:

the only certainty that you are aware of is that LL are gunna close your account if they dont get it (the photo ID). So basically is up to you to decide if the cost/effort to you is worth whatever is in the account balance


The threat isn't to close the account, they say they will put it on "Administrative hold" which is different.

Either way, it's strongarm bullying when I still don't see why they just don't prohibit withdrawal from the account and leave it at that. 

What if someone was going to cash out but then just shrugs their shoulders and says "screw it, far too much effort, i'll just spend my gains inworld and never bother cashing out again"?  They can't do it, the fact that they once tried to cash out and triggered this action, forces them to jump through hoops that they may not feel inclined to do.

 

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Sassy Romano wrote:


irihapeti wrote:

the only certainty that you are aware of is that LL are gunna close your account if they dont get it (the photo ID). So basically is up to you to decide if the cost/effort to you is worth whatever is in the account balance


The threat isn't to close the account, they say they will put it on "Administrative hold" which is different.

Either way, it's strongarm bullying when I still don't see why they just don't prohibit withdrawal from the account and leave it at that. 

What if someone was going to cash out but then just shrugs their shoulders and says "screw it, far too much effort, i'll just spend my gains inworld and never bother cashing out again"?  They can't do it, the fact that they once tried to cash out and triggered this action, forces them to jump through hoops that they may not feel inclined to do.

 

Probably do it that way because when tracking stolen $L's they've seen the games people can try and play transferring them around to launder them.

(And so no mistake here, I am not suggesting the OP is engaged in this)

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