Published: June 08 2023
As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, many people find themselves living, working, or studying abroad. For Americans considering a move to Hungary, an essential question often arises: Can they open a bank account in the country? The short answer is yes; American citizens can open a bank account in Hungary. However, the process can be more complicated than opening an account in the United States, but understanding the requirements will make it go more smoothly.
Opening a Bank Account for Non-Residents
There are a few primary reasons that an American may wish to open a Hungarian bank account: as a non-resident (for business purposes or buying property), when moving to Hungary for work, or while studying in the country. Non-residents can typically open what's called a "foreign currency account" in their home currency or Euro. However, these accounts often have restricted services, which means they may not have a debit card or support direct debits or standing orders.
While opening a bank account as a non-resident is possible, many banks require you to visit the branch in person to open the account. This means that you cannot open a bank account remotely.
Required Documents and Information
When opening a bank account in Hungary, you should be prepared to provide the following documents and information:
- Your passport or another valid form of identification
- Proof of address (such as a utility bill, rental agreement, or home purchase contract)
- Hungarian tax identification number (TIN) or a tax identification number from your home country
- Social security number from your home country
- A minimum deposit (depending on your chosen bank and account type)
- Proof of income (such as an employment contract or bank statement)
- Proof of residence in Hungary (required for foreigners who wish to open a checking account)
It's important to note that each bank may have different requirements, so it is always best to check with the bank about their specific rules before beginning the process.
Banking Options and Choosing a Bank
There are several national and international banks that operate in Hungary, which provide a range of services. Some popular options for expats include:
While choosing a bank, it's essential to evaluate factors such as fees, availability of English-speaking staff, accessibility of ATMs and branches, and reputation. The process might involve researching different banks, reading reviews from other customers, and consulting with expat forums for advice.
Opening a Bank Account for Your Business
If you are an entrepreneur or business owner looking to establish operations in Hungary, opening a bank account becomes especially important. Many banks offer business accounts designed to meet the needs of small and medium-sized enterprises. Opening a business account typically requires:
- Company registration documents
- Identification documents for company owners and authorized signatories
- Proof of address for your company's registered office
- Hungarian tax identification number (TIN) for your business
- Information on your business' legal structure, operations, and annual turnover
The specific process for opening a business account will depend on your chosen bank and your company’s legal status.
FATCA and Reporting Requirements
As an American citizen, you will need to consider the requirements of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). Under FATCA, you are obligated to report overseas financial assets worth more than specified thresholds to the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Banks in Hungary are also required to report account information of their American clients to the IRS. Be sure to familiarize yourself with these reporting obligations in order to remain tax compliant.
While the process is more complex than in the U.S., Americans can open a bank account in Hungary. However, it is essential to gather the necessary documents, research different banks, and understand the global tax requirements. By following the advice mentioned above, you will be well-equipped to navigate the banking landscape in Hungary and open an account without any significant setbacks.