US IRS updates Fatca website, prepares for registrations
The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has updated its website for information relating to the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (Fatca), in preparation for registrations required from August.
The website – http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Corporations/Foreign-Account-Tax-Compliance-Act-(FATCA) – includes a new landing page for US financial institutions, addressing their Fatca responsibilities, as well as a new page for governments interested in so-called Intergovernmental Agreements – the process whereby the US enforces Fatca provisions in other jurisdictions.
According to the IRS, “a link for the Fatca registration website will be added in August, when the registration system opens”.
According to Notice 2013-43 “The Fatca registration website is projected to be accessible to financial institutions on August 19, 2013.”
“Other key dates for registration, however, will be extended by six months. Thus, after the Fatca registration website opens, a financial institution will be able to begin the process of registering by creating an account and inputting the required information for itself, for its branch operations, and, if it serves as a “lead” financial institution, for other members of its expanded affiliated group.
“All input information will be saved automatically in the registration system and associated with the financial institution’s account. For the period from the opening of the Fatca registration website through December 31, 2013, a financial institution will be able to access its account to modify or add registration information, including to indicate the appropriate registration status, as such status is established, for example, by the signing of an IGA. Prior to January 1, 2014, however, any information entered into the system, even if submitted as final, will not be regarded as a final submission, but will merely be stored until the information is submitted as final on or after January 1, 2014.
“Thus, financial institutions can use the remainder of 2013 to get familiar with the registration process, to input preliminary information, and to refine that information. On or after January 1, 2014, each financial institution will be expected to finalize its registration information by logging into its account on the FATCA registration website, making any necessary additional changes, and submitting the information as final.”
The introduction of Fatca has been frought. Originally intended to start by January 2013, this has been delayed until January 2014.
Now, according to the latest Notice issued via the IRS, there has been an additional series of delays agreed by the US government and the chief department responsible for ensuring Fatca provisions are implemented, the US Treasury.
One of the issues is that so-called foreign financial institutions (FFIs) under Fatca have complained that they are being forced to implement withholding procedures without even knowing if they are allowed to under the jurisdiction in effect in their home countries – because of a lack of an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA).
The Notice said: “In consideration of these comments, and to allow for a more orderly implementation of Fatca, Treasury and the IRS intend to amend the final regulations to postpone by six months the start of Fatca withholding, and to make corresponding adjustments to various other time frames provided in the final regulations.”
However, they have also added that: “Treasury and the IRS intend to provide a list of jurisdictions that will be treated as having in effect an IGA, even though that IGA may not have entered into force as of July 1, 2014.”