Insights

FATCA registration process

IRS moves forward with “go live”

The IRS made important new clarifications in December 2013 regarding the FATCA registration process for Foreign Financial Institutions (FFIs). The deadlines for registration remain unchanged and final submission online can be completed from January 2014. A new search tool to identify FATCA compliant entities is due to launch in June 2014.

IRS announcement 2014-1 on FATCA registration

IRS Announcement 2014-1, released on 16 December 2013, reconfirmed the FATCA deadlines set out in the previous Notice 2013-43. This means that an FFI located in a jurisdiction not covered by an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) must register on the FATCA online portal by 25 April 2014 at the latest to avoid a 30% withholding on US source income received. This may be unwelcome news for withholding agents and other affected parties hoping for further extensions to the FATCA deadlines. The final FFI agreement has also been published and is available on the IRS website.

As Ireland has signed a Model 1 IGA with the US authorities, FATCA registration will be required at a later stage by December 2014. Further details on the Irish FATCA reporting framework are anticipated in guidance soon to be released by the Irish Revenue Commissioners. 

Additionally, the IRS stated that Model 1 FFIs, i.e. Irish entities in scope, should register for a Global Intermediary Identification Number (GIIN) by 22 December 2014 to ensure inclusion on the FFI list by 1 January, 2015 (Model 1 FFIs do not have to provide a GIIN to withholding agents prior to January 1, 2015).

Qualified Intermediaries (QIs), withholding foreign partnerships (WP) and withholding foreign trusts (WT) are also reminded in the Announcement that they should renew their QI/WP/WT agreements during the registration process using the appropriate questions.

FATCA portal developments

On 19 December 2013 the IRS published the FATCA FFI List Resources and Support Webpage and FFI List FAQs. The FATCA FFI List Resources Webpage announces that a search tool will be available to the public beginning in June 2014 to assist withholding agents in locating FATCA compliant individual or groups of FIs and their branches. The tool will also support a partial and full download of data and can be exported in CSV, XML, or PDF formats. The site will provide tips on searching using the tool. Additionally, a complete list of all FATCA compliant FIs and branches will be available. 

In addition, on 19 December 2013, the IRS published the FATCA International Data Exchange Webpage and the Intergovernmental FATCA XML Schema. The FATCA International Data Exchange Webpage announces that the IRS has finalized the format for exchanging FATCA data with IGA jurisdictions known as the IGA FATCA XML Schema. 

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