WASHINGTON — The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service today issued proposed regulations for the next major phase of implementing the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).
Enacted by Congress in 2010, the law targets non-compliance by U.S. taxpayers using foreign accounts.
The regulations lay out a step-by-step process for U.S. account identification, information reporting, and withholding requirements for foreign financial institutions (FFIs), other foreign entities, and U.S. withholding agents.
“FATCA strengthens U.S. efforts to combat offshore noncompliance. In doing so, we understand it creates a significant undertaking for financial institutions." said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. "Today's proposed regulations reflect our commitment to take into account the implementation challenges of affected financial institutions while allowing for a smooth and timely roll-out of the law."
The proposed regulations implement FATCA’s obligations in stages to minimize burdens and costs consistent with achieving the statute’s compliance objectives. The rules and implementation schedule are also adjusted to allow time for resolving local law limitations to which some FFIs may be subject.
FATCA was enacted in 2010 by Congress as part of the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act. FATCA requires FFIs to report to the IRS information about financial accounts held by U.S. taxpayers, or by foreign entities in which U.S. taxpayers hold a substantial ownership interest.
In order to avoid being withheld upon under FATCA, a participating FFI will have to enter into an agreement with the IRS to:
- Identify U.S. accounts,
- Report certain information to the IRS regarding U.S. accounts,
- Verify its compliance with its obligations pursuant to the agreement, and
- Ensure that a 30-percent tax on certain payments of U.S. source income is withheld when paid to non-participating FFIs and account holders who are unwilling to provide the required information.
Registration will take place through an online system which will become available by Jan. 1, 2013. FFIs that do not register and enter into an agreement with the IRS will besubject to withholding on certain types of payments relating to U.S. investments.
Treasury and IRS will continue to work closely with businesses and foreign governments to implement FATCA effectively. Updates and further information on FATCA can be found by visiting the FATCA page on this website.
Lance Wallach, National Society of Accountants Speaker of the Year and member of the AICPA faculty of teaching professionals, is a frequent speaker on retirement plans, abusive tax shelters, financial, international tax, and estate planning. He writes about 412(i), 419, Section79, FBAR, and captive insurance plans. He speaks at more than ten conventions annually, writes for over fifty publications, is quoted regularly in the press and has been featured on television and radio financial talk shows including NBC, National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, and others. Lance has written numerous books including Protecting Clients from Fraud, Incompetence and Scams published by John Wiley and Sons, Bisk Education’s CPA’s Guide to Life Insurance and Federal Estate and Gift Taxation, as well as the AICPA best-selling books, including Avoiding Circular 230 Malpractice Traps and Common Abusive Small Business Hot Spots. He does expert witness testimony and has never lost a case. Contact him at 516.938.5007, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.taxadvisorexpert.com.
The information provided herein is not intended as legal, accounting, financial or any type of advice for any specific individual or other entity. You should contact an appropriate professional for any such advice.