Final FATCA Regulations Issued 1/17/2013

The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) today issued TD 9610 Final Regulations implementing the information reporting and withholding tax provisions commonly known as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). The issuance of the final regulations marks a key step in establishing a common intergovernmental approach to combating tax evasion.

These regulations provide additional certainty for financial institutions and government counterparts by finalizing the 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.

 The final regulations issued today: 

  • Build on intergovernmental agreements that foster international cooperation.
  • Phase in the timelines for due diligence, reporting and withholding and align them with the intergovernmental agreements.
  • Expand and clarify the scope of payments not subject to withholding.
  • Refine and clarify the treatment of investment entities.
  • Clarify the compliance and verification obligations of FFIs.

Since the proposed regulations were published on February 15, 2012, Treasury has collaborated with foreign governments to develop two alternative model intergovernmental agreements that facilitate the effective and efficient implementation of FATCA.

These models serve as the basis for concluding bilateral agreements with interested jurisdictions and help implement the law in a manner that removes domestic legal impediments to compliance, secures wide-spread participation by every non-exempt financial institution in the partner jurisdiction, fulfills FATCA's policy objectives, and further reduces burdens on FFIs located in partner jurisdictions. Seven countries have already signed or initialed these agreements.

Today, Treasury announced for the first time that Norway has joined the United Kingdom, Mexico, Denmark, Ireland, Switzerland, and Spain as countries that have signed or initialed model agreements. Treasury is engaged with more than 50 countries and jurisdictions to curtail offshore tax evasion, and more signed agreements are expected to follow in the near future.

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