Friday, June 29, 2012

IRS Says Foreign Financial Institutions Can Register for FATCA Participation Online

Foreign financial institutions (FFIs) that want to register to participate under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act can do so online.

The government tried to create a process that would make it easy for foreign banks to participate. Under the law, banks are required to report U.S.-owned accounts to IRS or face, in some cases, a 30 percent withholding tax.

In building an online system for foreign financial institutions to register as participating FFIs, the IRS has developed a flexible system that has the ability for the FFI to create accounts, choose login and passwords, and maintain the account once formed. Details on the online registration process are as follows:
  1. FFIs will register and enter an agreement (a certification, if a Registering Deemed-Compliant FFI) through an online registration system.
  2. Each FFI must select a FATCA Responsible Officer (RO).
  3. The RO may select Points of Contact (POCs) to help complete all aspects of the registration process except signing.    
  4. It is anticipated that there will be power of attorney procedures allowing the RO to delegate full FATCA registration duties (including signing) to another in-house individual.
  5. If it proves unworkable for the Responsible Officer (RO) or another in-house individual to register the FFI, it is anticipated there will be power of attorney procedures allowing the RO to delegate full FATCA registration duties (including signing) to certain U.S.-licensed tax professionals that are subject to our regulatory jurisdiction.
  6. FATCA registration is a user maintained account – it can be edited or modified by the user.
  7. The person signing the FFI agreement (or certification) must make an affirmative statement during the registration process that he or she has the authority to act for the FFI.
  8. Positive ID verification will be required for the individual who will sign the agreement/certification on behalf of the FFI (i.e. the RO or ATP).
  9. The person who will sign the agreement/certification will be issued a FATCA Individual identification Number (FIIN) following ID verification.
  10. IRS will closely monitor the account creation and FATCA registration process. 
If you have any questions regarding FATCA or FATCA compliance, contact the Tax Lawyers at Marini & Associates, P.A. for a FREE Tax Consultation at or or Toll Free at 888-8TaxAid (888 882-9243).

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