A heightened regulatory awareness. Valuations of illiquid securities. The lack of profitability in the financial services sector. The broker/dealer environment under pressure. The credit squeeze. Lack of liquidity. Hedge fund investors worried about where their assets are. These are just some of the challenges facing businesses, today. With discounted securities and assets available, you need to be sure you’re properly positioned to capitalize on the recovery.
The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) became law in March 2010 and will go into effect January 1, 2013. The policy rationale is to reduce U.S. tax evasion by improving the information available to the IRS about the offshore accounts of U.S. persons. FATCA’s goal is to require foreign financial institutions (“FFI”s) and all other non-financial foreign entities (“NFFE”s) to provide information to the IRS identifying U.S. persons invested in non-U.S. banks and securities accounts. To achieve this goal, FATCA imposes a new 30% withholding tax on U.S. source interest, dividends and gross proceeds from the disposition of any property of a type that can produce U.S. source interest or dividends.
Concurrently with the issuance of the Proposed Regulations, the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom issued a joint statement outlining a potential intergovernmental framework for FATCA. Under the framework, much of the information required by FATCA would be collected directly by foreign governments and shared with the U.S. pursuant to existing bilateral tax treaties. Such an approach, if adopted, would eliminate withholding obligations and the requirement to enter into a separate disclosure compliance agreement for FFIs organized in a partner country.
It is important to assess your needs and related expenditures for FATCA compliance. Significant lead time is required to properly perform a compliance risk assessment and evaluate any required modifications to your existing systems.