Under newly proposed U.S. Treasury Code Sections 1471 through 1474, effective for payments after December 31, 2012, all foreign financial institutions (FFIs) will be required to enter into disclosure compliance agreements with the U.S. Treasury, and all non-financial foreign entities (NFFEs) must report and/or certify their ownership or be subject to the same 30 percent withholding. This new reporting and withholding regime will ultimately impact current account opening processes, transaction processing systems and “know your customer” procedures utilized by foreign banks. Chief compliance officers, tax reporting heads and other key players within your organization will need to evaluate the potential impact of these regulations and develop a plan for managing and remediating any potential risk associated with Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) non-compliance.
The legislative intent of FATCA is to ensure there is no gap in the ability of the U.S. government to determine the ownership of U.S. assets in foreign accounts. As such, this revenue raising provision, which was originally enacted as a part of the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act (Pub. L. No. 111-147), is expected to significantly impact the systems and operations of both U.S. and non-U.S. companies. While the regulations have not been finalized to date, companies will likely need to make modifications to their internal systems, control frameworks, processes and procedures for timely compliance with these regulations on or before their effective date of January 1, 2013.
Don’t wait until these rules become effective to begin assessing your needs and associated costs for compliance. By performing the proper compliance risk assessment now and evaluating necessary modifications to your existing systems, your organization will be armed with the level of risk intelligence required to address compliance with FATCA’s new withholding and reporting regime.