IRS Issues Initial Guidance on FATCA Withholding and Reporting

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On August 27, 2010, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) and Treasury Department (“Treasury”) issued Notice 2010-60 (“Notice”) setting forth initial guidance with respect to the new reporting and withholding obligations enacted into law on March 18, 2010 as part of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”).1 FATCA introduced a new 30% withholding tax on any “withholdable payment” made to either a foreign financial institution (“FFI”) or a non-financial foreign entity (“NFFE”) unless the FFI meets certain reporting obligations or the NFFE discloses certain information regarding substantial U.S. owners. A “withholdable payment” generally includes any payment of interest, dividends, rents, salaries, wages, premiums, annuities, compensations, remunerations, emoluments, and other fixed or determinable annual or periodical gains, profits, and income from sources within the U.S. It also includes gross proceeds from the sale of property that is of a type that can produce U.S.-source dividends or interest, such as stock or debt issued by domestic corporations. The new 30% withholding tax on any “withholdable payment” made to an FFI (whether or not beneficially owned by such institution) applies unless the FFI agrees, pursuant to an agreement entered into with Treasury (“FFI Agreement”), to provide information with respect to each “financial account” held by “specified U.S. persons” and “U.S.-owned foreign entities.”

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