IRS Postpones Key FATCA Deadlines by Six Months; Updated Ropes & Gray FATCA Timeline Attached

by Ropes & Gray LLP
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On July 12, 2013, the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") issued Notice 2013-43 (the "Notice"), postponing a number of deadlines under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act ("FATCA"). In the Notice, the IRS made a number of changes to registration periods, due diligence deadlines and withholding implementation dates, certain of which are summarized below and reflected in a revised timeline updated to highlight the modifications.

Among other changes:

  • The Notice extends the effective date for withholding agents to begin withholding on withholdable payments made to foreign financial institutions ("FFIs") and non-financial foreign entities ("NFFEs") from January 1, 2014 to July 1, 2014.
  • The Notice extends the deadline for FFIs to register on the online portal. To ensure inclusion on the first IRS FFI List which is to be posted on June 2, 2014, FFIs need to finalize their registrations by April 25, 2014. (Previously, the first IRS FFI list was to be posted on December 2, 2013, and an FFI was to register via the portal by October 25, 2013 to be included on the first list.)
  • The online registration portal itself is now projected to be accessible on August 19, 2013 (as opposed to on July 15, 2013, as per prior guidance).
  • From the opening of the online portal through December 31, 2013, FFIs will be able to access the online portal to get familiar with the registration process, to input preliminary information, and to refine that information. On or after January 1, 2014, FFIs will be expected to finalize registration information by logging into the online portal, making any necessary additional changes, and submitting the information as final.
  • Prior guidance had provided that the first reporting for participating foreign financial institutions ("PFFIs") would need to be complete by March 31, 2015 with respect to years 2013 and 2014. The Notice continues to require that the first reporting be complete by March 31, 2015, but reporting is now only required for the 2014 calendar year.
  • The Notice extends the deadline for withholding agents to implement new account opening procedures to July 1, 2014 (or in the case of a PFFI, by the later of July 1, 2014 or the effective date of its FFI agreement).
  • The Notice provides for a general, six-month postponement of the other deadlines for completing due diligence on preexisting obligations.
  • In respect of countries that have entered into intergovernmental agreements ("IGAs"), where the IGAs have not yet been entered into force, the Notice provides that the Treasury will treat the IGAs as being in force if the jurisdiction is listed on the Treasury’s webpage as having an IGA in effect.

In the Notice, the IRS also announced its intention to amend the regulations issued in January of 2013 to reflect the above changes. Appendix A to this Alert provides a timeline summarizing some of the key compliance and effective dates under FATCA, as modified by Notice 2013-43.

For a discussion of the final regulations, please see an earlier Ropes & Gray Alert.

Circular 230 Disclosure: To ensure compliance with Treasury Department regulations, we inform you that any U.S. tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) was not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of avoiding U.S. tax-related penalties or promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any tax-related matters addressed herein.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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