Sections 1471 through 1474, commonly referred to as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) were originally enacted as a part of the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act on 3/18/10. FATCA requires foreign financial institutions to enter into reporting agreements with the US with respect to their US account holders or be subject to a new 30% withholding tax imposed on certain US source payments. This new withholding tax generally applies to US source payments of interest, dividends, and other fixed income, as well as gross proceeds from the sale or other disposition of property of a type that can produce interest or dividends from US sources. FATCA also applies to certain “passthru payments” made by a foreign financial institution that are US source payments or that are deemed attributable to the foreign financial institution’s US assets.
After a series of Notices issued by the Service and the Treasury that provided preliminary guidance with respect to FATCA, the Service and the Treasury released proposed FATCA regulations in February 2012 (the Proposed Regulations). The Proposed Regulations incorporate, refine, and modify prior FATCA guidance, as well as provide guidance on topics not previously addressed.
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