FATCA Update: IRS Releases Updated FATCA Online Registration User Guide

Fox Rothschild LLP

The Internal Revenue Service has released an updated version of its “FATCA Online Registration User Guide.” The updates primarily address the newly-released FFI agreement renewal function, which is now available on the IRS FATCA portal and is to be used by foreign financial institutions to renew their FFI Agreements. The user guide provides the following description of the updates reflected in the new version:

What’s New

We have updated the December 2016 version of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) Online Registration User Guide based on the following changes to the FATCA Online Registration System:

The FATCA Online Registration System now allows FIs to renew their foreign financial institution (FFI) agreement with the IRS. Certain financial institutions (FIs) must complete the renewal by July 31, 2017. All registered entities should use the system to determine whether they need to renew their agreement. (Table 17: Self Determination for Renewal of FFI Agreement can assist FIs with their determination.)

The FATCA Online Registration System adds account home page information regarding Renewal of FFI Agreement information including updates to account information such as the renewal due date and submitted date.

We have discontinued the limited status for new or renewing FI applicants. Existing branches will no longer be marked as being in limited status.

Additional updates include:

• A warning banner added to the login steps.

• The number of attempts allowed to login to the registration system is reduced from five to three attempts.

Chapter 5.3.9 Renewal of FFI Agreement has the new information on renewing FFI agreements.

The user guide contains a new section entitled “Renewal of FFI Agreement” which provides as follows:

Certain FIs and their branches must periodically renew their FFI agreement by verifying and updating their information. We will notify all approved FIs via email and message board when a required renewal period begins. We will also send a reminder message ten days prior to the due date.

FIs notified of the potential need to renew their agreement should login to the FATCA Online Registration System and view the “Renewal of FFI Agreement” page by selecting the Renew FFI Agreement link under Available Account Options on the home page. After viewing the page, FIs must determine if they need to renew their agreement and then must submit their determination. FIs renewing their agreement will maintain the same FATCA ID and GIIN. Lead FIs cannot renew on behalf of a member FI.

The system’s home page, during the renewal open period, will have a Renew FFI Agreement link for FIs in approved status. Sponsored entities and limited FIs will not have a link to renew their FFI agreement. All FIs should follow steps 1 through 4 below to determine if they must renew their agreement. FIs required to renew should complete steps 5 through 7. They should also verify and update responses to all registration answers provided during the most recent registration.

FIs required to renew their agreement that do not renew it will have their registration flagged as overdue. Eventually, if an FI’s renewal remains overdue the FI’s registration status can become incomplete. In that case, the FI will not appear on the listing of FATCA registered foreign financial institutions.

After the renewal period ends, the FFI Agreement renewal information will remain on the home page, but the renewal of agreement link will disappear. If an entity moves out of approved account status, the FFI Agreement renewal information will disappear. When a new renewal agreement cycle begins the account will set a new renewal effective date, the link will reappear, and your renewal status will become due.

Transfers During the Renewal of FFI Agreement Open Period

Transfers may still occur during the renewal period. The Renew FFI Agreement link will still appear on the account’s home page after an FI has transferred to another expanded affiliated group. Renewing the agreement or determining a renewal is not required does not affect the transfer’s status. However, transferring FIs and receiving lead FIs should review the FFI agreement before the renewal’s due date. If their respective FFI Agreement renewal becomes overdue, the FI’s may be moved out of approved status causing the transfer to cancel.

How to Determine and Renew FFI Agreement:

1. Login to the FATCA Online Registration System and access the home page.

2. Select the Renew FFI Agreement link under Available Account Options.

3. Read the Renewal of FFI Agreement page. (Use Table 17: Self Determination for Renewal of FFI Agreement to see if you have to renew your FFI Agreement for your entity or on behalf of an FI’s branches.

4. Select the “Yes” button to renew an agreement for yourself or on behalf of your branches. Select the “No” button if you do not have to renew.

5. Review and edit part 1, 2 and 4. [Chapter 4; Registration has instructions on how to complete parts 1, 2 (lead FIs only) and 4.]

6. Submit the agreement to complete the renewal process. (A confirmation page will appear stating “Renewal of FFI Agreement Submitted.”)

7. Click “OK” to return to the FI home page. The renewal status will update and display “Submitted.” You will receive a message board confirmation and your responsible officer will be sent an email.

NOTE: For FIs who decide they do not have to renew their FFI agreement, the home page renewal status will update to “Not Required – Self Determined.” The FI will receive a message board message and the responsible officer will receive an email. The Renew FFI Agreement link will remain on the home page as long as the FI is in approved status and the due date has not passed. 

 The deadline for FFIs to renew their FFI Agreement is July 31, 2017.

[View source.]

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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