On November, 2019, the Internal Revenue Service Advisory Council (IRSAC) published its Public Report
. The purpose of IRSAC is to serve as an advisory body to the Commissioner of the IRS and to organize a public forum between IRS officials and public representatives for discussing tax administration issues. The IRSAC is required to hold a public meeting each year and to memorialize its advice in one written public report during the year. What happens to IRSAC’s advice or recommendations?
FATCA and QI Non-U.S. Users
The IRSAC 2019 Annual Report, under the Large Business and International Subgroup Report, Issue Three, Topic 3(a) addresses: “Assistance for FATCA and QI Portal Users” and Issue Three, Topic 3(b) addresses: “Communications with Non-U.S. Users of FATCA and QI Systems”.
The IRSAC 2019 Annual Report also states that:
- IRS has been mandated with “additional duties outside its traditional mission and responsibilities” that include the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) amongst others.
- Users of the IRS FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) Foreign Financial Institution (FFI) Registration System and Qualified Intermediary (QI) Application and Account Management System are having difficulty obtaining timely and appropriate assistance through the Help Support feature available for both systems.
- Outside of the U.S., non-U.S. users of the IRS FATCA FFI Registration System and QI Application and Account Management System have limited means for interacting with the IRS and ask questions about the systems. While there is a Help Support feature for both systems as an option, it is a limited option. In addition non-U.S. users do not always have the financial means to travel to the U.S. for industry conferences where the IRS often addresses questions and provides relevant information or the financial means to hire outside consultants or attorneys able to act as a conduit to the IRS to ask questions.
- IRSAC recommends that the IRS coordinate an online or in-person presentation for non-U.S. users regarding the IRS FATCA FFI Registration System and QI Application and Account Management System. Presentations regarding the IRS FATCA FFI Registration System and QI Application and Account Management System would allow non-U.S. users to have the opportunity to ask questions and understand the capabilities and limitations of such systems. Also, such an online or in-person presentation by the IRS would be beneficial to opening communication channels between the IRS and non-U.S. users. Some non-U.S. users hesitate to ask questions or feel intimidated asking questions to a tax authority that is not their local tax authority. An online forum or in-person presentation that allows for discussion between the IRS and a large group of non-U.S. industry participants would foster a more comfortable communication environment through showing that the IRS is open to questions and discussion.
Non-U.S. Users of FATCA and QI platforms stand to benefit from:
- Assistance stemming from Accounting, Tax and Banking Experience with in-depth FATCA and QI Expertise and Project Leadership Skills.
- U.S. Tax Specialists who support the Consultants with Regulatory Interpretation.
- Project Management and Support Staff availability when the FFIs require additional support.
- An empowering philosophy in which training facilitates necessary tools and leadership for the FFIs to carry out as much of the work themselves as they elect; thereby minimizing project costs.
- Language and cultural differences understanding.
Who is Assisting You?