The United States Inland Revenue Service (IRS) plans to carefully consider any comments from stakeholders on its FATCA Reporting Form; a draft of which has now been released.
The early publication of this document – referred to as Form 8966 – is interesting because it is not accompanied by any of the usual guidelines on how any tax form should be completed. You might expect that substantive commentary could only be given if the instructions on how to complete the form were also provided.
The IRS has also been careful to advise foreign financial institutions (FFIs) not to rely on the draft for filing their reports.
Nonetheless, IRS officials working on FATCA have issued the draft form which contains the following sections:
- the identification of the filer, account holder or recipient information;
- identifying information of US owners that are specified US persons;
- account financial information; and
- information if reporting accounts.
It is unusual for the IRS or, I would suspect, any national revenue authourity to circulate a draft of a form until all ( or at least most) contemplated changes are reflected in the proposed form.
To this the IRS has pointed out that “unexpected issues sometimes arise, or legislation is passed, necessitating a change to a draft form.”
Given the uncertainty that has engulfed FATCA since questions have been raised in the US Senate about the whether the US can, or is still interested in a reciprocal relationship with its FTACA partners; and whether FATCA is good for the US economy in the first place, this caveat by the IRS is warranted.
The delay in the application of FATCA until July 1, 2014 means that stakeholders can expect to not only have time to comment on the draft form, but they may also find themselves commenting on several versions of the same form well into the new year.
Find More Blog Posts on FATCA here
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