WASHINGTON — Organizations that must register with the Internal Revenue Service under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) can now do so online at the taxing agency's website, the IRS announced on Monday. FACTA is usually required by financial institutions.
Banks can now begin the process of registering by creating an account and providing required information, and they will also be able to provide required information for their branches of operation and other members of their expanded affiliate groups in which the financial institution is the lead organization.
“Today’s opening of the registration website is another critical milestone," a Treasury Department spokesperson told CPA Practice Advisor by email. "Now that the registration website is open, foreign financial institutions (FFIs) have the opportunity to begin testing the process, entering information and preparing to comply with the provisions which will go into effect next year.” The spokesperson requested anonymity.
Within the secure web-based environment, the new registration system enables financial institutions to:
- establish online accounts;
- customize home pages to manage accounts;
- designate points of contact to handle registrations;
- oversee member and/or branch information; and
- receive automatic notifications of status changes.
Financial institutions are encouraged to become familiar with the system, create their online accounts and begin submitting their information. Starting in January 2014, financial institutions will be expected to finalize their registration information by logging into their accounts, making any necessary changes and submitting the information as final.
As registrations are finalized and approved in 2014, registering financial institutions will receive a notice of registration acceptance and will be issued a global intermediary identification number.
The IRS will electronically post the first IRS Foreign Financial Institution (FFI) List in June 2014, and will update the list monthly. To ensure inclusion in the June 2014 IRS FFI List, financial institutions will need to finalize their registrations by April 25, 2014.
Access to the FATCA registration system and related support information can be found on the FATCA page on the IRS website.