June 20th, 2012 by Angela Offerman
The IRS released new details on the FATCA registration process for foreign financial institutions choosing to register as participating FFIs under FATCA regulations. In attempt to make the registration process as quick and easy as possible, they created an online, automated system that facilitates electronic communication and provides e-mail alerts to keep the registration process moving forward. Below is an outline of the key features of the new registration process.
Entering Into Agreement
- FFIs will register and enter an agreement through an online registration system.
- A certification will be used if registering as a Deemed-Compliant FFI.
- FATCA registration is a user maintained account–it can be edited or modified by the user.
- Each FFI must select one FATCA Responsibility Officer (RO) who will be identified in the FATCA registration system.
- In a typical case, the RO will be the individual who will sign the FFI agreement.
- The RO may select Points of Contact (POCs) to help complete all aspects of the registration process except signing.
- Up to five POCs may be selected
- There must be at least one in-house POC (it may be the RO).
- It is anticipated POCs may include certain third-party individuals, both local and US, such as an employee of an affiliate, a service provider.
- It is anticipated that there will be power of attorney procedures allowing the RO to delegate full FATCA registration duties (including signing) to another in-house individual.
- This in-house individual with the power of attorney from the RO will be identified in the registration system as the FFI’s Authorized Third Party (ATP).
- If it proves unworkable for the Responsibility Officer (RO) or another in-house individual to register the FFI, it is anticipated there will be power of attorney procedures allowing the RO to delegate full FATCA registration duties (including signing) to certain U.S.-licensed tax professionals that are subject to our regulatory jurisdiction.
- The U.S.-licensed tax professional with the power of attorney from the RO will be identified in the registration system as the FFI’s Authorized Third Party (ATP).
Signing the Agreement
- The person signing the FFI agreement (or certification) must make an affirmative statement during the registration process that he or she has the authority to act for the FFI.
- Positive ID verification will be required for the individual who will sign the agreement/certification on behalf of the FFI (i.e. the RO or ATP).
- The person who will sign the agreement/certification will be issued a FATCA Individual Identification Number (FIIN) following ID verification.
- If this individual already has an SSN or ITIN, he/she may choose to use it to obtain his/her FIIN electronically through the registration system. If this individual does not have an SSN or ITIN, or does not want to provide his/her SSN or ITIN electronically to obtain a FIIN, he/she must obtain his/her FIIN by filing a short paper form along with a copy of specified ID documentation.
- The FIIN is the only identification number necessary for the individual to complete the registration process.
View the IRS details here.
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