In August 2013, the IRS announced that its online FATCA registration system was ready for foreign financial institutions (FFIs) and financial institutions (FIs) to use. The online portal allows these entities to establish accounts, and designate points of contact (POCs) to manage their accounts among other things. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has been encouraging FIs to familiarize themselves with the system, as of 2014, they will be expected to finalize and submit their registration information online.
To ease the online registration process, the IRS has issued Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). AG Tax professionals think that taxpayers would benefit from reviewing these FAQs, and have put together a summary of the FAQs related to the FATCA online registration system to assist with this.
General FATCA Online Registration Questions
• System training: Information will be provided on the website on how to answer certain questions and navigate through the webpage, including tutorial videos on the FATCA registration system.
• Editing, Reviewing and Printing: An FI can edit, review and print each part of the registration through an edit/review function from its browser that will display the questions and responses provided.
FATCA Online Registration Account Creation and Access
• Simultaneous-use limits: An online FATCA account has a unique FATCA ID which can be shared between the Responsible Officer (RO) and only up to five points of contact designated on the registration form, only one person can access the account at a time.
• Access Code: The access code is like a password and needs to be used by the RO or other members accessing the online FATCA account.
• Accessing member FI accounts: The lead FI can access all member FIs details by clicking “view member information link” from its own login homepage.
Expanded Affiliated Groups (EAGs)
• Only the Lead FI can create a FATCA account. The member FI can later use the login credentials to complete its registration.
Updating FATCA Online Registration Information
• Changing Responsible Officers and Point of Contacts (POCs): An FI can change its RO or POC details and resubmit the registration if necessary.
• Notifications: Only one email address can be registered for receiving notifications, therefore it should be carefully chosen. Usually, the Responsible Officer’s (RO/POC) email ID is preferred. Automatic notifications are sent to the email address, and will alert the user about any changes or updates related to the account and/or website.
Finalizing a registration and obtaining a Global Intermediary Identification Number (GIIN)
• The FI will need to submit its final registration by January, 2014. On approval, these FFIs/FIs will be issued a global GIIN.
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