FATCA FAQs updated regarding registration requirements

On 25 August 2015, the IRS updated its FATCA FAQs (Link) to amend questions Q2 and Q3 while adding Q5 under the heading “Branches/Disregarded Entity.” According to these FAQs, a branch of an FI should be registered as a branch of its owner and not as a separate entity.  Q5 explains how to remediate a branch’s registration status if it incorrectly registered as a separate entity rather than as a branch.  Branches that need to revise their registration status must do so before the end of 2015.  Q5 also describes consequences to a withholding agent that has received a Form W-8BEN-E from a branch that has incorrectly registered as a separate entity.  According to Q5, a withholding agent may rely on a Form W-8BEN-E if it knows or has reason to know that the form has been provided by a branch of an FI that has incorrectly registered as a separate entity until the end of 2015 (assuming the form is otherwise valid).  Please refer to the recent alert (PwC Tax Insight) regarding changes to the FATCA Online Registration System (Link to post).

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