Australia clarifies FATCA reporting process

On 18 June 2019, the Australian Taxation Office (“ATO”) issued an email alert updating the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”) reporting process by clarifying the Tax Identification Number (“TIN”) reporting procedure.

ATO states that, if one is lodging a FATCA report, it is important to remember to include the United States TIN for each individual US Specified Person. If one cannot provide a TIN for each individual being reported on, one must comply with the following US due diligence actions:

  • obtain and report the date of birth of each account holder and controlling person whose US TIN is not reported
  • request any missing US TINs from each account holder annually
  • electronically searchable data maintained by the reporting institution for any missing US TINs before reporting each year.

The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will accept reporting of accounts without a TIN through to the 2019 reporting season, but only if the above strict conditions are met.

Any financial institution that does not provide complete information in a FATCA report lodged with ATO may incur Australian penalties. In addition, the IRS may determine the financial institution to be significantly non-compliant, a status that can lead to adverse US withholding tax treatment for the financial institution.

The deadline for submitting FATCA reports in Australia is 31 July (Link).

One can subscribe to receive e-mail alerts from the ATO when new information regarding FATCA reporting are released, by e-mailing ato-dmi@ato.gov.au.

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