On 1 July 2015, the Luxembourg Parliament passed a law (Link – French) to adopt the Luxembourg-U.S. IGA (Link), under which financial institutions were expected to submit their FATCA reports by 30 June 2015. Given the timing of the adoption into law, the authorities announced on 22 June that the reporting deadline would be exceptionally extended until 31 July 2015 (Link – CITT post). Now again, due to the fact that the law has not been officially published, thus meaning it is not yet in force, the tax authorities have extended the deadline to 31 August 2015 (Link – PwC Flash News).
On 31 July 2015, the U.S. Treasury updated the Notification of More Favorable Terms – Model 1 (Hold Mail Address Indicia) (Link) notifying partner jurisdictions of more favourable terms regarding “hold mail address indicia” under IGAs with other Model 1 jurisdictions. At the same time, U.S. Treasury also released the Notification of More Favorable Terms – Model 2 (Link) informing Switzerland of more favourable terms within the IGAs signed with other Model 2 jurisdictions. Finally, on 27 July 2015, the U.S. Treasury also updated the Notification of More Favorable Terms – Model 1 (Certain Alternative Procedures) (Link) to include terms from the BVI IGA starting on page 5 of the document.
On 3 August 2015, the IRS reminded filers of planned maintenance to the FATCA International Data Exchange Service system. The system will be unavailable from 18:00EDT (GMT-5) on 8 August until 2:00EDT (GMT-5) on 9 August.
On 31 July 2015, the IRS released two new frequently asked questions (FAQs) with registration updates (Link). These FAQs address the Office of Foreign Asset Control’s Specially Designated Nationals list and registration (Q6 and Q7).
On 28 July 2015, the IRS apologized for an error in the FATCA XML Schema Best Practices web page related to the inclusion of entity references in FATCA XML documents. In order to prevent file error notifications, filers are advised to review the guidelines and characters described in the FATCA XML Schema Best Practices web page (Link) and to review the corrected FATCA IDES Technical FAQs C16 (Link). Finally, the IRS has stated that the The FATCA XML schema reference documents will be updated to include these restrictions.
On 28 July 2015, the IRS announced that several FATCA IDES frequently asked questions (FAQs) have been added and updated (Link).
In a memo dated 9 June 2015 and released on 17 July 2015, offering generic legal advice (Link), the IRS was asked to opine on the point in time when taxpayer information becomes protected from disclosure is it receipt of the information as a download from the exchange of information via International Data Exchange Service (IDES) or when the data is simply transmitted to IDES. The following highlights can be found in the memo:
“Briefly, information that is provided by the IRS to foreign tax administrations (outbound) through IDES already is return information under section 6103 in the hands of the IRS, so throughout the exchange process should be protected by section 6103. Furthermore, that information becomes treaty protected information in the hands of the foreign country when the information is exchanged pursuant to a tax convention or other international agreement on taxes.”
“Under the current facts and circumstances, we believe [redacted] that 6103 protection arises on the inbound transfer of information at the time that the information is uploaded to IDES. Furthermore, we believe section 6105 and treaty protections are likely to follow the conclusion under section 6103. We understand that the IRS will likely act as if the information were protected at upload and that business decision would be conservative and justified under the current state of the law.”
The full IRS Memorandum can be accessed through the link above.
On 15 July 2015, the Cyprus Tax Department announced that Reporting Financial Institutions in Cyprus will not be required to submit nil returns for FATCA purposes (Link). Therefore, Reporting Financial Institutions in Cyprus would be required to file a FATCA report to the Tax Department only in cases where they have reportable accounts to be reported.
On the heels of the signing of the IGA with the United States (Link) on 17 June, the Ministry of Finance of the United Arab Emirates has release FATCA UAE Guidance Notes (Link) as well as a FATCA Registration Form for Unregulated Entities’ access to the Ministry of Finance FATCA Reporting portal (Link). This information, as well as the FATCA IGA, can be found on the UAE Ministry of Finance website under the “Rules and policies” section (Link).
On 14 July 2015, the Internal Revenue Service released a statement inviting host country tax authorities (HCTAs), financial institutions, and related industry organizations to the Global IT Forum sessions. These sessions will provide technical updates about the International Data Exchange Service (IDES) with subject matter experts available to answer technical questions about IDES. The session does not address other IT or FATCA-related policy questions.
For information on attending the session or to submit an IDES technical question, visit the Global IT Forum website (Link).