WHAT IS FATCA? THE FULL GUIDE
04 July, 2019
This law is being extra-judiciously enforced by the United States in all corners of the world. Those jurisdictions that don’t comply could be frozen out of US markets, which is probably why every jurisdiction in the world has fallen in line and complied. Those individuals who don’t comply will be subject to incredibly heavy fines, or potentially even jail time. This is why it is so crucial for all individuals who are even remotely involved in international banking or business to be aware of exactly what they need to do to be FATCA compliant.
What is FATCA?
FATCA is the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act. It is a piece of legislation put into law by the United States government in 2010. The stated purpose of the law is to decrease tax evasion through greater reporting of US citizens and foreign financial institutions. What this means is that the US government will be able to keep tabs on all of its citizens, so that no matter where a US citizen goes in the world, the IRS will be able to track them down and tax them.
What does FATCA mean for you?
What FATCA means for you is that you must make sure to comply with the laws. The penalties for not being FATCA compliant are incredibly steep. For example, if one is caught willfully not complying with FATCA, they could face fines around $100,000 and/or half of all of their foreign assets. Some have even had to pay FATCA penalties in excess of the amount of money in their foreign accounts. Sounds pretty crazy, right? The takeaway here is this: don’t mess around when it comes to FATCA!
What are the FATCA reporting requirements for US citizens?
Americans with accounts outside of the United States must now report these accounts to the IRS. This includes bank accounts, investment accounts, partnership interests and trust funds. For FATCA, an individual must report any foreign financial assets that are worth an excess of $50,000 at the end of year, or that were worth $75,000 at any point in the year. A report with the IRS must be filed for these accounts every year. The specific form that must be filled out with the IRS is Form 8938. Another IRS filing requirement for those with foreign assets is FBAR (FBAR is the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts), and this also should be filed properly to make sure you don’t receive heavy fines.
FATCA AND A NEW ERA OF OFFSHORE BANKING
When FATCA came into effect, a new era of offshore banking began, and now more than ever, it’s crucial that your offshore strategy is completely transparent and legal. The fact is that the days of stowing away your money in a secretive Swiss vault are over. Even banks that initially turned up their noses at FATCA are now complying.
WHAT ABOUT FATCA IN CG BANK?
We are pleased to announce that our Bank is accepted by FATCA.
The general advantages of compliance with FATCA include:
- Helping to avoid 30% withholding tax on all US source payments.
- Helping to avoid any 30% withholding that might arise in future for the investments in US Assets and in any passthrough payments.
- Helping to avoid unwanted attention from the IRS that might infer that the account holder is trying to evade taxes.