IRS issues first FATCA foreign financial institution list

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released the first Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) search and download tool to find foreign financial institutions registered under the new anti-tax evasion law.

FATCA is due to start on July 1, 2014, and requires hundreds of thousands of financial institutions to give up financial and personal data on their clients who are US taxpayers.

The aim is to cross-reference the information gleaned from banks and other financial institutions with tax returns to track down US taxpayers who have under declared or failed to tell the IRS about their offshore incomes and assets.

So far, more than 77,000 individuals and financial institutions have signed up to follow the FATCA reporting guidelines through the US government’s only portal.

UK FATCA register

Around 750,000 were expected to join the FATCA tax reporting network.

In the UK, 6,264 individuals and financial institutions are on the FATCA database.

The details can be searched and downloaded from the IRS FATCA Foreign Financial Institution (FFI) List Search and Download Tool

The list can be searched by country, organisation or FATCA ID.

The entire list can be downloaded as a spreadsheet.

So far, some notable exceptions appear on the list – which is the first phase of several releases.

China only has 212 entries, Russia 515 while the miniscule in comparison Cayman Islands has 14,837.

The list of countries also includes organisations that have signed up even when the US and their tax authorities have an inter-governmental treaty to automatically swap the tax data. The UK, Belgium and France are examples.

Cyprus joins FATCA compliant list

The list of countries is just that. Not every country has a financial institution listed, so the assumption must be someone at the IRS or Department of Treasury was tasked with drawing up the list of every recognised nation.

“The foreign financial institution list will be updated on the first day of every month,” said an IRS spokesman. “The list covers every financial institution and their branches that have FATCA compliant status on the day the list is compiled.”

The first list was published on May 23, 2014.

FATCA laws require every foreign financial institution with accounts or investments worth more than $50,000 controlled by US taxpayers to report the details each year. Those that do not face withholding taxes of up to 30% of their US dealings and further sanctions after that.

Meanwhile, the latest nation to sign up as FATCA compliant is Cyprus.

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