Deadline for FATCA FFI agreement renewal quietly extended

The Internal Revenue Service has extended the deadline for foreign financial institutions to have renewed their FFI Agreements, it has emerged.

As reported, the original deadline was 31 July.

However, accounting industry sources have flagged up the fact that the Internal Revenue Service is now stating that the deadline for FFI Agreements to be renewed is October 24, 2017.

This is the new date by when financial institutions located outside of the US that wish to remain compliant with the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) – thus retaining their GIIN (Global Intermediary Identification Number) – are obliged to update their FFI Agreement.

Those companies that fail to do so will face having their names removed from the list of “registered and approved FFIs” that the IRS maintains on its website and updates every month.

Maya Buckland, a London-based American wealth-planning specialist with the Withers law firm, noted that this is not the first time that the IRS has extended a FATCA deadline. Entities most likely to be affected by an extension of the deadline would have received messages alerting them to that fact “on the FATCA portal regarding renewal requirements”, she added.

FATCA is a US law that was brought into force during the Obama administration, and sought to ensure Americans who were making use of overseas bank accounts to avoid their US tax obligations by having these overseas banks – or “foreign financial institutions” – report to the IRS all the relevant details of any accounts held by Americans.

To see the current FATCA Foreign Financial Institution list, on the IRS’s website, click here.

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