Qualified Intermediary Agreement FATCA: What You Need to Know
The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) is a U.S. law that was enacted in 2010 to combat offshore tax evasion by U.S. taxpayers. To achieve this goal, FATCA requires foreign financial institutions (FFIs) to report certain financial information about their U.S. account holders to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This is done through a Qualified Intermediary Agreement (QIA) between the FFI and the IRS.
What is a Qualified Intermediary Agreement?
A QIA is an agreement between an FFI and the IRS that allows the FFI to act as an intermediary between the IRS and its U.S. customers. The FFI is required to identify and report certain information about its U.S. account holders to the IRS, such as their name, address, taxpayer identification number (TIN), and the account balance. The FFI must also withhold and remit a 30% tax on certain payments made to non-compliant account holders.
What are the requirements for an FFI to enter into a QIA?
To enter into a QIA, an FFI must meet certain requirements, including:
– Registering with the IRS and obtaining a Global Intermediary Identification Number (GIIN)
– Performing due diligence to identify and report U.S. account holders and their account balances to the IRS
– Withholding and remitting the 30% tax on certain payments made to non-compliant account holders
– Complying with IRS reporting and recordkeeping requirements
What are the benefits of entering into a QIA?
Entering into a QIA allows an FFI to comply with FATCA and avoid the 30% withholding tax. It also provides the FFI with certain protections, such as a reduced withholding rate for certain payments and a limitation on its liability for non-compliance by its customers.
What are the risks of non-compliance with FATCA?
Non-compliance with FATCA can result in significant penalties and reputational damage. The IRS can impose penalties of up to $10,000 per violation, and criminal penalties may also apply. In addition, non-compliant FFIs may be subject to reputational damage and loss of business.
In conclusion, a QIA is a crucial tool for FFIs to comply with FATCA and avoid penalties. By meeting the requirements of the QIA, FFIs can ensure that they are in compliance with U.S. tax laws and protect themselves from reputational and financial harm. If you are an FFI, it is important to consult with a qualified intermediary to ensure that you are meeting all of the requirements of the QIA.