On Friday, 31 May 2013, the German Ministry of Finance, Bundesfinanzministerium (BMF), announced the release of the FATCA Intergovernmental Agreement between the Federal Republic of Germany and the United States (German-U.S. IGA) for implementing the broad ranging provisions of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”). The BMF had issued a news release on 21 February 2013, announcing that it had initialed the German-U.S. IGA without releasing the contents of the agreement, and the industry has been eagerly awaiting this release of the signed version. On 31 May 2013, the German-U.S. IGA was finally signed and published in the English and German languages, with both texts being equally authentic.
The German-U.S IGA was not accompanied by draft implementation guidance. However, it was accompanied by a brief Declaration of Understanding regarding the IGA, which provided some additional information.
Although the Articles and Annexes in the German-U.S. IGA follow a consistent format with similar content as the reciprocal version of the Model 1 IGA, some differences do exist.
This Newsbrief provides an overview of the key elements of the German-U.S. IGA and how it compares to the Model 1 IGA.
The German-U.S. IGA seems to be based almost exclusively on the reciprocal version of the Model 1 IGA released in November, with very limited changes. Accordingly, only a few of the changes from the updated Model 1 IGA released on 9 May 2013 were incorporated.