Global IRW Newsbrief: BMF announces the release of the German Intergovernmental Agreement for implementing FATCA

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.