Global IRW Newsbrief: IRS releases draft FATCA registration forms and additional information regarding FFI lists

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released draft Form 8957, Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) Registration, for public review and comment on April 5, 2013. No accompanying instructions were included. Form 8957, when issued in final form, may be used by foreign financial institutions (FFIs) to register for FATCA purposes. In the IRS release of the draft Form 8957, the IRS reiterated its intention to utilize an on-line registration portal (Portal) for FATCA registration. The Portal is expected to be available in July of this year.

Taxpayers should not use this specific draft Form 8957 for registering. The IRS will accept registrations that are in paper form using a final Form 8957, however, paper forms may not be processed until October 2013 and taxpayers may experience a delay in receiving a response. Rather, the IRS is encouraging financial institutions to use the on-line Portal. Questions presented in the on-line process should look very similar to the questions shown on the draft form, but likely presented differently to make the electronic process more efficient (i.e., there may be drop down responses for some questions).

The IRS also released more information on April 9 about the schema of its so-called December List - a published list of FFIs that have registered with the IRS by October 25 and their corresponding global intermediary identification number (GIIN). The on-line Portal and Form 8957 (when finalized) will enable FFIs to obtain a GIIN and be included in the list.

These IRS releases follow the recent unveiling of a new draft Form 1042-S (Foreign Person's U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding), which has been revised to reflect the implementation of FATCA. The Form 1042-S is a long-standing form used by withholding agents to report both to the IRS and the payment recipient certain US source amounts paid to foreign persons and any applicable withholding.