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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Some Great FATCA/CBT Links

Swamped here.  The Flophouse will be on the move next week and we are busy with doctors, dentists, the mayor's office, visas, packing and the like.

Nonetheless, I wanted to highlight some of the great links that were left in response to Monday's post (FATCA:  A Project Audit).  I may be imagining things but it feels as though the human side of FATCA/CBT is finally generating some interest.  Here are a few that Flophouse readers left in the comments section and a couple I threw in as well.  Thank you all so much for reading the Flophouse and for generating such a great conversation and sharing information here and elsewhere.  Bonne lecture!

Vers une dérive du fisc américain?  by Mohammad Faroukh for Bilan

How to Lose Friends, Citizens and Influence by Colleen Graffy for the Wall Street Journal 

Has the IRS Gone Fishing?  by Geoff Cook for International Adviser

The Personal Impact of Offshore Enforcement by Marie Sapirie (originally published in Tax Notes but made available on-line by Tax Analysts due to the great interest it generated)

British Banking Association letter.  Question about what to do with those pesky "US Persons" start on page 8.

And while I have you, you might also be interested in something I was made aware of yesterday.  Sophie in't Veld and her staff are working very hard to raise awareness about FATCA and its implications.  They have submitted the following questions to the President of the European Council and Council Vice-President/High Representative:

"Recently in a letter to the European Commission, five EU Member States announced their interest in a pilot agreement for multilateral exchange of information on tax matters (EU FATCA) based on the IGAs agreed with the US.[i]

At the same time, the "reciprocity" stipulated in IGAs of exchange of information seems to become problematic for both members of the US Congress and US banks.[ii] Questions were raised about the Treasury's authority to negotiate directly with foreign governments and to sign IGA's. There were calls for "a moratorium on FATCA enforcement and negotiations of additional IGAs".[iii]

On the 12th of July, the US IRS announced a postponement of the enforcement of FATCA by six months because of a.o. "continued uncertainty about whether an IGA will be in effect in a particular jurisdiction hinders the ability of FFIs and withholding agents to complete due diligence and other implementation procedures". The list of jurisdictions, treated as having an IGA in effect will include also jurisdictions that have signed but not yet brought into force an IGA and may be removed from this list if they fail to do so within a "reasonable period of time".[iv] In that case, the FFIs in that jurisdiction will be considered as non-compliant and will be confronted with sanctions.

Is the Commission aware of the above mentioned concerns related to FATCA and the IGAs?

Is there a "moratorium" on IGAs and does the Commission consider such moratorium as necessary?

What would constitute "a reasonable period of time" for bringing IGAs into force? Will the "reasonable period of time" be decided by provisions in the IGAs, or unilaterally by the United States authorities?

What is the legal status of IGAs and can the US change or repeal them unilaterally at any given time?

Should the IGAs on FATCA constitute a template for EU-wide exchange on information on tax matters, given its flaws regarding proportionality and data protection?"

Great questions and I for one am really looking forward to hearing the answers.


Janet said...

For those who have not yet done so, please sign the Repeal FATCA petition at

Just me said...

I created a link to download the word document that contains Sophie's question to EU Parliament here...

P. Moore said...

This Post and that of July 15th (FATCA Audit)together provide overwhelming evidence of how ridiculous this US legislation really is. The 2 posts together, along with links/references provide a good education about this entire issue (or should I say MESS). The comments generated are very worthwhile as well.

Anonymous said...

The article by Marie Sapirie makes me feel almost physically ill. The amount of wasted time and money, and the impact on real people's lives is just inconceivable to me. It also makes me wonder how many other stories there are to match these and why the IRS would continue to waste its precious resources on trying to wring water from small stones.