Have You Received a Letter From Your Foreign Bank About FATCA and US Tax Compliance?

FATCA Tax – Have You Received a FATCA Tax Letter From Your Foreign Bank?

  • A ‘FATCA letter’ is a letter from your foreign bank requesting certain information about your US tax status (and requesting you complete either a W-9 or W-8 form).  The letter usually also offers an incomplete discussion of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) legislation) which requires the bank to share your name, address, and other account details with the IRS.
  • If you’ve received a letter from your foreign bank about FATCA compliance, you have already been identified as a likely US resident and/or taxpayer and your name will soon be revealed to the IRS.  The time for hiding is over – your goal should now be to make the appropriate IRS voluntary disclosure to come clean and resolve your FATCA foreign account problem.

Experienced FBAR Tax Attorney Can Help.  Call San Francisco tax attorney Andrew L. Jones now at (415) 745-1924.

Your FATCA compliance letter is a clear signal that it is time to consult with an FBAR attorney.  An experienced IRS voluntary disclosure attorney will determine whether you have committed certain common US reporting violations, typically including:

  • Failure to report a foreign account via the Foreign Bank Account Report (FBAR)
  • Failure to file the Form 8938
  • Failure to report the income from these accounts on your US tax return.

The FBAR attorney will also outline for you the options for making a voluntary disclosure – either through the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program or the Streamlined Domestic Offshore Procedures – or, in rare instances, a non-program disclosure.

FATCA Tax Requirements

If you have received a FATCA compliance letter from your foreign bank, there is still time to act – not much time – but time enough to put together a compliance plan that protects your assets and your personal freedom.  The IRS voluntary disclosure programs reward proactivity.  Don’t wait for the enforcement to find you – come forward first and manage the timeline and consequences of your prior errors.

Want to Understand More?  Keep Reading!

FATCA Reporting and FATCA Requirements

FATCA – the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act – is a US law that has made the world’s financial system the reporting and enforcement agent of the IRS.

It accomplishes that goal by forcing tens of thousands of foreign banks (in dozens of cooperating countries) to annually review their client records.

If those records contain indications of US status (‘US indices’), the bank will write to inquire about the client’s US tax and residence status, usually providing either a Form W-9 or a Form W-8, one of which the bank requests be completed and signed under penalty of perjury.

If you have received this FATCA letter, it means that under the FATCA regulations, your bank has detected “US indices” on your account which identify you as a likely US account-holder.

If you have failed to report your foreign accounts on the Foreign Bank Account Report (FBAR), or failed to file the Form 8938, or failed to report your income from these foreign accounts on your US tax return, then you have likely violated US law.

Thankfully, there is a limited time to take action to resolve your violations of the US tax law. A skilled IRS voluntary disclosure attorney like Andrew L. Jones can assist in understanding your exposure and resolving it through the appropriate IRS program – usually either the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program, or OVDP, or the Streamlined Domestic Offshore Procedures (‘Streamlined’).

FATCA Compliance Letter

A FATCA compliance letter will usually begin with a summary of why the foreign bank is writing the individual – usually with a clumsy or difficult-to-understand summary of the FATCA legislation and, to varying degrees of specificity accuracy, an explanation of the ‘due diligence’ that the bank must undertake.

The letter will then turn to the bank’s actual goals: requiring the client to clarify his/her US tax status by either:

– Supplying a completed and signed Form W-9 conceding the client is a US taxpayer
– Supplying a completed and signed Form W-8, which declares the client is not a US taxpayer, or,
– Supplying nothing, in which case the bank warns that the client will be reported to the US anyway, and/or have their account closed or frozen.

Do not be tempted to ignore the letter, or to commit a federal crime by falsely telling the bank that you are not a US resident and/or taxpayer.

FATCA Forces Foreign Banks to Provide Your Information to the IRS

US taxpayers who received a FATCA compliance letter must understand that the banks are following the FATCA agreement between the US and the banks’ country. At this point, the bank has no interest in protecting you – they want to protect themselves, and their FATCA compliance letter, asking you to give them information, proves that. The bank is looking out for itself – isn’t it time you protected yourself from your foreign bank?

FBAR Tax Attorney Andrew L. Jones Can Help You Understand Your Foreign Bank’s FATCA Letter and Your US Tax Obligations

The truth is that you shouldn’t spend a significant amount of time trying to understand your FATCA letter. Your bank’s explanation of FATCA regulations or the impact of their FATCA letter on your US tax reporting obligations is difficult to understand, if not impossible.

One call to (415) 745-1924 for a free consultation with IRS voluntary disclosure attorney Andrew L. Jones can help you understand what this FATCA letter means, and more specifically, what it means for you personally.

For now, there is only one clear truth: your foreign bank’s FATCA tax compliance means that you are no longer invisible to the IRS and your foreign account cannot stay invisible. Call now!

 Countries Which Have Signed FATCA Agreements Forcing Their Countries’ Banks to Disclose to the IRS

   Algeria (6-30-2014) Model 1 IGA
   Anguilla (6-30-2014) Model 1 IGA
   Antigua and Barbuda (6-3-2014) Model 1 IGA
   Australia (4-28-2014) Model 1 IGA
   Austria (4-29-2014) Model 2 IGA
   Azerbaijan (5-16-2014) Model 1 IGA
   Bahamas (11-3-2014) Model 1 IGA
   Bahrain (6-30-2014) Model 1 IGA
   Barbados (11-17-2014) Model 1 IGA
   Belarus (6-6-2014) Model 1 IGA
   Belgium (4-23-2014) Model 1 IGA
   Bermuda (12-19-2013) Model 2 IGA
   Brazil (9-23-2014) Model 1 IGA
   British Virgin Islands (6-30-2014) Model 1 IGA
   Bulgaria (12-5-2014) Model 1 IGA
   Cabo Verde (6-30-2014) Model 1 IGA
   Canada (2-5-2014) Model 1 IGA
   Cayman Islands (11-29-2013) Model 1 IGA
   Chile (3-5-2014) Model 2 IGA
   China (6-26-2014) Model 1 IGA
   Colombia (4-23-2014) Model 1 IGA
   Costa Rica (11-26-2013) Model 1 IGA
   Croatia (4-2-2014) Model 1 IGA
   Curaçao (12-16-2014) Model 1 IGA
   Cyprus (12-2-2014) Model 1 IGA
   Czech Republic (8-4-2014) Model 1 IGA
   Denmark (11-19-2012) Model 1 IGA
   Dominica (6-19-2014) Model 1 IGA
   Dominican Republic (6-30-2014) Model 1 IGA
   Estonia (4-11-2014) Model 1 IGA
   Finland (3-5-2014) Model 1 IGA
   France (11-14-2013) Model 1 IGA
   Georgia (6-12-201) Model 1 IGA
   Germany (5-31-2013) Model 1 IGA
   Gibraltar (5-8-2014) Model 1 IGA
   Greenland (6-29-2014) Model 1 IGA
   Grenada (6-16-2014) Model 1 IGA
   Guernsey (12-13-2013) Model 1 IGA
   Guyana (6-24-2014) Model 1 IGA
   Haiti (6-30-2014) Model 1 IGA
   Honduras (3-31-2014) Model 1 IGA
   Hong Kong (11-13-2014) Model 2 IGA
   Hungary (2-4-2014) Model 1 IGA
   India (4-11-2014) Model 1 IGA
   Indonesia (5-4-2014) Model 1 IGA
   Ireland (1-23-2013) Model 1 IGA
   Isle of Man (12-13-2013) Model 1 IGA
   Israel (6-30-2014) Model 1 IGA
   Italy (1-10-2014) Model 1 IGA
   Jamaica (5-1-2014) Model 1 IGA
   Japan (6-11-2013) Model 2 IGA
   Jersey (12-13-2013) Model 1 IGA
   Kosovo (4-2-2014) Model 1 IGA
   Kuwait (5-1-2014) Model 1 IGA
   Latvia (6-27-2014) Model 1 IGA
   Liechtenstein (5-19-2014) Model 1 IGA
   Lithuania (8-26-2014) Model 1 IGA
   Luxembourg (3-28-2014) Model 1 IGA
   Macao (11-30-2014 Model 2 IGA
   Malaysia (6-30-2014) Model 1 IGA
   Malta (12-16-2013) Model 1 IGA
   Mauritius (12-27-2013) Model 1 IGA
   Mexico (4-9-2014) Model 1 IGA
   Moldova (11-26-2014) Model 2 IGA
   Montenegro (6-30-2014) Model 1 IGA
   Netherlands (12-18-2013) Model 1 IGA
   New Zealand (6-12-2014) Model 1 IGA
   Norway (4-15-2013) Model 1 IGA
   Panama (5-1-2014) Model 1 IGA
   Peru (5-1-2014) Model 1 IGA
   Poland (10-7-2014) Model 1 IGA
   Portugal (4-2-2014) Model 1 IGA
   Qatar (1-7-2015) Model 1 IGA
   Romania (4-2-2014) Model 1 IGA
   Saudi Arabia (6-24-2014) Model 1 IGA
   Serbia (6-30-2014) Model 1 IGA
   Seychelles (5-28-2014) Model 1 IGA
   Singapore (12-9-2014) Model 1 IGA
   Slovak Republic (4-11-2014) Model 1 IGA
   Slovenia (6-2-2014) Model 1 IGA
   South Africa (6-9-2014) Model 1 IGA
   South Korea (4-2-2014) Model 1 IGA
   Spain (5-14-2013) Model 1 IGA
   St. Kitts and Nevis (6-4-2014) Model 1 IGA
   St. Lucia (6-12-2014) Model 1 IGA
   St. Vincent and the Grenadines (6-2-2014) Model 1 IGA
   Sweden (8-8-2014) Model 1 IGA
   Switzerland (2-14-2013) Model 2 IGA
   Thailand (6-24-2014) Model 1 IGA
   Turkey (6-3-2014) Model 1 IGA
   Turkmenistan (6-3-2014) Model 1 IGA
   Turks and Caicos Islands (12-1-2014) Model 1 IGA
   Ukraine (6-26-2014) Model 1 IGA
   United Arab Emirates (5-21-2014) Model 1 IGA
   United Kingdom (9-12-2012) Model 1 IGA
   Uzbekistan (6-30-2014) Model 1 IGA
Angola (11-30-2014) Model 1 IGA
Armenia (5-8-2014) Model 2 IGA
Cambodia (11-30-2014) Model 1 IGA
Greece (11-30-2014) Model 1 IGA
Holy See (11-30-2014) Model 1 IGA
Iceland (11-30-2014) Model 1 IGA
Iraq (6-30-2014) Model 2 IGA
Kazakhstan (11-30-2014) Model 1 IGA
Montserrat (11-30-2014) Model 1 IGA
Nicaragua (6-30-2014) Model 2 IGA
Paraguay (6-6-2014) Model 2 IGA
Philippines (11-30-2014) Model 1 IGA
San Marino (6-30-2014) Model 2 IGA
Taiwan (6-23-2014)* Model 2 IGA
Trinidad and Tobago (11-30-2014) Model 1 IGA
Tunisia (11-30-2014) Model 1 IGA