WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service has upgraded the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) Online Registration System, enabling sponsoring entities to register their sponsored entities to obtain a global intermediary identification number. The upgraded system also will allow users to update their information, download registration tables and change their financial institution type. The upgrade also includes an updated jurisdiction list.

The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) Online Registration System is a secure, web-based system that financial institutions and other entities can use to register for FATCA purposes. Launched in 2013, the system allows the IRS to identify foreign financial institutions and certain other entities with FATCA obligations. These entities generally report on foreign financial accounts held by U.S. taxpayers under the terms of FATCA or pursuant to the provisions of specific intergovernmental agreements (IGAs).

"The registration system is the backbone of FATCA," said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. "These upgrades improve the FATCA process, enabling the registration of sponsored entities and making it easier for registrants to use. Working with financial institutions and through intergovernmental agreements, our progress against undisclosed foreign accounts continues."

More than 170,000 financial institutions worldwide have registered with the IRS. These financial institutions are located in more than 200 jurisdictions. In most cases, those foreign financial institutions that do not comply with FATCA or participate through an IGA are subject to 30 percent withholding on certain U.S. source payments.

FATCA requires certain sponsored entities (including those covered by an IGA) to have their own Global Intermediary Identification Number (GIIN) for FATCA reporting and withholding purposes by Dec. 31, 2016. To facilitate this requirement, the FATCA Online Registration System will now enable sponsoring entities to add their sponsored entities and, if applicable, sponsored subsidiary branches. These entities can be added either individually or by submitting a file containing information for multiple entities.

The IRS also provides a Microsoft Excel-based Sponsored Entity Data Preparation Tool for users choosing the multiple record file upload option. As a result of the new sponsored entities and sponsored subsidiary branches, the values available for the GIIN have been expanded. See the Instructions for Sponsored Entity Data Preparation Tool for XML File for the definitions of sponsored entities and sponsored subsidiary branches.

The update to the system occurred on November 16. The improvements to the system and additional features to manage user accounts include the following:

  • New questions have been added, such as asking foreign financial institutions to indicate their tax identification number in their country or jurisdiction, if they have one. Other questions relate to identifying the common parent entity of the expanded affiliated group.
  • Certain financial institutions can now change their "Financial Institution Type."
  • Member financial institutions can now transfer to another expanded affiliated group without having to cancel their current agreement and re-register.

Following the change or transfer, a new FATCA account will be created with existing registration information, including branches. The FATCA Online Registration System User Guide and FAQs have been updated for these enhancements. Additional information on this system is available at www.irs.gov/fatca.

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Upcoming Tax Dates

May 2 — Social security, Medicare, and withheld income tax
File Form 941 for the first quarter of 2017. Deposit or pay any undeposited tax under the accuracy of deposit rules. If your tax liability is less than $2,500, you can pay it in full with a timely filed return. If you deposited the tax for the quarter timely, properly, and in full, you have until May 10 to file the return.

May 2 — Federal unemployment tax.
Deposit the tax owed through March if more than $500.

May 2 — Form 720 taxes
File Form 720 for the first quarter of 2017.

May 2 — Wagering tax
File Form 730 and pay the tax on wagers accepted during March.

May 10 — Employees who work for tips
If you received $20 or more in tips during April, report them to your employer Details

May 10 — Social security, Medicare, and withheld income tax
File Form 941 for the first quarter of 2017. This due date applies only if you deposited the tax for the quarter timely, properly, and in full.

May 11 — Communications and air transportation taxes under the alternative method
Deposit the tax included in amounts billed or tickets sold during the first 15 days of April.

May 13 — Regular method taxes
Deposit the tax for the last 15 days of April.

May 16 — Social security, Medicare, and withheld income tax
If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in April.

May 16 — Nonpayroll withholding
If the monthly deposit rule applies, deposit the tax for payments in April.

May 25 — Communications and air transportation taxes under the alternative method
Deposit the tax included in amounts billed or tickets sold during the last 15 days of April.

May 27 — Regular method taxes
Deposit the tax for the first 15 days of May.

May 31 — Wagering tax
File Form 730 and pay the tax on wagers accepted during April.

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