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F.A.T.C.A. and Trusts: A Primer

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The Foreign Account Tax Compliant Act (“F.A.T.C.A”) requires that “foreign financial institutions” (“F.F.I.’s”) and “non-financial foreign entities” (“N.F.F.E.’s”) identify and disclose their U.S. accounts and substantial U.S. holders or be subject to a 30% withholding on certain U.S. source payments (including gross proceeds) made to a foreign entity.

F.A.T.C.A. affects both:

  • U.S. tax residents owning assets outside the U.S.; and
  • Non-U.S. tax residents holding assets inside the U.S. provided they are tax residents of a country subject to a Model Intergovernmental Agreement (“I.G.A.”) that provides for reciprocity (i.e., U.S. financial institutions reporting information on non-U.S. tax residents to their non-U.S. home country).

More notably, F.A.T.C.A. withholding may apply to all foreign entities including foreign trusts. However, F.A.T.C.A. withholding will not apply if the entity qualifies for an exemption or complies with specified reporting requirements.