FOREIGN FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS: WHO DEALS WITH THE I.R.S. ON F.A.T.C.A.?
On August 1, the Internal Revenue Service (“I.R.S.”) clarified in its F.A.T.C.A. Frequently Asked Questions (“F.A.Q.”) that the I.R.S.’s main contact with a foreign financial institution (“F.F.I.”) will be the “responsible officer” identified under Question 10 of the registration form (i.e., Form 8957, which should be completed on the I.R.S. F.A.T.C.A. portal and not in paper form). However, the I.R.S. reiterated that the responsible officer can authorize as many as five additional points of contact to receive F.A.T.C.A.-related information regarding the F.F.I. and to take other F.A.T.C.A.-related actions on behalf of the F.F.I.
Additionally, the responsible officer will receive an automatic e-mail notification to check the F.F.I.’s F.A.T.C.A. message board when certain messages are posted. For example, when the F.F.I.’s registration status changes, the responsible officer will receive an e-mail notification. Such e-mail notifications will include the last several characters of the F.F.I.’s F.A.T.C.A. identification number so that the officer can identify which F.A.T.C.A. account is being referred to. If no e-mail notifications are received, the responsible officer must verify that the e-mail address entered in Question 10 of the registration form is correct, as well as ensure that their spam blocker is not preventing e-mail notifications from getting through. Note that the responsible officer can only list one e-mail address on Question 10 of the registration form.
I.R.S. LIST OF REGISTERED F.F.I.’S
On August 1, the I.R.S. also updated its F.A.Q. on the list of registered F.F.I.’s. (“F.F.I. List”). The I.R.S. stated that it is possible that an F.F.I. that appears in the search tool on the I.R.S.’s website will not appear in a downloaded F.F.I. List in C.S.V. format.
Because some C.S.V.-compatible spreadsheet and database applications may only display a maximum number of records, an F.F.I. that is located on the list beyond that maximum limit may not be seen. To address this problem, the I.R.S. suggests that taxpayers try to use another spreadsheet and database application or text editor to open the downloaded C.S.V. file.