The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) is United States (US) legislation aimed at improving compliance with US tax laws.
FATCA imposes certain due diligence and reporting obligations on Australian financial institutions (AFIs), and those of other non-US countries, to report US citizen or US tax-resident Account Holders to the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Failure to comply with FATCA's requirements will expose such Financial Institutions to a 30 per cent US withholding tax on payments to them from US sources.
Under the FATCA Agreement between Australia and the US, non-exempt AFIs need to register with the IRS and report to the ATO each year about certain Financial Accounts held with them by either:
- US citizens
- US tax residents
- specified US entities established in the US or controlled by US persons.
Each non-exempt AFI must have a Global Intermediary Identification Number (GIIN) issued to them by the IRS.
To access the FATCA reporting functionality on the Registry Direct platform the issuer must supply their GIIN to Registry Direct by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The information to be reported to the ATO must generally be supplied using an XML schema adopted by the ATO.
To generate a FATCA report:
- From the menu, go to Regulatory reports and click FATCA reports.
- Select the calendar year the report is required for.
- Click generate report.
The Registry Direct platform will generate a .zip file containing two files:
- An XML file in the required format that can be provided to the ATO. Note, the Registry Direct platform does NOT automatically send this file to the ATO. The issuer or their registrar must lodge the file with the ATO; and
- A CSV file containing a copy of the information contained in the XML file. The CSV file is provided to allow issuers and their registrars to verify the data contained in the XML file (as data in an XML file is not normally displayed in a readable format). If there is missing or incorrect information, the issuer or their registrar can correct the information on the Registry Direct platform and re-generate the FATCA report.