FATCA Accreditation Program Opens for Business

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GlobeTax, the world’s largest provider of withholding tax research, relief, recovery and information reporting has launched a joint venture with UK based B.I.S.S. Research to provide the new FATCA Accreditation to the financial services industry.

Following eighteen months of development, B.I.S.S. Research today declared the FATCA Accreditation Programme ‘Open for Business’.

The FATCA Accreditation Programme was co-founded by GlobeTax, who supports the programme as subject matter experts (SMEs), and was announced last month.

Ross McGill, managing director of GlobeTax explains, “FATCA is designed to deter Americans from using undisclosed foreign (non-US) bank accounts or collective investment vehicles to evade US taxes. To achieve this, the IRS has re-defined the term ’financial institution’ to include most types of collective investment vehicles (e.g. the funds industry) in addition to the more traditional banks and brokerages.

The main impact on these newly defined foreign financial institutions (FFIs) from January 1st 2013, will be to document both pre-existing and new customers with enhanced levels of due diligence. The FFIs must also identify and report any participants that are US, substantially US owned or effectively US controlled. The penalty for non-compliance will be to withhold a 30% penalty on equity and bond income as well as 30% withholding on gross proceeds and in certain circumstances, close the accounts.

As with the parallel QI/NQI regulations, all financial institutions up and down the chain must also certify their own status to the IRS. There are a plethora of different categorisations of status, each of which have several strict criteria associated with them. Unlike the QI regulations however, FATCA has no mandated independent oversight control in the form of regular audits. As such, the B.I.S.S. FATCA Accreditation Programme is a significant step that financial firms, funds and software vendors can take in managing counterparty risk.”

Gary Wright, C.E.O. of B.I.S.S. Research said, “In such a complex regulatory environment, and in the absence of a defined oversight mechanism, the industry needs a clear standard of Accreditation so that each firm in the financial chain can be assured that their counterparties understand the regulations and are capable of being compliant.”

Wright explains the format, “Accreditation is available in tiers, based on the size of the applicant’s business and also as either a one-off accreditation or as a rolling three year Accreditation program.”

GlobeTax have spent the last few months preparing the extensive and detailed questionnaire that forms the first stage of the Accreditation; and building up the consulting team that will be part of the accreditation interview and remediation process.

In a joint statement, McGill and Wright said, “We are now ready to accept and process applications for FATCA Compliance Accreditation.”

About GlobeTax
GlobeTax is the world’s premier provider of research, relief, tax recovery and information reporting services for financial institutions and their cross border investor clients. The firm is based in New York, with offices in London, Hong Kong, Madrid, Milan, and Sydney.

For more Information please visit: http://www.GlobeTax.com.

Ross McGill (London), +44 (0)7515 356050, Ross_McGill(at)GlobeTax(dot)com    
Len Lipton (New York), +1-212-747-9100, Len_Lipton(at)GlobeTax(dot)com

About B.I.S.S. Research
B.I.S.S. Research is an independent research company providing training, advisory services, business benchmarking, Accreditation and analysis of technology and services of suppliers in the Global financial services industry. B.I.S.S. Research analysts are all from a business to IT background with a long track record of procurement in the financial services market place, which enables them to produce unique and valuable assessments of technology and services and their value to the supplier and the market place.

For more Information please visit: http://www.bissresearch.com.

Contact: Cathy Wright
Tel: + 44 (0)207 549 3564

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Len Lipton
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