Many thanks to Steve Klaus for providing this visual of what ‘US Persons’ are being asked to do in one country. What happens if they don’t comply with this request? When will full page ads appear in our Canadian or other countries’ newspapers?
NOTICE TO ALL U.S. PERSONS
REGISTERING OF U.S. PERSONS UNDER THE FOREIGN ACCOUNT TAX COMPLIANCE ACT (FATCA)
The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) is a U.S. legislation aimed at preventing tax evasion by U.S. Citizens and residents through overseas assets. FATCA was signed into law on 18th March, 2010 by the U.S. Government and will come into effect in 2014.
FATCA is extra-territorial by design and requires “U.S. Persons” to report their financial assets held overseas. It also requires Foreign Financial Institutions (FFIs) to report to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the Unites States of America about their American/U.S. clients. The law requires financial institutions to report more extensively on business they conduct with U.S. persons and introduce a new reporting and withholding regime for FFIs.
Under the provisions oF the Act, the following criteria may classify you as a “U.S. Person.”
- A citizen of U.S.A. (including an individual born in the U.S. but resident in another country, who has not renounced U.S. citizenship;
- A lawful resident of the U.S. (including a U.S. green card holder);
- A person residing in the U.S.;
- A person who spends a certain number of days in the U.S. each year;
- U.S. corporations estates and trusts;
- Any entity that has a linkage or ownership to U.S. or to U.S. territories;
- Non-U.S. entities that have at least one U.S. Person as a “substantial beneficial owner.”
If you fall within the above criteria, please make arrangements to register yourself with your respective Bank/Bank Branch within two weeks of this notice in order to be in compliance with FATCA.
In order to fulfill the Bank’s obligations, your Bank may ask you to provide necessary information to establish whether you are a “U.S. Person.”
If you require further information, please contact your Branch Manager.
SRI LANKA BANKS’ ASSOCIATION (GUARANTEE) LIMITED
This newspaper notice was placed in a Sri Lankan newspaper last month by the Sri Lanka Banker’s Association, requesting the voluntary ‘registration’ of U.S. Persons with their banks to facilitate the identification of U.S. Persons under FATCA. The voluntary registration was, apparently, not required by the Sri Lanka Central Bank, and Sri Lanka has not (yet) publicly signed an IGA or waived Sri Lankan banking secrecy to allow banks to directly enter into agreements with the IRS.Certainly, the notice for voluntarily registering oneself harkens back to 1939 for some of us, and exemplifies the positive discrimination that FATCA requires. The fact that many of the affected individuals are also Sri Lankan citizens, living in Sri Lanka, and under the protection of their own laws and government, does not factor in at all. Sadly, it also did not factor in to the governments of the U.K, Germany, Mexico and other countries that have signed IGAs either.
Here is a news article that Pacifica found regarding this:
“The Sri Lanka Banks Association (Guarantee) Limited today informed all United States citizens living in Sri Lanka to register themselves with their respective banks so as to comply with US legislation termed the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). …”
…and badger asks:
Has Sri Lanka signed an IGA yet? If not, how can they direct US persons to go register with their Sri Lankan banks now?
The article says; “The Sri Lanka Banks Association (Guarantee) Limited today informed all United States citizens living in Sri Lanka to register themselves with their respective banks so as to comply with US legislation termed the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA)….”
I note that the entity directing US persons to do this is NOT the Sri Lankan government, or the US government, but a corporation – “…The Sri Lanka Banks’ Association (Guarantee) Ltd. is a Company registered under the Companies Act in Sri Lanka….”
On what legal basis can a Sri Lankan company direct ALL US persons or ALL US citizens in Sri Lanka to do anything on behalf of themselves or the US government?