South Korean tax industry publication Josei Ilbo is reporting that Finance Minister Bahk Jae-wan met with Timothy Geithner at the G20/IMF/World Bank meeting this weekend and came to an agreement on the implementation of FATCA in South Korea. Their journalist has written a shoddy and clueless article which makes no mention of the potential effects on Korean Americans, returned South Korean expatriates still holding on to their green cards, Americans working in South Korea, South Korean privacy laws, or anything else — just the usual cross-border services firm propaganda on “minimising the burdens of financial institutions”. Translation after the jump.
“한·미 양국 금융·조세정보 공유된다”
“South Korea, US can share finance and tax information”
한·미 재정당국, FATCA 시행시기 협의; 독일 등 유럽 5개국과 유사한 수준에서 결정될 듯
South Korea, U.S. fiscal authorities agree on implementation schedule for FATCA; decided on standard resembling that of five European countries including Germany
한·미 재정당국이 미국의 해외계좌납세순응법(FATCA) 시행과 관련해 적용 당사자인 금융회사들의 부담을 최소화시켜야 한다는데 공감하면서 구체적인 시행시기 조율에 나섰다.
South Korean and U.S. financial authorities have come to a consensus on minimising affected finance companies’ burdens regarding the implementation of the U.S.’ Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), and started to coordinate regarding a concrete implementation timetable.
22일 기획재정부에 따르면 G20 재무장관·중앙은행총재 회의에 참석 중인 박재완 재정부 장관은 티모시 가이트너 미국재무장관과 양자면담을 갖고, FATCA 시행시기, 보고대상 범위 등 구체적인 사항에 대해 협의했다.
On the 22nd, according to the Ministry of Strategy and Finance, while attending the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ Meeting, Finance Minister Bahk Jae-wan sought a bilateral meeting with U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and came to an agreement on FATCA’s implementation timetable, scope of reporting, and other concrete items.
FATCA는 미국이 지난 2010년 3월부터 자국 납세자의 역외탈세를 방지하고, 해외금융정보를 수집하기 위해 제정한 법으로, 협약 당사자 과세당국이 금융회사로부터 금융정보를 수집해 미국에 정보를 제공하는 조건으로 미국도 미국 금융회사가 보유하고 있는 상대국 거주자 금융정보를 제공하는 제도다.
Under FATCA — a law enacted by the U.S. in March 2010 which seeks to prevent domestic taxpayers from evading taxes extra-territorially and to collect information from overseas financial institutions — on the condition that tax authorities which are parties to agreements collect financial information from finance companies and provide it to the U.S., the U.S. will also provide financial information held by U.S. financial companies regarding residents of the partner country.
쉽게 말해 역외탈세를 시도하는 양국 거주자들의 금융정보를 맞교환하는 방식으로 과세인프라를 확충하는 제도인 셈.
To put it simply, it’s a system which expands the taxation infrastructure through the method of exchanging financial information on residents of the two countries who are trying to evade tax extraterritorially.
한·미 양국은 이번 협의를 통해 미국과 영국, 프랑스, 독일, 이탈리아, 스페인 등 유럽 5개국 사이의 이뤄진 협의와 유사한 수준에서 향후 FATCA 제도 운용과 관련해 긴밀히 협의해 나가기로 했다.
Through this agreement, South Korea and the United States have decided to cooperate closely regarding the future operation of the FATCA system, similar to the the multilateral agreement between the U.S. and the five European countries the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain.
The rest of the article goes on to talk about Jang’s meeting with Russian finance minister Anton Siluanov regarding energy policy. Fortunately, any agreement that Jang has made with Geithner will likely require conforming amendments to national data protection laws to be passed by South Korea’s National Assembly. The problem is, they are not so susceptible to voter pressure at this point in the cycle, because South Korea just held legislative elections two weeks ago.
At least some members of the South Korean public understand what’s at stake. There’s dozens of other countries — particularly non-Anglophone ones — where the vast majority of local information about FATCA comes from self-serving press releases put out by cross-border services firms, who are the only ones who have the resources to translate new material week after week and analyse it in terms of local laws. But in South Korea, at least, there have been at least a few FATCA and FBAR-related articles in the Korean-language press, which have have mentioned the negative effects of the U.S.’ extraterritorial laws (I translated one such article on my blog a few months ago), and Atossa Abrahamian’s article on Americans renouncing their citizenship was also published in some major Korean newspapers last week (including the JoongAng Ilbo and the Hankook Ilbo).