US FATCA Regulations.
In 2010, the United States of America passed an Act to enhance the tax compliance of its taxpayers. It requires foreign financial institutions to pass data on US persons on to the US tax authorities. Like most of the world’s other countries, the Republic of Austria implemented FATCA by concluding an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with the US. This Agreement requires all financial institutions in Austria to report specific personal details and account data of US taxpayers to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the US tax authority.
How will FATCA affect me?
The FATCA regulations include the following important requirements for bank customers:
Individuals and entities with connections to the US are, for their bank, required:
- to submit form W-9 and a consent for filing a report to the US tax authorities, or
- to submit form W-8BEN, wherein they formally declare that they are not resident in the US for tax purposes.
Customers and entities without a US connection, or with a US connection but without unlimited tax liability in the US, need to submit form
- W-8BEN (for natural persons) or
- W-8BEN-E (for entities) to their bank upon request in order to document their non-US status and as confirmation that there are no US owners.
These forms are in each case valid for three years after the year in which they are signed and have to be renewed at regular intervals.
The consequences of non-disclosure or non-consent
As soon as a US connection as defined by FATCA becomes apparent, the bank must, within defined periods, clarify with the customer whether he or she is liable to US tax. If the customer refuses to clarify this matter by not answering the questions or by not signing the forms, he or she is assigned a “non-consenting” status under FATCA. The expiry of a form (i.e. expiry of the three-year period) can also result in a reporting requirement for the customer.
Financial institutions are required to report the number of non-disclosed customers and the non-disclosed investment volume. The first report was filed at the end of March 2015 for the 2014 reporting period. The US can submit a request to the Republic of Austria for disclosure of these customers by way of a request for judicial assistance.
Which data are reported?
Information on the account holder:
- Address of domicile
- US TIN (US tax identification number or social insurance number)
- Date of birth (if a US TIN is not provided)
- Account number (current accounts, savings accounts, term deposits and safe-custody accounts)
- Account balance or value of the account as of 31 December, or the amounts which have accrued in connection with the closure or transfer of the account
- Income transactions, broken down into
- Gross proceeds – total gross proceeds from the sale and/or repayment of positions (regardless of whether or not the transactions are subject to tax)
- The currency code
All “non-consenting” account holders are reported in a pooled reporting. These include all customers for whom the required FATCA documentation (or its renewal) was not provided. These are reported as “non-consenting” customers to the US tax authorities in a pooled reporting. In accordance with general practice, the requisite information is disclosed once a year on the basis of a request for judicial assistance submitted by the US tax authorities to the Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance. The reporting data which are disclosed correspond to the aforementioned reporting data of regular FATCA reporting.
Dokumente for individuals:
→ W-9 (PDF)
→ W-8BEN (PDF)
→ US-CtR (PDF)
Dokumente for entities:
→ W-8BEN-E (PDF)
→ W-8IMY (PDF) (for transparent companies)
Bank Austria withholding documents:
→ W-8BEN-E (PDF)
→ W-8IMY (PDF)
(We would like to note that electronic archiving and transmission in the form of a PDF document has been permissible pursuant to § 1.1441-1(e)(4)(iv) B) of the U.S. Treasury Regulations since February 2014.)
The GIIN (Global Intermediary Identification Numer) of UniCredit Bank Austria AG is: 938A8A.00076.ME.040
Active operations essentially mean
- < 50% of the entity’s gross income comes from passive sources (financial income such as dividends, interest, etc.)
- < 50% of the assets held are used to produce passive income
Legal entities that primarily engage in investment activities, i.e. so-called passive entities, must submit a self-certification even if they do not have a US connection (via US form W-8BEN-E) and disclose any US owners. Certain legal entities, e.g. foundations, that hold US securities in a securities account at UniCredit Bank Austria AG may be subject to additional documentation requirements.
Following the cessation of US tax liability, the tax liability can be eliminated from the customer documents at UniCredit Bank Austria by providing comprehensive evidence of the cessation. This also terminates UniCredit Bank Austria’s obligation to report to the US tax authority (IRS).
In such a case, please contact your advisor at the branch in order to determine what specific documents are required for this purpose.
In general, FATCA forms must be updated in the event of changes to FATCA-relevant customer data such as the customer’s name, address of residence, legal form, or US TIN (taxpayer identification number). In such cases, please contact your advisor at the branch.
Forms with unlimited validity:
- Consent to report
Forms with limited validity (3 years after the year of issuance):
If you need assistance with clarifying whether you may be subject to US tax liability, we recommend that you contact a tax consulting firm that is familiar with US tax law.
Bank employees are not permitted to assess your individual tax situation.
US indicia for retail customers
Hard indicia result in US tax liability:
- Principal residence in the USA or long-term residency in the USA
- US citizenship and/or
- US tax residency
- US taxpayer identification number
Soft US indicia do not result in US tax liability:
- Mailing or secondary address(es) in the USA – e.g. holiday home in Miami
- Addresses that are not “real” addresses – e.g. P.O. box, care of, mail held for pickup
- US telephone number(s)
- Standing order to the USA and/or
- Signatory(ies) with a US connection (US address or other hard US indicia)
US indicia for corporate customers
- USA as country of registry,
- US tax domicile,
- US taxpayer identification number.