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File reports on financial account information under the FATCA agreement
Source: Zuständigkeitsfinder Schleswig-Holstein (Linie6PLus)
The FATCA agreement requires financial institutions (e.g. banks or insurance companies) to report financial account information with the aim of improving the completeness and accuracy of the tax bases of investment income. The information required to be reported includes, but is not limited to:
- Name and address of the account holder
- US tax identification number
- Date of birth
- Account number
- Account Balance
- Name and identification number of the reporting German financial institution
Financial institutions are required to comply with certain due diligence requirements to identify financial accounts subject to reporting requirements. This includes obtaining self-disclosure information. By obtaining a self-disclosure, financial institutions want to determine the tax residency of their customers. Account holders must complete and sign the self-assessment form and send it to their financial institution. If the financial institution has possible indications of a reportable account and the customer does not provide the necessary information after the request for a self-disclosure, the financial institution should also report this data.
The financial institutions report annually in electronic form the accounts identified as reportable to the Federal Central Tax Office (BZSt). An online form or a mass data interface is available for the transmission of the data. The transmission can also be carried out by a service provider.
The data collected is exchanged between the United States of America (USA) and Germany. In Germany, the BZSt is responsible for receiving and forwarding the financial account data. The data collected from German financial institutions subject to reporting requirements is sent directly to the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by the BZSt.
Reporting financial institutions are required to review their financial account data against specified criteria to determine whether the account holders or controlling persons are tax residents of a reporting country.
If a financial institution has information in the existing customer data that indicates a customer's possible U.S. tax liability, the financial institution is required to initiate a report to the Federal Central Tax Office accordingly. Possible indications may be:
- a US citizenship
- a US address
- a US telephone number
- By requesting a self-disclosure, the financial institution wishes to give clients the opportunity to either confirm or refute the indicia and to demonstrate, by means of meaningful evidence, in which state the tax residency exists.
- The financial account data determined in accordance with the due diligence requirements must be transmitted annually in electronic form by the financial institution subject to the reporting obligation to the Federal Central Tax Office (BZSt).
- Prior to the first transmission, the reporting financial institution must register with the IRS and the data sender (financial institution or commissioned service provider) must register with the BZSt for the FATCA specialist procedure.
- The reports are submitted via the BZSt online portal (BOP) or the mass data interface (ELMA). This requires a certificate issued by the BZSt (BOP and ELMA) or a certificate issued by the Elster procedure (only possible with BOP). The exact procedure is described in manuals and videos on the BZSt website.
- The data reported and transmitted by the financial institutions to the BZSt are forwarded by the BZSt to the US federal tax authority "Internal Revenue Service (IRS)".
- For each transmission, the reporting financial institution or the reporting service provider receives technical feedback on the processing results of the BZSt and the IRS. If data was rejected, the errors must be corrected and the data retransmitted.
Who should I contact?
A U.S. reportable account is a financial account maintained by a reporting German financial institution whose account holder is
- a specified person of the United States of America, or
- a non-U.S. entity that is controlled by at least one specified person of the United States within the meaning of the Convention.
Financial institutions must comply with the reporting and due diligence requirements defined in the Agreement when identifying and reporting U.S. reportable accounts.
Which documents are required?
What are the fees?
What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?
The report shall be submitted annually, by 31 July of each calendar year for the previous year.
- for processing the notification: usually up to 2 days
Applications / forms
- Forms: yes
- Online procedure possible: yes
- Written form required: no
- Personal appearance required: no
You will receive the self-disclosure from your financial institution.
Technically approved by
Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF)