This information is particularly for our American Shareholder members.
FATCA stands for Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act.
FATCA is a unilateral US tax law aimed at curtailing potential tax evasion by US taxpayers. FATCA concerns financial institutions around the world, and requires foreign institutions to provide the US tax authorities with periodic information regarding so-called “US accounts”. Pressure to comply comes in the form of a 30 percent withholding tax penalty on income earned from US securities.
The implementation of FATCA entails very high administrative and financial outlays for financial institutions.
The FATCA agreement
Along with many other countries, Switzerland has signed an intergovernmental agreement with the United States (US) to facilitate the implementation of FATCA. A Swiss FATCA law was enacted on the basis of this intergovernmental agreement (the so-called FATCA agreement), which came into effect on 30 June 2014.
The FATCA agreement that is currently in force between Switzerland and the US is based on the so called Model 2. According to this model, Swiss financial institutions directly provide the US tax authorities with the account information that is subject to notification with the consent of the clients concerned. In the case where no consent has been granted, an anonymous, aggregated notification containing certain account information is provided instead. On the basis of the aggregated notification, the US tax authorities can then seek disclosure of specific client account information by means of a request for administrative assistance.
On 8 October 2014, the Federal Council approved a mandate for negotiations with the US on changing to Model 1. A FATCA agreement based on Model 1 differs from a Model 2-based FATCA agreement on various points. In contrast to Model 2, notification of information under Model 1, for example, is not provided directly by the financial institution to the US tax authorities. Instead, the financial institution provides the information to the Swiss Federal Tax Administration (FTA), which in turn provides this to the US tax authorities. The new agreement according to Model 1 will come into force in 2018 at the earliest. – See more at: http://www.swissbanking.org/en/fatca.htm#sthash.6Oc7Sspt.dpuf
FATCA Qualification Committee
The FATCA Qualification Committee is intended to facilitate cooperation between the representatives involved. It deals with questions arising from the implementation of the FATCA agreement.
The FATCA Qualification Committee was established on 2 October 2013. It is led by the State Secretariat for International Financial Matters (SIF). Also involved are the Swiss Federal Tax Administration (FTA), the Swiss Federal Social Insurance Office (FSIO) and the following institutions: