Witnesses Urge IRS to Give Banks More Time to Comply With FATCA

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IRS should give banks more time to implement the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act and make compliance simpler when it issues final regulations later this year, financial institutions and associations from around the world say at an IRS hearing. Most of the 21 witnesses at the hearing—many representing countries ranging from Australia to Japan—have a universal message: Give us more time. The law requires foreign banks to report U.S.-owned accounts to IRS or face, in some cases, a 30 percent withholding tax. Other significant themes raised at the hearing include a sharp demand for IRS to conform its account identification and documentation requirements to the anti-money laundering and know-your-customer rules that foreign banks already have in place, as well as a risk-based approach to those requirements.