It is official. The IRS has opened the FATCA online registration system where foreign financial institutions (FFI’s) can now register themselves and their branches to electronically submit the required financial information on their US clients.
The online registration is a simple 4-step process that the IRS highly recommends as an alternative to the paper filing of Form 8957. But it is clear the IRS means business: FFI’s need to sign up by the end of the year, as full filing requirements are scheduled to begin in July, 2014. This eliminates the cumbersome step of printing, completing and mailing paper forms.
FATCA has already had its deadlines pushed back various times, says Reetu Khosla, a global director at risk, fraud and compliance at software provider Pegasystems.
“FATCA is an actual reality now for most banks who assumed that FATCA deadlines would continue to be pushed,” says Khosla. “More and more banks will need to ramp up to meet next year’s deadlines to implement their rules, processes and technology to meet FATCA requirements.”
Pegasystems (PEGA) is a part of a group of consultants and tech vendors that are teaming up to provide advice and legal services to help banks comply.
Currently, as part of the deal, Pegasystems is selling customer relationship management software. The technology provides an overarching view of bank customers meant to ensure consistency across business lines, accounts and countries.
Other vendors, too, have launched software to help. Like it or not, FATCA isn’t just coming: it is here.
Swiss Lawyer Pleads Guilty to Tax Fraud
And so it begins…the uncovering of tax cheats and those who aided them. Edgar Paltzer, a dual US-Swiss citizen pled guilty to charges of tax fraud, as he pled guilty to tax fraud—helping Americans hide millions of dollars in overseas banks. Paltzer admitted that he opened Swiss accounts in the name of entities he created, knowing full well that this would enable his clients to evade US taxes.
“I was aware that this conduct was wrong,” Paltzer said. He entered his guilty plea as part of plea bargain, which included forfeiting any fees he received in return for his involvement in the tax sheltering scam. He also agreed to cooperate with the United States government as part of the plea agreement.
An article in The Lawyer magazine cites a statement from Paltzer’s lawyer, Thomas Ostrander, that Paltzer is fully cooperating with the Department of Justice. He was not detained by authorities and is able to return to Switzerland.
Ostrander said: “This is an extraordinary sequence of events. Mr Paltzer has moved swiftly and cooperatively to resolve this matter with the Justice Department and the court, and has been appropriately treated with dignity and respect as he worked to make the resolution of the charges as expeditious as possible. He welcomes the rapid progress of the case.
“Edgar’s conduct is an outstanding example of how to deal with adversity in an increasingly complex world,” he added.