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  • Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act reporting

    The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) generally requires financial institutions (FI) and certain other non-financial entities that are foreign to the U.S. to report on assets held by their U.S. account holders or be subject to withholding on withholdable payments.

    How to report

    Registration

    Australian financial institutions with an obligation to report for FATCA must register with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on the FATCA Registration WebsiteExternal Link.

    Upon approval the IRS will issue a Global Intermediary Identification Number (GIIN) which must be used in FATCA reports.

    Please note that the GIIN may not be available for use by the IRS up to 15 days after issue of the GIIN.

    XML schema

    FATCA reports must be created in eXtensible Markup Language (XML) format per the FATCA XML Schema and associated user guide available on the IRS websiteExternal Link.

    From 17 January 2017 all reports, even if for prior years, must be created using V2.0 of the FATCA XML Schema.

    Small Reporter Tool

    We have developed a lodgment tool for reporters with 50 or less individual and 50 or less organisation reportable accounts. Reporters can enter data into the FATCA Small Reporters Tool (SRT), (XLSM, 5.8MB) generate an XML file and lodge it via ATO Portals.

    If there are no Reportable Accounts the SRT can be used to generate a nil report.

    Ensure you have read the User guide before using the SRT.

    At this stage the SRT is not available for MAC users.

    Nil reports

    If there are no reportable accounts for the year, nil reports are preferred but not mandatory. Lodging a nil report will help us monitor FATCA compliance and may reduce the need for us to contact you.

    Users can create and lodge a nil report using the FATCA XML schemaExternal Link or the SRT.

    Due date for the FATCA report

    The FATCA reporting period is 1 January to 31 December. The report is due to be lodged by 31 July the following year.

    Applying for an extension of time

    If you are unable to lodge your FATCA report by 31 July, you can request an extension of time. To do this, you can use the mail option in Online services for agents or the Business and Tax Agent Portals.

    To apply, select:

    • a new message
    • the topic Lodge report
    • the subject Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) extension of time

    The message should include:

    • the Australian business number (ABN) or TFN and GIIN of the reporting financial institution (the ABN/TFN is required as the request is recorded on the ATO system and remains active until the lodgment is received)
    • the name of the reporting financial institution
    • your name and daytime telephone number
    • the reasons for the request
    • the date by which you will be able to lodge the FATCA report.

    How to lodge

    You can lodge your FATCA report online through the ATO portals using the file transfer facility.

    Log in to the Business Portal

      

    Log in to the Tax Agent Portal

    Select Lodge file

    Select test or lodge – Files can be tested prior to lodgment to check whether there are any errors to be corrected.

    Follow the steps available at:

    At lodgment, a validation report will be produced advising whether the lodgment was successful or not.

    If successful an ATO reference number is provided. This confirms the report has been lodged to the ATO, however this does not confirm the IRS has successfully processed the report.

    Effect of the CRS wider approach on FATCA

    U.S. account holders must be reported in both the FATCA and CRS reports.

    See also:

    CRS – the ‘wider approach’

    Backup of data

    It is the responsibility of the FI to keep records as part of its FATCA reporting obligations. Submitted records may need to be re-supplied or referenced in the event of errors or amendments.

    Correcting, voiding and amending reports

    If a FATCA report fails ATO validation at lodgment, the file must be corrected and the entire report re-lodged.

    If the ATO accepts a lodgment but is later advised by the IRS there is an error in the FATCA report, the IRS will provide the ATO with an error notification. We will contact you if corrective action is required.

    FATCA report types

    The following document types (DocTypeIndic) are used to lodge new data, corrected data, void data and amended data:

    • FATCA1 (new data) – new data that has not previously be processed or voided
    • FATCA2 (correction) – corrected reports are only lodged when responding to a request from ATO staff to correct specific data. This would occur where there is an IRS record-level error notification
    • FATCA3 (void) – void reports are lodged to erase previously lodged reports after a request from ATO staff in response to specific errors in the original report. Users may also void a report at any time if they become aware of inaccurate information
    • FATCA4 (amendment) – amended reports are lodged to amend a previously lodged report that is later found, by you, to contain incorrect information. Users are able to amend a record in a previously lodged report at any time. If, after lodging a report, you identify that some account holders were omitted from the report, you should lodge a new original report with just those omitted accounts and account information included. This option is NOT to be used in response to an IRS error notification.

    Using the unique identifiers when reporting a correction, void or amendment:

    • When lodging a FATCA2, FATCA3 or FATCA4 report, it must have its own unique MessageRefId and refer to the report that is being corrected by inserting the original report’s MessageRefId in the CorrMessageRefId of the FATCA2, FATCA3 or FATCA4 report.
    • When lodging a FATCA2, FATCA3 or FATCA4 report, it must have its own unique DocRefId and refer to the report that is being corrected by inserting the original report’s DocRefId in the CorrDocRefId of the FACTCA2, FATCA3 or FATCA4 report.

    Next step:

    Common errors

    Unique report identifiers

    These identifiers must be unique across all time and space, meaning they can only ever be used once. They are also used to ensure that any corrections, voids or amendments can be aligned to the correct report and account information.

    There are two types of unique identifiers:

    MessageRefId

    The MessageRefId is the unique identifier for the report. It appears once in the report.

    DocRefId

    The DocRefId identifies specific records within the report and appears in:  

    • ReportingFI
    • Sponsor (if applicable)
    • All Account Holders
    • Nil Report (if applicable)
    DocRefId format: <ReportingFIGIIN>.<UniqueValue>

    Examples of DocRefId:

    • S519K4.99999.SL.392.12291cc2-37cb-42a9-ad74-06bb5746b60b
    • 127BM7.00001.ME.124.406abc8a1830490e847890ba3b13a646

    The DocRefId must not include any non-alphanumeric characters. There are two exceptions to the rule, periods (.) and dashes (-) can be used. All other non-alphanumeric characters cannot be used. Some examples of non-alphanumeric characters that must not be included in the DocRefId are:

    • underscore (_)
    • at symbol (@)
    • plus (+)
    • ampersand (&)
    • exclamation mark (!)
    • asterisk (*).

    Restricted characters

    Certain characters are prohibited and may not be included in a FATCA report.

    See also:

    FilerCategory

    The FilerCategory element is mandatory and should be included in all FATCA reports for the 2016 and later reporting years.

    If the report is being lodged by a Sponsor, report the FilerCategory code in the Sponsor element.

    If the report is not being lodged by a Sponsor, report the FilerCategory code in the ReportingFI element.

    See also:

    Next step:

    • A fact sheet for account holders is also available. You can order online at publications ordering serviceExternal Link. To download a copy    
      • key in JS39015 in the Publication field and press Search
      • click on the link to download Nat Number JS39015 Foreign tax resident reporting (PDF, 161KB).
       
    Last modified: 19 Jul 2019QC 51519