The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) was enacted by the United States of America (U.S.) on March 18, 2010 as part of the U.S. Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act. FATCA is geared towards combating tax evasion by U.S. taxpayers holding assets in non-U.S. financial accounts/ institutions. FATCA requires Foreign Financial Institutions (FFIs) to report to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) information on assets held by U.S. tax payers, or by foreign entities in which U.S. taxpayers hold substantial (greater than 10%) ownership interest or assets of more than US$50,000 held by US taxpayers.
Where an FFI chooses not to comply with FATCA, the IRS will impose 30% withholding on payments to FFIs and on behalf of its customers and possibly suffer loss of correspondent banking relationships.