New Delhi, January 15, 2018

Reporting financial institutions asked to insert nine capital letters eg (i.e AAAAAAAAA) in the TIN field

The Finance Ministry has made life easier for the Indian Reporting Financial Institutions (RFI) to comply with the Inter-governmental Agreement (IGA) under FATCA in situations where US Tax Identity Number (TIN) is not available for pre-existing accounts (as of June 30, 2014).

It has now advised RFIs to insert nine capital letters eg (i.e AAAAAAAAA) in the TIN field (for the account holder or controlling person, as the case may be) for such accounts in their reports in Form 61B, provided certain conditions are met.

An official release specified the three conditions as follows: (1) The reporting Foreign Financial Institution (FFI) obtains and reports the date of birth of each account holder and controlling person whose US TIN is not reported. (2) The reporting FFI requests annually from each account holder any missing required US TIN; and (3) The reporting foreign financial institution should before reporting information relates to calendar year 2017 to the partner jurisdiction, searches electronically searchable data maintained by the reporting FFI for any missing required US TIN.

Adhering to this practice — so long as the three conditions are met — would ensure that the Competent Authority of USA will not determine significant non-compliance with the obligations under the IGA solely because of a failure of a reporting FFI to obtain and report each required TIN.

India and the US have signed the Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) under FATCA in 2015. To enhance the effectiveness of information exchange and transparency, both the sides committed to establish, by January 1, 2017, rules requiring their Reporting Financial Institutions (RFIs) to obtain the Tax Identity Number (TIN) of each reportable person having a reportable account as of June 30, 2014 (pre-existing account).The Income-tax Rules, accordingly, provide for reporting of US TIN from the year 2017 onwards in respect of any pre-existing account.

The US-IRS has issued guidelines through Notice 2017-46 dated September 25, 2017 providing relaxation to Foreign Financial Institutions (FFIs) with respect to reporting of US TIN for calendar years 2017, 2018 and 2019.

Now the Competent Authority of USA will not determine significant non-compliance with the obligations under the IGA solely because of a failure of a reporting FFI to obtain and report each required US TIN if these three conditions are met.

[The Hindu Business Line]