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FATCA is an acronym for the United States (US) Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), which was introduced by the US Government in October 2009, but became law as part of the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act on March 18, 2010. FATCA is aimed at ensuring that US persons with financial assets outside of the US pay US tax. The new rules require foreign financial institutions (FFI’s) to provide the (IRS) with information on certain investments of U.S. persons invested in accounts outside of the U.S. and for certain non U.S. entities to provide information about any U.S. owners. In order to implement FATCA norms in India, the Government of India has reached an “in substance” Agreement to sign an Inter Governmental Agreement (IGA) with the U.S.A.
The purpose of FATCA is to prevent US persons from using banks and other financial institutions outside the USA to park their wealth outside US to avoid US taxation on income generated from such wealth. FATCA obliges such banks and financial institutions to report information about US persons having accounts with them.
Similar to FATCA, the purpose of CRS is to aid automatic exchange of information between bilateral treaty partner countries about accountholders/investors maintaining accounts in foreign jurisdictions.
FATCA legislation will affect both individual and entities customers who are treated as a ‘US person’ for US tax purposes. The FATCA legislation will also affect certain types of entities with beneficial owners/ controlling persons from US.
An account having U.S. indicia like U.S place of birth, U.S. address etc. does not necessarily mean that the account would be reported. However such accounts would be subjected to closer scrutiny by Kotak Life. With respect to CRS, the coverage would extend to investors/ beneficial owners or controlling persons of entities, being tax residents of any of the 130 signatory countries.