Who has to provide the requested information to the FTA?
Communication from FTA
On 29 January 2020 Federal Department of Finance (FDF) of the Swiss Federal Tax Administration (FTA) emailed Swiss Foreign Financial Institutions regarding upcoming FATCA group requests with the following wording:
“We are contacting you in light of possible upcoming FATCA group requests. Please be informed that your contact details have been provided to the FTA by the IRS (as registered contact details of the responsible officer for one or more Swiss financial institutions for FATCA purposes).
We kindly ask you to provide us – for any upcoming correspondence of the FTA with regard to FATCA group requests – until 7 February 2020 with the relevant contact details (contact address, e-mail and contact person) of the Swiss financial institution/s you are acting as responsible officer. If you do not act as responsible officer for this/these financial institution/s anymore, we kindly ask you to provide us with the respective contact details of the current responsible officer/s, if known.
If it is not clear to you for which Swiss financial institution/s the
above-mentioned information is herewith requested, please contact us at the e-mail address below.
Please note that an information letter will be sent to the concerned Swiss financial institution as soon as possible, whenever possible by e-mail.”
Considering that the Responsible Officers were rather alarmed by the above communication, the FTA issued, on the same date, a follow up email:
“In the light of first reactions of recipients of our e-mail below, we would like to confirm herewith that this e-mail was an official communication of the FTA.
Furthermore, we wish to clarify the following: The FTA’s request for contact details of Swiss financial institutions for upcoming FATCA group requests only concerns financial institutions, which reported – in an aggregated manner – to the IRS so-called non-consenting US accounts and/or non-consenting nonparticipating financial institutions (see Article 3 paragraph 1 letter b (iii) and Article 3 paragraph 2 letter a (ii) of the FATCA Agreement).
If you are a Foreign Financial Institution, which reported to the IRS non-consenting US accounts in a pooled report for any of the reporting years from 2014 to 2019 as detailed in the Article 3 paragraph 1 letter b (iii) and Article 3 paragraph 2 letter a (ii) of the Swiss IGA and the information that was reported exceeded the minimum threshold of USD 50,000.00 for accounts not required to be reviewed, identified or reported, you are until 7 February 2020 required to provide the FTA with the relevant contact details (contact address, e-mail and contact person) of the Swiss financial institution/s you are acting as responsible officer. You might be contacted by the FTA again with request for information. The required information will have to be provided to the FTA immediately. The first group requests are expected to be received in the next couple of months.
If you received any of the above communications, and you are a Foreign Financial Institution which has not reported non-consenting US accounts and/or non-consenting nonparticipating financial institutions to the IRS as described in the previous paragraph, you are not required to reply to any of these emails.
If you are unsure whether you are in scope of the FATCA group requests, if you would like to verify your FATCA compliance procedure or simply for more information on this matter, please contact our FATCA experts .