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Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) – Form W-9

Steven WalkerJanuary 23, 2017

Have you been contacted by a foreign bank and asked to provide documentation to confirm your status as a U.S. person or foreign person pursuant to the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). Are you being asked to provide a (1) Form W-9 (Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification), or (2) Form W-8BEN (Certificate of Foreign Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding and Reporting (Individuals)) to the foreign financial institution? The foreign financial institution is seeking this information so as to be compliant with FATCA, which requires foreign financial institutions to identify U.S. account holders and report certain information of such accounts to the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”). Taxpayers who have failed to report the foreign account now run the risk of being detected by their foreign bank.