FATCA stands for the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, a U.S. tax initiative that requires all financial Institutes (including Indian Mutual Funds) to report financial transactions of US persons including entities in which U.S. persons hold a substantial ownership, etc. to the relevant tax authorities. It is introduced by the United States Department of Treasury and the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the purpose of FATCA is to encourage better tax compliance by preventing US persons from using financial institutions outside US to avoid US taxation on their income and assets.
In case of FATCA, the Government of India and the United States of America (US) have reached an in substance agreement on the terms of an Inter- Governmental Agreement (IGA) to implement Foreign Accounts Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and India is now treated as having an IGA in effect from April 11, 2014. However, the IGA is expected to be signed in due course. Indian Mutual Funds are required to share financial account / asset information of accountholders who are tax residents of US.
All investors (including new as well as existing investors) has to provide information for FATCA. New Investors including Individual, Non Individual are required to provide this information at the time of initial purchase. We are making efforts to capture the information of existing investors. 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.
The term ‘US person’ means:
a citizen or resident of the United States
a partnership created or organised in the United States or under the law of the United States or of any state, or the District of Columbia
a corporation created or organised in the United States or under the law of the United States or of any state, or the District of Columbia
any estate or trust other than a foreign estate or foreign trust
a person that meets the substantial presence test
any other person that is not a foreign person.
The term ‘US citizen’ means:
an individual born in the United States
an individual who has a parent who is a US citizen
a former alien who has been naturalised as a US citizen
an individual born in Puerto Rico
an individual born in Guam
an individual born in the US Virgin Islands.
Investors are expected to provide details such as Country of Tax residence, Tax Identification Number from such country, Country of Birth, Country of Citizenship, etc. at the time of Initial Investment or opening of folio. Existing investors will have to provide the information in the stand alone FATCA declaration form available on the mutual fund company's website. In case of Non-individual investors, the above mentioned information of any of the controlling persons will have to be submitted.
The Mutual Fund company will have to report the information to the Indian Income Tax Department or any other Agency to be appointed by Government of India who would then transmit the financial information to the relevant Tax authority.
FATCA does not replace the existing US tax regimes, it may however add additional requirements and complexity to the existing US tax rules you may already follow. We recommend you contact a professional tax advisor to discuss your personal tax situation.
The mutual fund company house will seek such information from all the investors (existing as well as new) and FATCA is relevant throughout the life cycle of the investor account or folio. The onus to provide accurate, adequate and timely inputs in this regard would be that of the Unit Holder. In this regard, any change in the status or information or certification previously provided should also be intimated to the mutual fund company within 30 days.
In case if a new investor refuses to provide the FATCA information and documents then he/she may not be allowed to open a folio. In case of existing investors in case of any omission, delay or failure in providing such information, we would/ may be constrained to report relevant information pertaining to the account to domestic or foreign tax authorities. As may be required by domestic or overseas regulators/ tax authorities, we may also be constrained to withhold and pay out any sums from your account or close or suspend your account(s).