Recently, a for profit promoter in London was able to convince the IRS Office of Chief Counsel to allow two of its very qualified senior attorneys to speak via satellite link to a withholding congress group about the new FATCA Regulations. This presentation has been released on YouTube and is made available to those who follow my blog here.
A few words of caution. In my experience, a lot of the blather on the internet (particularly from the more strident, hysterical websites) is published by people who have never read the FATCA Regulations and have no working knowledge about the concepts involved, namely exactly what it is going to take for a foreign financial institution (“FFI”) like a Canadian bank for example, to fulfill its duties as a withholding agent for the US government. So for those readers who attempt to watch this video, it would be best to actually read the Regulations before attempting to understand what is being presented here. That said, this video is actually pretty scary! For all the complaints about US overreaching with FATCA, the dead seriousness of the presenters here shows that the US government is proceeding full steam ahead, as if foreign banks were forming a long line to submit their FATCA registration applications to the IRS in 2013 so that they can remain in the good graces of the IRS while they themselves cash in on FATCA and make it part of their business models. If there is any movement at all in mitigating the reach of FATCA, it is not present here. The FATCA train has long left the station and foreign financial institutions have quite a big job ahead of them before they are allowed to continue to play with the big boys.