In case you missed it, the latest installment of Boston Financial’s thought leadership webcast series focused on the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). In the four years since FATCA was signed into law we’ve seen many changes: proposed regulations, final regulations, a six-month extension, and then coordinating regulations. Each additional amendment has complicated an already complex piece of tax regulation. We are fast approaching the July 1, 2014 FATCA compliance date, and four of Boston Financial’s and DST’s compliance professionals were on hand to explain what’s going on.
Sharon James moderated and laid the groundwork for a very informative webcast. In her position as General Counsel, she’s a key stakeholder of our compliance program and always an advocate for compliance at Boston Financial.
Nick Horvath, Regulatory Solutions Officer at DST, also participated in the discussion. In his role as co-chair of the ICI TAAC FATCA working group, Nick has his ear to the ground when it comes to FATCA and the IRS’ next move. He provided background on regulatory updates over the last few months and where the industry is today given Notice 2014-33 (which effectively delayed FATCA withholding for six months).
Craig Hollis, Boston Financial’s Chief Compliance Officer, gave an overview of how Boston Financial is supporting our clients’ FATCA compliance, before going into details of the key deadlines and how we are preparing for them. Some of the points Craig made relative to Boston Financial’s operational readiness were:
- Identifying foreign entities, taking the appropriate withholding, and remitting and reporting on the withholding are already core competencies of Boston Financial
- Since the regulation affects a limited population of accounts we service, we have focused our training efforts on impacted functions and associates
- By communicating and collaborating with industry colleagues, while analyzing the operational implications of FATCA, we have ensured our alignment with industry best practices
Stepping out from behind the scenes to provide an update on DST’s technology enhancement efforts was DST Software Development Manager, Greg Barner. Greg spoke to DST’s past, present and future initiatives for FATCA and also supplied my favorite line of the day – “FATCA, the gift that keeps on giving.”
Greg’s point especially resonated with me because while it may seem as though FATCA is finally here, this is really only the beginning. FATCA’s deadlines and effective dates for withholding are spread out over the next three years. Especially when thinking of the global initiative for the automatic exchange of tax information prompted by FATCA, it really is the gift that keeps on giving.