What is FATCA?

The United States of America has put a new legislation in place to prevent tax evasion by those subject to U.S. taxes. This legislation is called the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). FATCA requires financial institutions world-wide to report on U.S. taxpayers, so-called “U.S. persons”.

Who is in scope of FATCA?

This legislation applies to all “U.S. persons”. This can be private individuals and some legal entities. This page elaborates on legal entities.

What is required by FATCA for legal entities?

FATCA requires financial Institutions to:

  1. Identify legal entities that are or are becoming a customer and for which one of the following U.S. indicia are found:
    • the registered office or place of business is in the United States of America or
    • the current (operating, mailing, post office box or c/o) address is in the United States of America.
  2. Document customers with U.S. indicia. This means customers have to sign a form imposed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS, the United States tax agency) to confirm or disprove their U.S. tax liability.

  3. Report on:
    • the identity of the U.S. entity, of any of its U.S. owners and of any U.S. person able to influence or take decisions on behalf of this entity
    • their accounts and account balances
    • the financial income on these accounts.

    The first reporting will occur in 2015 and will cover the year 2014.

The first reporting will occur in 2015 and will cover the year 2014.

Is FATCA applicable in Belgium?

Belgium, like most European nations, has decided to enter into an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with the U.S. and to render FATCA applicable in its domestic legislation. As a consequence Belgian Financial Institutions must report the information to the Belgian Federal Public Service (FPS) Finance. FPS Finance will supply this information to the IRS.

What does FATCA mean for ING customers?

ING will contact all customers who show one or more U.S. indicia. Customers are required to confirm and evidence their status:

  • If the company is a U.S. person (created or organized in the United States or under the laws of the United States, or a U.S.-based branch of a non-U.S. company), a W-9 form (Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification) has to be filled in. See the website of the IRS for more information.
  • If the company wants to attest that it is not a U.S. person, a W-8BEN-E form (Certificate of Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding and Reporting) has to be filled in. In this document, the company itself declares what her status is under FATCA. See the website of the IRS for more information.
    Please note that some companies, although not tax liable in the United States, may still be subject to reporting to the IRS! As an example, there are special rules for financial institutions and for passive entities with U.S. UBOs.

ING continues to service U.S. corporations for accounts and savings as long as they are willing to deliver the required FATCA documentation.

New clients, for whom U.S. indicia are found, will have to be documented before ING will start servicing them.

Without the required documentation within a very specific timeframe, ING Belgium will have to consider clients with U.S. indicia as U.S. persons (private individual or legal entity). As a consequence, these clients’ data and accounts must be reported to the IRS (via the Belgian tax authorities).

For more detailed information on these new measures and their implications, please consult: