Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA)

This page provides links and information for FATCA reporters and software developers.

Summary

The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) was enacted by the United States Congress in March 2010 to improve compliance with US tax laws. FATCA imposes certain due diligence and reporting obligations on foreign (non-US) financial institutions, including Australian institutions. These institutions will be required to report to the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) information on US citizens with financial accounts. 

Lodgment

The 2016 FATCA report, for the period 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2016, is due to be lodged to us by 31 July 2017.

FATCA reports must be lodged through the Business Portal and Tax Agent Portal.

Testing is now available through the File transfer test facility.

Once you send your report to us, we will send the information on to the IRS.

News and updates

New requirements for DocRefID

A new mandatory data format for the DocRefID data elements took effect from 1 January 2016 and applies to all reports lodged to us after that date, including re-lodgments for prior reporting years.

The data format is <reporting FI GIIN><period character (.)><unique value across all time for the reporting FI>

  • The first part – <reporting FI GIIN> is the GIIN for the reporting FI associated with the reporting group
  • The second part is a period character (.)
  • The third part – <unique value across all time for the reporting FI> is an identifying value for the referenced record that is unique within the reporting FI for all time.

This element should contain at least 21 characters, which includes the first part – reporting FI GIIN, the second part – period character (.), and at least one alphanumeric character to represent the third part. The maximum length of DocRefID is 200 characters.

DocRefID Examples:
S519K4.99999.SL.392.12291cc2-37cb-42a9-ad74-06bb5746b60b
127BM7.00001.ME.124.406abc8a1830490e847890ba3b13a646

Each DocRefID within the report needs to be unique.

For void or corrected reports, the new format does not apply to the CorrDocRefIDs as they must be the DocRefID from the original report that generated the error.   

MessageRefId

Each MessageRefId in the FATCA report can only ever be used once by the ReportingFI. If a MessageRefId is used more than once an error notification will issue and the file will not be processed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Account holder Tax Identification Number (TIN)

From 1 January 2017 Pre-existing Account Holder’s TIN must be reported. For reporting years prior to this, we recommend reporting nine zeros in this sub-element.

ATO FATCA News and Updates Bulletin

You can receive an email alert, from the ATO, when we have new information about FATCA reporting.

To subscribe to our Bulletin email ato-dmi@ato.gov.au.

Subscribe to the IRS FATCA News and Information List

The IRS provides information on the latest news, guidance and other FATCA related topics. We strongly recommend you subscribe to receive the IRS newsletter.

More information

For more information, refer to:

Contact information

Email questions and feedback to SIPO@ato.gov.au.