updated 2:11 PM CET, Oct 31, 2023

How well do you know your FATCA?

Featured How well do you know your FATCA?

Without really meaning to, many American expatriates as well as tax industry experts, lawyers and others have become experts on the subject of FATCA over the past decade-plus that it's been around. 

So we thought it might be fun, for a change, to mark the occasion of FATCA's coming into force eleven years ago today, by compiling a list of eleven impossible-to-resist questions about it, in order to test just how well we've all been paying attention!
See below...

(Answers on page 2; scroll to the bottom of this page and click the word "Next" in the green box, to the lower right...)    

  1. Who were FATCA's two original co-sponsors in Congress? 

  2. Name at least three countries that have yet to sign FATCA IGAs (Inter-Governmental Agreements) (although they do have "agreements in substance," according to the U.S. Treasury's website)...

  3. Although FATCA is best known for being a reporting requirement affecting banks and other non-U.S. financial institutions, individual U.S. citizens and permanent residents are also expected to comply with FATCA, if their "foreign financial assets" exceed a specific reporting threshold. They do this by filing a specific IRS form with their U.S. income tax return.

    Which form is it:

     a.) Form 3520    b.) Form 8936    c.) Form 8938   d.)  1040-X

  4. What is the current FATCA threshold amount? 

  5. Who, in 2011, said, in connection with FATCA, and FBARs: "Put frankly, Canada is not a tax haven. People do not flock to Canada to avoid paying taxes" ...? 

  6. Who said: "More non-residents [Americans abroad] could likely identify FATCA than could likely name the vice-president of the United States"...?

          a.) John Richardson, Toronto-based tax lawyer   

          b.) David Treitel, founder of American Tax Returns Ltd.

          c.) IRS commissioner Charles P. Rettig   

          d.) recently-retired National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson 

  7. What potential penalty does anyone who is found to have failed to file the form mentioned above, in question 3 – who should have filed one – face?

  8. How many "foreign" (non-U.S.) financial institutions (FFIs) have been issued Global Intermediary Identification Numbers (GIINs), registering them as FATCA compliant?

  9. Approximately how many Americans have renounced their U.S. citizenships since FATCA came into force 11 years ago today...

          a.) Fewer than 10,000   

          b.) Between 10,000 and 25,000

          c.) Between 25,000 and 45,000   

          d.) More than 45,000  

  10. In August 2020, one of the original FATCA Model 1 signatory countries announced that it had agreed to a reciprocal IGA agreement with the U.S., which it said  would enter into force on Jan. 1, 2021. Which of the following countries was it:

          a.) Sweden

        b.) Denmark

        c.) Singapore   

        d.) Israel 

  11. Are foreign retirement accounts exempt from FATCA reporting?  

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