updated 7:59 PM CEST, Apr 2, 2020

IRS unveils FATCA Model 2 IGA reporting deadline extensions for financial institutions

Days after the IRS announced it was pushing back "Tax Day" for Homeland Americans to July 15, from its long-established date of April 15, to accommodate issues resulting from the current coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. tax collecting agency today began to address at least one of the major deadline concerns of those who have non-U.S.-resident American accounts to report: specifically, certain deadlines that have to do with FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act). 

Today, "Model 2 Financial Institutions and Participating Foreign Financial Institutions"  – typically non-U.S. banks and other entities holding accounts on behalf of American-citizen clients in such countries as Austria, Chile, Japan, Macao and Hong Kong – were informed that they now have until July 15 to file Form 8966 FATCA reports, rather than having to submit them within six days' time (March 31). 

In addition, the document normally needed to apply for such an extension, a Form 8809-I, "will not be required", the IRS said, in a statement sent today to those signed up to its FATCA "News & Information" mailing list. 

The vast majority of institutions affected by FATCA, however, are in countries covered by "Model 1" FATCA Intergovernmental Agreements (IGAs), and thus will not be affected by the change announced today. Under Model 1 FATCA IGAs, rather than reporting FATCA information on their American account holders directly to the IRS, banks and financial institutions report it to an agency of their own government, which in turn shares it with the IRS. 

In a just-added  "Q4" to the "Reporting" section of its "FATCA FAQ" website page,  the IRS said that, "in response to the Covid-19 virus, the Internal Revenue Service will provide an extension of time for a Reporting Model 2 FFI or a Participating FFI to file the FATCA Report (Form 8966) to the IRS.

"The filing deadline for the FATCA Report (Form 8966) will be extended from March 31, 2020 to July 15, 2020.

"Form 8809-I, Application for Extension of Time to File FATCA Form 8966 will not be required for this extension."

An IRS spokesman told the American Expat Financial News Journal today that the agency was "not done [tweaking the reporting deadlines]" and that "other issues will be addressed. Stay tuned."

Many American expats, as well as tax preparers, have been wondering whether the current June 15 deadline for expat Americans filing their 2019 tax returns would be pushed back, given the fact that both the April 15 filing and payment deadlines for Homeland taxpayers were moved, as of Saturday, to July 15.  American expats normally have an extra two months to file their tax returns, although those who owe Uncle Sam any tax for the year are, normally, required to pay that amount by April 15, after which interest will begin to accrue on any amount they haven't paid.

Meantime, one recent change that may affect expat American taxpayers is an extension in the deadline for contributing to any individual retirement accounts (IRAs) they might have, as this is now July 15, rather than April 15.

Separately, the IRS announced a "Coronavirus Tax Relief" page on its website that it says will provide regular updates on "mission-critical" IRS functions having to do with the coronavirus crisis. That page may be viewed by clicking here.