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FATCA ‘files’ sent off to US

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KUWAIT CITY, Oct 7: The Ministry of Finance has sent the first official list of names of Americans and Kuwaitis who also hold the US citizenship to the US Department of Revenue in compliance with the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) based on agreement signed between the countries, reports Al-Rai daily.

In this regard, the sources revealed 123 local companies have submitted reports to the Ministry of Finance in relation to the requirements of FATCA to meet the deadline of Sept 30, 2017. FATCA aims to identify Americans who operate their accounts from overseas to evade tax. Under the law, all financial institutions operating outside the US must report regularly to the US Department of Revenue details of financial accounts of Americans working in these institutions.

The sources reported the database sent by the Finance Ministry to the US Tax Authority, includes reports of 24 banks, 38 investment funds, along with 49 investment companies, 7 insurance companies, and 5 others. The documents sent by the Finance Ministry for the years 2014, 2015 and 2016 contain 177 reports for 2014, 179 for 2015, and 183 for 2016. According to unconfirmed reports there are companies which have yet to submit the reports.

The sources indicated after the deadline, the US tax authority will give the non-compliant institutions six months to justify their failure to submit the reports. If not, 30 percent of their revenues will be deducted as stipulated by the law. If these institutions fail to submit statements or give justifications for a year FATCA will freeze their accounts permanently. The sources confirmed the Finance Ministry is not concerned about disclosing the names of Kuwaitis who hold dual citizenship.

The sources explained the ministry is not authorized to see the reports submitted to it and that its role is limited to sending encrypted reports to the US Tax Authority.

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