Thomson Reuters has released the FATCA Essentials library as part of its Checkpoint online research service, providing information on the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act.

FATCA, which was included as part of the HIRE Act of 2010, requires foreign financial institutions, including hedge funds, to report on the holdings of U.S. taxpayers to the Internal Revenue Service or face stiff penalties. The law has provoked controversy at home and abroad, especially among U.S. expatriates and dual citizens, as well as foreign banks and governments. The IRS and the Treasury have delayed some of the requirements, but they also recently released regulations and a new portal that foreign banks can use to submit information (see IRS Opens FATCA Registration Portal).

FATCA is supposed to improve reporting compliance by U.S. persons with offshore accounts or foreign financial assets. However, Thomson Reuters pointed out that the global implementation of FATCA rules may impose significant reporting, documentation and withholding obligations on financial institutions as well as multinationals. In July, the Treasury and the IRS delayed the withholding and reporting deadline from Jan. 1, 2014, to July 1, 2014, to provide additional time for financial institutions to ensure compliance with FATCA (see Treasury Delays FATCA Withholding Requirement).

FATCA has been a work in progress. Last week the IRS released some corrected regulations relating to information reporting by foreign financial institutions and withholding on certain payments to them as well as other foreign entities. Most of the corrections were simply clarifications and changes in mistaken cross-references.

The IRS also posted two new frequently asked questions, or FAQ, documents on this week. The first set of FAQs focuses on FATCA registration system questions. The second set of FAQs deals with FATCA issues involving qualified intermediaries and, separately, addresses issues involving registration and intergovernmental agreements.

The recent delay in FATCA withholding requirements gives foreign banks and their accountants more time to adjust to the FATCA regime.

“Accounting and legal advisors and corporate tax departments will benefit from the extra six months to ensure that they understand the complex IRS reporting rules, determine if taxpayers are subject to FATCA, and plan compliance activities to avoid penalties,” said Robert Gallagher, managing editor of international tax at Thomson Reuters, in a statement.

A subscription to the company’s FATCA Essentials provides analysis from international tax experts on FATCA, articles from more than a dozen international tax journals, daily compliance updates, and primary source materials, all in one place.

“FATCA Essentials includes all the guidance and materials tax professionals need to efficiently prepare for compliance requirements and for planning as the rules develop,” said Gallagher.

Highlights include editorial materials, such as “Federal Tax Coordinator” and “International Taxation: Withholding.”

The subscription also provides access to primary source materials from the Internal Revenue Code, Treasury regulations, committee reports, IRS rulings and notices, model intergovernmental agreements, country intergovernmental agreements, joint statements, and IRS forms and instructions.

Thomson Reuters’ WG&L journals, such as Journal of Taxation, Journal of International Taxation, Derivatives: Financial Products Report, Corporate Taxation, and Business Entities, are also included in the subscription.

The subscription also provides access to Thomson Reuters’ WorldTrade Executive (WTE) journals, including Latin America Law & Business Report, Practical Asian Tax Strategies, Practical China Tax and Finance Strategies, Practical European Tax Strategies, Practical International Corporate Finance Strategies, Practical International Tax Strategies, Practical Latin American Tax Strategies, Practical Mexican Tax Strategies, and Practical Trade & Customs Strategies.

Subscribers also receive regular updates to all materials, both U.S. and non-U.S., as FATCA evolves.

For more information, visit the product site.

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