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FATCA: the USA pushes on


The United States of America want to find information worldwide on financial movements of their citizens and companies registered on their territory through the international banking system. FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) comes into force in the USA on January 1st 2013. Its aim is to ensure the automatic exchange of information between countries in a standard framework through the signing of bi-lateral agreements. In accordance with the provisions of the FATCA, banks in countries party to such agreements will be obliged to send information continuously to the IRS (US tax authority). In July 2012 the USA negotiated terms with the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain, using the model they had developed. They even concluded concrete agreements with the UK and Spain, while also continuing negotiations on the terms of agreements on the exchange of information with a further 50 jurisdictions. The milestone of the FATCA may be the fight against the avoidance of taxation, since if they manage to successfully spread this internationally, within a few years the US tax authority will have access to a complete information system thanks to the information which the banks will have to provide. The question will be who the Americans are prepared to share the information with.