IRS

IRS Sets Up Online Registration for Foreign Firms Forced To Comply With U.S. Law

But don't call America an overbearing imperial power

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The Internal Revenue Service on Monday launched an online registration program for the hundreds of thousands of financial firms around the world that must comply with a U.S. anti-tax evasion law or risk being shut out of financial markets.

Starting the registration process, which is accessible on the IRS website, was one of the last steps the tax agency needed to take before the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), enacted in 2010, takes effect in July 2014 with steep penalties for firms that do not comply.

FATCA requires foreign banks, investment funds and insurance companies to report to the IRS Americans' offshore accounts worth more than $50,000. It was enacted after a Swiss banking scandal showed U.S. taxpayers hid substantial fortunes overseas.