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Source: BUS Sachsen-Anhalt (Linie6PLus)

Reporting on financial account information under fatca


The FATCA Agreement obliges financial institutions (e.g. banks or insurance companies) to report financial account information with the aim of improving the completeness and correctness of the tax bases of capital income. The reportable information includes, among other things:

  • Name and address of the account holder
  • U.S. Tax Identification Number
  • Address
  • Date of birth
  • Account number
  • Balance
  • Income
  • Name and identification number of the reporting German financial institution

Financial institutions are required to comply with certain due diligence measures to identify reportable financial accounts. This also includes obtaining self-disclosures. By obtaining a self-disclosure, financial institutions want to determine the tax residency of their customers. Account holders must complete and sign the self-disclosure and send it to their financial institution. If the financial institution has possible indications for a reportable account and the customer does not provide the necessary information after requesting self-disclosure, the financial institution should also report this data.

Every year, financial institutions report the accounts identified as reportable to the Federal Central Tax Office (BZSt) in electronic form. An online form or a mass data interface is available for the transmission of the data. The transmission may also be carried out by a service provider.

The data collected is exchanged between the United States of America (USA) and Germany. In Germany, the BZSt is responsible for the acceptance and forwarding of the data of the financial accounts. The collected data of German reportable financial institutions are sent directly by the BZSt to the Federal Tax Authority of the USA "Internal Revenue Service (IRS)".

A U.S. reportable account is a financial account held by a reporting German financial institution whose account holder

  • a specified person of the United States of America, or
  • is a non-U.S. entity controlled by at least one specified person of the United States of America within the meaning of the Agreement.

Financial institutions must comply with the reporting and due diligence requirements defined in the Agreement when identifying and reporting U.S. reportable accounts.

The notification is made annually, by 31 July of each calendar year for the respective previous year.

  • for the processing of the message: usually up to 2 days
  • Forms: yes
  • Online procedure possible: yes
  • Written form required: no
  • Personal appearance required: no

You will receive the self-disclosure from your financial institution.

Financial institutions subject to reporting obligations are obliged to check their financial account data according to defined criteria for a tax residence of the account holders or dominant persons in a reporting country.

  • If a financial institution has information in the existing customer data that indicates a possible US tax liability of a customer, the financial institution is obliged to initiate a corresponding report to the Federal Central Tax Office. Possible clues can be:
    • A U.S. citizen
    • A U.S. address
    • A U.S. phone number
  • By obtaining a self-disclosure, the financial institution wants to give customers the opportunity to either confirm or refute the indication and to demonstrate by means of meaningful evidence in which state the tax residence exists.
  • The financial account data determined in accordance with the due diligence obligations must be transmitted annually in electronic form by the reportable financial institution to the Federal Central Tax Office (BZSt).
  • Before the first transmission, a registration of the reportable financial institution with the IRS is required and a registration of the data sender (financial institution or commissioned service provider) is required for the FATCA specialist procedure at the BZSt.
  • The reports are made via the BZSt-Online Portal (BOP) or the mass data interface (ELMA). For this purpose, a certificate issued by the BZSt (BOP and ELMA) or a certificate issued by the Elster procedure (only possible with BOP) is required. The exact procedure is described on the BZSt website in manuals and videos.
  • The data reported and transmitted by the financial institutions to the BZSt is forwarded by the BZSt to the US federal tax authority "Internal Revenue Service (IRS)".
  • For each transmission, the reporting financial institution or service provider receives technical feedback on the processing results of the BZSt and the IRS. If data has been rejected, the errors must be corrected and the data transmitted again.

Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF)

The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

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