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  • Elizabeth A. McMorrow

FATCA: Indian Financial Institutions Permitted to Block Accounts

India’s Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) issued an update regarding the US-India FATCA IGA.

India and the USA entered into a Model 1 IGA for implementation of FATCA on 31st August, 2015. As part of the IGA implementation, India’s income tax rules included an alternate procedure for due diligence (Rule 114H(8)).

If the financial institution determined that the self-certification was unacceptable and the account holder failed to cure the defect by 31 August 2016, then the financial institution was required to close the account. [See my September 1, 2016 post: India Prohibits FATCA Account Closures].

The CBDT subsequently stated that Indian financial institutions may not close accounts due to non-receipt of a valid self-certification from the account holder.

This week the CBDT advised Indian financial institutions that they should use all efforts to obtain self-certifications from account holders. If an account holder does not provide a self-certificate by April 30, 2017, the financial institution will block the account. The financial institution will prohibit the account holder from effecting any transaction with respect to such accounts.

However, once the account holder provides a self-certification to the financial institution and the financial institution completes its due diligence on the account holder, the account holder will thereafter be permitted to conduct transactions.

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