Germany Publishes FATCA Infobrief for Upcoming Filing Season

August 1, 2017 Thomas Hospod

The German Federal Central Tax Office (BZSt) has released a FATCA Infobrief that addresses various matters concerning the upcoming filing season. German Financial Institutions are to transmit their FATCA reports no later than August 31, 2017.

The BZSt has announced that feedback for FATCA data delivery is not currently possible due to technical difficulties. This applies to deliveries via the ELMA mass data interface and to the single data form in the BZSt Online Portal. However, these transmission channels do remain open for report submissions. This issue does not affect the FATCA testing procedure for the ELMA – which is also available to all interested filers.

Additionally, the BZSt has made some changes to the specifications for the MessageRefID and DocRefID elements of the XML transmittal for this filing season. 

The FATCA Communication Manual Part IIIData Schema v2.0, the BOP Short Overview, and FATCA Processing Protocols have all been revised to reflect these changes.

The BZSt has also published a letter regarding the officially prescribed data set for exchanging account information under FATCA. Further information regarding data transmission may be found in the FATCA Communication Manual Part III. The letter also explains that Financial Institutions may receive errors if submitting after July 31; however, these errors may be ignored due to the extension of time for filing until August 31.

The Infobrief also notes that a German translation of the FATCA XML Schema v2.0 User Guide is now available. The Guide can be used as an aid to the technical and general understanding of the XML Schema Version 2.0 of the BZSt (see FATCA Communication Manual Part III). The translation is available on the BZSt website.

As a final matter, the adaptations to the design and layout in the BZSt Online Portal, which were mentioned in the previous Infobrief, will be fully implemented by the final week of July. A revised FATCA Communication Manual Part II will also be published soon to reflect these changes.

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