U.S. Account

FATCA

1.1471-5 Definitions applicable to section 1471 [§1.1471-5]
1-5(a) U.S. accounts [§1.1471-5(a)]
1-5(a)(1) In general [§1.1471-5(a)(1)]
This paragraph (a) defines the term U.S. account and describes when a person is treated as the holder of a financial account (account holder). This paragraph also provides rules for determining when an exception to U.S. account status applies for certain depository accounts, including account aggregation requirements relevant to applying the exception.
1-5(a)(2) Definition of U.S. account [§1.1471-5(a)(2)]
Subject to the exception described in paragraph (a)(4)(i) of this section, a U.S. account is any financial account maintained by an FFI that is held by one or more specified U.S. persons or U.S. owned foreign entities. For the definition of the term financial account, see paragraph (b) of this section. For the definition of the term specified U.S. person, see §1.1473-1(c). For the definition of the term U.S. owned foreign entity, see paragraph (c) of this section. For reporting requirements of participating FFIs with respect to U.S. accounts, see §1.1471-4(d).
1-5(a)(3) Account holder [§1.1471-5(a)(3)]
(3)(i) In general [§1.1471-5(a)(3)(i)]
[Reserved]. For further guidance, see §1.1471-5T(a)(3)(i).
Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph (a)(3), the account holder is the person listed or identified as the holder or owner of the account with the FFI that maintains the account, regardless of whether such person is a flow-through entity. Thus, for example, except as otherwise provided in paragraph (a)(3)(ii) of this section, if a trust (including a simple or grantor trust) or an estate is listed as the holder or owner of a financial account, the trust or estate is the account holder, rather than its owners or beneficiaries.
Similarly, except as otherwise provided in this paragraph (a)(3), if a partnership is listed as the holder or owner of a financial account, the partnership is the account holder, rather than the partners in the partnership. In the case of an account held by an entity that is disregarded for U.S. federal tax purposes under §301.7701- 2(c)(2)(i), the account shall be treated as held by the person owning such entity.
With respect to an account held by an exempt beneficial owner, such account is treated as held by an exempt beneficial owner only when all payments made to such account would be treated as made to an exempt beneficial owner. See §1.1471-6(h) for when a payment derived from certain commercial activities is not treated as made to an exempt beneficial owner.
(3)(ii) Financial accounts held by agents that are not financial institutions [§1.1471-5(a)(3)(ii)]
A person, other than a financial institution, that holds a financial account for the benefit or account of another person as an agent, custodian, nominee, signatory, investment advisor, or intermediary, is not treated as an account holder with respect to such account for purposes of this section. Instead, such other person is treated as the account holder.
(3)(iii) Jointly held accounts [§1.1471-5(a)(3)(iii)]
With respect to a jointly held account, each joint holder is treated as an account holder for purposes of determining whether the account is a U.S. account. Thus, an account is a U.S. account if any of the account holders is a specified U.S. person or a U.S. owned foreign entity and the account is not otherwise excepted from U.S. account status under paragraph (a)(4) of this section. When more than one U.S. person is a joint holder, each U.S. person will be treated as an account holder and will be attributed the entire balance of the jointly held account, including forpurposes of applying the aggregation rules set forth in paragraph (b)(4)(iii) of this section.
(3)(iv) Account holder for insurance and annuity contracts [§1.1471-5(a)(3)(iv)]
An insurance or annuity contract is held by each person that is entitled to access the contract’s value (for example, through a loan, withdrawal, surrender, or otherwise) or change a beneficiary under the contract. If no person can access the contract’s value or change a beneficiary, the account holders are any person named in the contract as an owner and any person who is entitled to receive a future payment under the terms of the contract. When an obligation to pay an amount under the contract becomes fixed, each person entitled to receive a payment is an account holder.
(3)(v) Examples [§1.1471-5(a)(3)(v)]
Ex. 1 Account held by agent [§1.1471-5(a)(3)(v) Example 1]
F, a nonresident alien, holds a power of attorney from U, a specified U.S. person, that authorizes F to open, hold, and make deposits and withdrawals with respect to a depository account on behalf of U. The balance of the account for the calendar year is $100,000. F is listed as the holder of the depository account at a participating FFI, but because F holds the account as an agent for the benefit of U, F is not ultimately entitled to the funds in the account. Because the depository account is treated as held by U, a specified U.S. person, the account is a U.S. account.
Ex. 2 Jointly held accounts [§1.1471-5(a)(3)(v) Example 2]
U, a specified U.S. person, holds a depository account in a participating FFI. The balance of the account for the calendar year is $100,000. The account is jointly held with A, an individual who is a nonresident alien. Because one of the joint holders is a specified U.S person, the account is a U.S. account.
Ex. 3 Jointly held accounts [§1.1471-5(a)(3)(v) Example 3]
U and Q, both specified U.S. persons, hold a depository account in a participating FFI. The balance of the account for the calendar year is $100,000. The account is a U.S. account and both U and Q are treated as holders of the account.
1-5(a)(4) Exceptions to U.S. account status [§1.1471-5(a)(4)]
(4)(i) Exception for certain individual accounts of participating FFIs [§1.1471-5(a)(4)(i)]
[Reserved]. For further guidance, see §1.1471-5T(a)(4)(i)
Unless a participating FFI elects under paragraph (a)(4)(ii) of this section not to apply this paragraph (a)(4)(i), the term U.S. account shall not include any depository account maintained by such financial institution during a calendar year if the account is held solely by one or more individuals and, with respect to each holder of such account, the aggregate balance or value of all depository accounts held by each such individual does not exceed $50,000 as of the end of the calendar year or on the date the account is closed. For rules for determining the account balance or value, see paragraphs (a)(3)(iii) and (b)(4) of this section.
(4)(ii) Election to forgo exception [§1.1471-5(a)(4)(ii)]
A participating FFI may elect to disregard the exception described in paragraph (a)(4)(i) of this section by reporting all U.S. accounts, including those accounts that would otherwise meet the conditions of the exception. (4)(iii) Example Aggregation rules for exception to U.S. account status for certain depository accounts [§1.1471-5(a)(4)(iii)]
In Year 1, a U.S. resident individual, U, holds a depository account with CB, a commercial bank that is a participating FFI. The balance in U’s CB account at the end of Year 1 is $35,000. In Year 1, U also holds a custodial account with CB’s brokerage business. The custodial account has a $45,000 balance as of the end of Year 1. CB’s retail banking and brokerage businesses share computerized information management systems that associate U’s depository account and U’s custodial account with U and with one another within the meaning of paragraph (b)(4)(iii)(A) of this section. For purposes of applying the $50,000 threshold described in paragraph (a)(4)(i) of this section, however, a depository account is aggregated only with other depository accounts. Therefore, U’s depository account is eligible for the paragraph (a)(4)(i) exception to U.S. account status because the balance of the depository account does not exceed $50,000.

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