FATCA, Foreign Trusts and Estate Planning: Navigating Complex Reporting and Withholding Requirements

Recording of a 90-minute CLE/CPE webinar with Q&A

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Conducted on Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Recorded event now available

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Course Materials

This CLE/CPE course will provide estate planning counsel with guidance on complying with the reporting and withholding provisions of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). The panel will review the FATCA provisions applicable to foreign trusts, explain the classification of foreign trusts as either "foreign financial institutions" or "non-financial foreign institutions" subject to FATCA, and discuss best practices for compliance to avoid substantial taxes.


Foreign trusts are popular estate planning and asset protection tools for many high net worth individuals and multinational families. However, foreign trusts also require complex tax compliance and planning for estate planning attorneys advising clients holding these offshore assets. Beginning in 2014, those compliance obligations include FATCA.

With the introduction of FATCA, virtually any payment to a non-U.S. entity can be subject to a 30% withholding tax if the payee entity fails to meet certain requirements. In the context of foreign trusts, this withholding tax can apply even if neither the trust's beneficiaries nor the trust's assets have any U.S. connection. It is critical, therefore, that all foreign trusts be familiar with the registration and reporting obligations of FATCA, and that U.S. advisors understand the FATCA regime with sufficient depth to guide their clients to the most efficient and sensible route to FATCA compliance.

Listen as our panel of experienced estate planning attorneys explains the impact of the FATCA rules on foreign trusts, discusses the complex registration, reporting and withholding requirements, and offers practical approaches for exercising due diligence to fully achieve FATCA compliance.



  1. Overview of FATCA provisions and rules affecting foreign trusts
  2. FATCA compliance and reporting obligations
  3. Penalties for noncompliance


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What entities are considered FFIs and what entities are considered NFFEs? And what difference does it make?
  • Which foreign trusts and other assets are subject to FATCA’s reporting requirements?
  • What are the potential alternatives to foreign trusts becoming FATCA compliant?
  • When will FFIs be subject to the 30% witholding tax liability and under what circumstances will they be entitled to a refund of withheld taxes?


Sahel A. Assar
Sahel A. Assar

Consulting Attorney
Chadbourne & Parke

Ms. Assar is experienced in advising ultra-high net worth individuals and families with respect to international...  |  Read More

Edward Vergara
Edward Vergara

Withers Bergman

Mr. Vergara works with U.S. and foreign individual clients on domestic and international investment and succession...  |  Read More

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