FATCA: IDES enrollment site opens, updated FAQs

FATCA: IDES enrollment site opens, updated FAQs

The IRS today issued a transmittal message announcing the opening of the IDES* enrollment site and that a list of “frequently asked questions” (FAQs) focused on IDES technical issues—such as data transmission, data security, and system design—has been updated.

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The IDES enrollment site is described by the IRS as a secure web application for financial institutions and host country tax authorities to transmit certain FATCA account information to the IRS. The IDES enrollment site (as dated January 12, 2105) provides access to IDES and requires authorized users to have a digital certificate from an approved certificate authority.

Read a related IRS release (IR-2015-001)—

  • When a jurisdiction has a reciprocal intergovernmental agreement (IGA) and the jurisdiction has the necessary safeguards and infrastructure in place, the IRS will use IDES to provide similar information to the host country tax authority on accounts in U.S. financial institutions held by the jurisdiction’s residents.
  • Using IDES, a web application, the sender encrypts the data and IDES encrypts the transmission pathway to protect data transfers. Encryption at both the file and transmission level safeguards sensitive tax information.
  • Host country tax authorities in Model 2 IGA jurisdictions and financial institutions are encouraged to begin the enrollment process well in advance of their reporting deadline. To begin transmitting information in IDES, a financial institution or tax authority will need to first obtain a digital certificate. Digital certificates bind digital information to physical identities and provide data integrity. IDES stores each user’s public key and related digital certificate. All IDES enrollees (including host country tax authorities) must obtain a proper digital certificate in order to enroll.
  • For host country tax authorities in Model 1 IGA jurisdictions, the IRS will directly notify them to let them know when it is time to enroll. Financial institutions will initiate enrollment online on their own; in order to enroll, the financial institution will need to have registered as a participating financial institution through the IRS FATCA Registration System and have a global intermediary identification number (GIIN) that appears on the IRS FATCA FFI list.


The newly updated technical issue FAQs are indicated as “Updated 1-5-2015” in a red font and address general questions, data format and structure, data transmission, and data encryption and security.


*International Date Exchange Service

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