Foreign Account
Tax Compliance Act


In order to help counter tax evasion from the United States, the United States Department of Treasury and the United States Internal Revenue Service (the «IRS») introduced in 2010, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act («FATCA»). Around 110 jurisdictions concluded an intergovernmental agreement with the United States to facilitate the implementation of FATCA, including Switzerland and all other major financial centers. Under this agreement, financial institutions (such as banks, brokers, insurance companies and asset managers) are required to report relevant financial information of U.S. account holders directly to the IRS or indirectly to their local tax authorities. In other words, it allows the IRS to view details of offshore accounts held by U.S. persons.
Please refer to the FAQs below for more details. This notice is for information purposes only and should not be interpreted as advice of any type, especially of a fiscal nature. It may be changed at any time, particularly following a change in the law or in the practice of the relevant authorities.


If you have any questions about your general tax situation or need advice about the implications for you under FATCA, please refer to your tax advisor, since we neither advise our clients on tax matters nor recommend external tax advisors or put them in touch (no external hotline). If you have any questions on the information which we request from you for the purposes of FATCA, our Customer Care Centre is available to assist you.

Still raising an eyebrow in doubt?

Q1) What is FATCA?

As a mean to help counter tax evasion from the United States, the United States Department of Treasury (the “Treasury”) and the United States Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) have worked together to introduce, in 2010, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”), which came into effect on 30 June 2014.

Associated inter-governmental agreements (“IGAs”) were entered into by the United States with other jurisdictions concerning the implementation of FATCA, which results in the FATCA legislation to become part of these jurisdictions’ local laws. On 14 February 2013, Switzerland and the United States (the “U.S.”) signed such an IGA, which came into effect on 30 June 2014.

The focus of FATCA is the reporting of information on a cross-border basis from a non-U.S. bank directly to the IRS (Model 2 IGA) or indirectly via their local tax authorities (Model 1 IGA) with regard to all non-U.S. accounts held by U.S. Persons, in order to prevent them from using non-U.S. financial institutions and other financial organisations to avoid U.S. taxation on their incomes and assets.

FATCA sets out strict procedures which must be followed by non-U.S. financial institutions in order to gather, and where necessary report directly or indirectly, this tax information to the IRS.
In Switzerland, a direct reporting is made by financial institutions as Switzerland signed a Model 2 IGA.

Q2) How does FATCA work?

As a financial institution, Swissquote Bank SA (hereafter referred to as “the Bank” or “we”) is required to gather certain tax information about all of its clients, including its Yuh accounts. Where we determine that you are a U.S. Person, we will be required to report directly certain information about your account (refer to Q11 for further details) to the IRS on an annual basis.

As mentioned under Q1, this tax information will be reported according to the IGA between Switzerland and the U.S. However, you should note that under FATCA there is no withholding of tax (i.e. FATCA is purely an information reporting process), except in certain rare cases.

Q3) Which countries have committed to complying with FATCA?

Over 110 jurisdictions already comply with FATCA, including all major finance centers.

For a complete list of jurisdictions that comply or have committed to comply with FATCA, together with information on the dates that they started reporting or they will start reporting information, please refer to the Treasury FATCA Resource Center.

Q4) When did FATCA take effect in Switzerland?

FATCA took effect in Switzerland as of 30 June 2014.

Q5) Are all banks affected by FATCA?

All foreign financial institutions (FFIs) – including non-U.S. banks, brokers, insurance companies and asset management businesses – in participating jurisdictions (refer to Q3 for further details) are required to comply with FATCA.

Q6) Am I affected by FATCA?

FATCA affects in particular individuals considered as U.S. Persons for U.S. tax purposes.

Q7) Do I need to provide the Bank with additional information for FATCA?

All necessary information is collected from you at the time the account is opened. We will only contact you to request additional information if we are missing certain information or if we have any doubts as your FATCA status.

Q8) What happens if I do not provide this information to the Bank?

If you request the opening of an account and provide to the Bank information and/or document(s) confirming that you are a US person, the Bank will refuse to open your account.

Once your account is opened, you must inform us immediately of any change to your “non-US person” status (please refer to Question 14).

If you failed to provide us with any additional information that we may subsequently request in order to determine your FATCA status, your account will be classified as a Non-consenting account and we may be required to report your account to the IRS where we have information that reasonably indicates that you may be a U.S. Person. You are therefore strongly advised to provide us in a timely manner with all information that we may request, in order to ensure that your information is not reported incorrectly under FATCA.

Fees will also be charged per year and per account. The Bank may also block your account and/or require your account to be closed.

Q9) Is information on my account reported?

If you are considered as a U.S. Person for U.S. tax purposes, then information on your account is reported to the IRS.

Q10) What information is reported?

Where required, the information reported to the IRS under FATCA includes the following:

  • The name, address, date of birth and Tax Identification Number (TIN);
  • The account number;
  • The account balance or value at 31 December of each calendar year;
  • The gross proceeds generated from the disposal or redemption of assets during the calendar year; and
  • The gross amount of all dividends, interest and other amounts paid or credited to the account during each calendar year.
Q11) Is my account reported even if I do not have any assets on my account?


Q12) Will my account be reported even if I close it before the reporting?

Yes, your account will be reported the following year for the current year, even if you close it now or later.

Q13) How often is my account reported?

Each year as long as you are considered a U.S. Person or a Non-consenting account holder (reference is made to Q8), unless you close your account. In this later case, your account will be reported the following year only.

Q14) What happens if my circumstances change?

You are required to inform us of any changes to your circumstances that might have an impact on your “non-US person” status. For example, this include in a non-exhaustive way (i) any change to your residence or nationality, (ii) any change to your Tax Identification Number (TIN).

If you cease to be a non-U.S. person, we may close your account or ask you to sell any US securities held on your account. We will also ask you to complete additional documentation (Form W-9 and a separate banking secrecy waiver ) within 90 days from the moment you cease to be a non-U.S. person (please refer to Yuh General Terms and Conditions).

Q15) Will I be informed before information on my account is reported under FATCA?

We will use our best endeavours to inform our clients prior to the first occurrence of reporting of their account(s) pursuant to FATCA.

Q16) Can I have a copy of my data reported?

Yes, you can request a statement detailing the information sent to the IRS by the Bank. The statement is produced for a fee and only once the reporting is done which means after 31 July of each year.

Q17) Can the FATCA statement be reconciled to the tax statement or the portfolio statement?

The FATCA statement cannot be reconciled to the tax statement or portfolio statement, as the principles used to produce the three different statements are not the same. The FATCA statement represents an indicative value of the client’s assets (i.e. the gross value of assets at the end of the calendar year (i.e. securities and cash), the gross amount of all sales and redemption and the gross income received during the concerned year) and is used by the IRS only as an indication of the client’s situation. It can therefore not be used to infer tax amounts to be paid.

Q18) What purpose will the information reported be used for?

Generally, the information reported may only be made available to the IRS and may only be used for tax purposes.

Q19) How does FATCA affect my confidentiality?

Data protection and confidentiality are a key part of FATCA. There are detailed rules which provide for strong data safeguards to be in place before Switzerland entered into an IGA agreement with the U.S. In addition, Swissquote is not allowed to share the received information related to your account with any financial institution or foreign local governmental institutions; the information can only be used for tax purposes. However, Swissquote may be requested to share some information related to your account with the Swiss Financial Tax Authorities (the “SFTA”) upon request.

We will respect your data privacy. We will only disclose your FATCA information if we are legally required to do so.

Q20) How does FATCA interact with the AEOI?

FATCA does not affect the operation of AEOI because the two regimes will run simultaneously.

Q21) Where can I find further information on FATCA?

Further information on FATCA can be found on the following websites:

If you have any questions regarding the impact of FATCA on you, you should contact your tax advisor.

This document is for information purposes only and does not constitute advice of any kind, particularly of a tax nature. It can be modified at any time, in particular following a modification of the laws or the practice of the competent authorities.
Additional information can also be found in our
General terms and conditions.