CIAB Unveils FATCA Portal to Help Brokers & Insurers Manage New IRS Requirements
The Council of Insurance Agents& Brokers issued the following news release:. The Washington- based Council of Insurance Agents& Brokers is developing www.w8bene.com, an online portal to house each foreign insurer’s W-8BEN-E forms so that brokers can access the ones they need when they need them. “Our industry is facing a tight deadline with July 1 right around.
WASHINGTON, May 14 — The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers issued the following news release:
The way foreign insurers do business with U.S. insurance brokers has changed with the arrival of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), and only weeks remain until its July 1 effective date. The Washington-based Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers is developing www.w8bene.com, an online portal to house each foreign insurer’s W-8BEN-E forms so that brokers can access the ones they need when they need them.
“Our industry is facing a tight deadline with July 1 right around the corner, and we’re doing all we can to help educate and prepare brokers and foreign insurers alike for this massive change in process,” said Ken A. Crerar, president/CEO of The Council.
The law will require brokers to document that every non-U.S. financial institution they do business with is FATCA-compliant or FATCA exempt. Demonstrating compliance will require a certificate to be collected and stored from every non-U.S. financial institution involved with a policy with even the slightest exposure to U.S. risk.
“FATCA has grabbed the attention of the world brokerage community, but a lot of confusion remains,” said Crerar. “In an effort to simplify the form exchange between U.S. brokers and foreign insurers, we’re working hard to build the most complete clearinghouse for these IRS forms.”
Currently, the www.w8bene.com website allows visitors to register for FATCA email updates, obtain news articles and download a CIAB webinar recording about the impact of the new law. A complete set of Frequently Asked Questions compiled by The Council’s general counsel at Steptoe & Johnson LLP will be posted when the final instructions become available.
As the industry awaits those final instructions, The Council is designing www.w8bene.com to be a one-stop shop, complete with a searchable catalogue of participating global insurers’ W-8s. Having immediate and safe access to executed W-8s will help vested parties comply with FATCA’s costly and burdensome requirements with just a few clicks. Insurers and brokers who sign up for the website will be able to exchange forms quickly with minimal impact to their normal business process.
There will be nominal cost associated with the portal, but The Council is allowing users a free trial period until Jan. 1, 2015. For more information on www.w8bene.com contact The Council’s Vladimir Gololobov at 202.662.4428 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In a new book published by the Crop Science Society of America, scientists discuss the increase in yields of all the major US field crops. Yield Gains in Major U.S. Field Crops expands on a 1984 publication that reviewed the gains in producing corn, cotton, potato, sorghum, and wheat. The original book sparked international research to determine the elements contributing to advances in crop productivity, their interactions and to monitor the rate of progress. The editors hope that the new book will do the same.
The overall theme of the book is to show the science behind the yield gains for each crop.
In the Preface, editors Stephen Smith, Brian Diers, James Specht and Brett Carver say “knowledge is imperative to foster a greater understanding and informed debate regarding how food and fiber are produced…[we need to communicate about] long term stewardship, and the most effective use of critical resources like water, soil, genetic resources and human intellect.”
“Each crop has a different story to tell,” say the editors. The fields of plant breeding, biotechnology, and agronomy have all changed over the decades since the first book. Each chapter contains a review of the genetic gains for each crop as well.