The Vatican Signs Up for FATCA
The Vatican Bank has always been opaque about its internal operations and financial dealings. Although surrounded by the city of Rome, the Holy See is technically not part of the European Union, and thus not subject to EU financial rules. In theory, the bank does not answer to any regulatory body.
For centuries the inner workings of the Vatican Bank have been cloaked in secrecy. That was before Pope Francis, who has pledged to restore public confidence in the administration of the Roman Catholic Church. This week we learned the United States and the Holy See have brokered a FATCA agreement for the automatic exchange of taxpayer information. The long arm of the U.S. tax code is nothing short of astonishing.
These days, tax treaties aren’t the only way for nations to exchange bank data. We live in the age of FATCA and its progeny — the OECD’s common reporting standard — which are spreading around the world faster than the good word. From Zurich to Bethlehem, from the Cayman Islands to Galilee, FATCA is everywhere. And as of this week, we learned how Francis views the issue. The pontiff is cool with tax transparency. Depending on how one feels about the issue, this news could be either sweeter than sugar plums, or worse than a lump of coal in your stocking.
On December 22 a Treasury Department Web page noted that the Holy See and the U.S. government have reached an agreement in substance regarding FATCA. That informal accord, concluded November 30, adheres to the FATCA Model 1 intergovernmental agreement. There are no details yet on when a formal signing ceremony will be held. In the meantime, the Treasury Department now includes the Holy See on its expanding list of FATCA-compliant jurisdictions.
To understand the shocking real reason for FATCA see this article here.