The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) is one of the ways the US plans on ramping up collection of taxes so everyone pays his/her fair share. The IRS sees it as an important tool in combating tax evasion, but many financial firms and individuals see it as little more than a gateway to further tax problemsand complications.
Under the proposed rules, there are requirements for individuals and requirements for foreign banks. US taxpayers with more than $50,000 in a foreign bank would be required to report certain information on a form (Form 8938) that must be attached to the annual Form 1040. Foreign banks would be required to, among other things, report certain information about account holders directly to the IRS. See the IRS website for additional information.
Most of the requirements will not kick in until next year, but many businesses are expressing strong opposition to FATCA and the burdens it would create. If they are not successful in repealing it or amending it to make it more lenient, then they at least hope for some kind of postponement to give financial institutions time to prepare.