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IRS FFI List FAQs

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FFI List Overview

Q1. What is the Foreign Financial Institution (FFI) List?
Q2. How do I get to the FFI List?
Q3. What help is available for the FFI List Search and Download Tool?

FFI List

Q1. Does the monthly update to the FFI List contain just the additions and deletions from the prior month after the initial list is published?
Q2. Is an archive of previously released versions of the monthly FFI List available for viewing and download on the IRS Website?
Q3. How frequently will the FFI list file be updated?
Q4. Which financial institutions (FIs), direct reporting non-financial foreign entities and branches are included on the FFI list?
Q5. Do other entities appear on the FFI List?
Q6. In what languages is the FFI list available?
Q7. Is there anything in the format of the FFI list that indicates that an FFI is a Deemed Compliant or a Participating FFI?
Q8. How many records are expected in the full FFI list?

Downloading

Q1. What are the available FFI list file formats for download?
Q2. Do you need to be a registered user with a login and password to access the FFI List search and download tool, and download the FFI list on the IRS website?
Q3. Will there be a web service (SOAP based) - where FFIs can automatically download the latest version of the FFI list?
Q4. Is the FFI List file available via FTP?

Searching

Q1. Is a search tool available?
Q2. Why is an FI not in the downloaded FFI List in CSV format, while it appears in the search results?
Q3. Why are there multiple GIINs associated with a financial institution or branch (same FI name and same country/jurisdiction)?
Q4. How do I search for a branch?

Legal Entity Name

Q1. Are the Legal Entity Names standardized in any way, e.g., Bank Corp. vs. Bank Corporation or Chairs Ltd. vs. Chairs Limited vs. Chairs LTD.?
Q2. How do I find the legal entity name of the branches in the FFI list?
Q3. Are there any other special names similar to branch that might appear on the list?
Q4. Can the FI Legal Name be changed once it appears on the FFI List?

XML/CSV Files

Q1. Does the monthly FATCA FFI xml file contain a file date/production time identifier/tag?
Q2. Does the CSV format file contain a trailer record identifying the number of records or a simple end marker?
Q3. How is the CSV file formatted for the FFI list?

Comment on FATCA Compliance

Additional Support

 


FFI List Overview

Q1. What is the Foreign Financial Institution (FFI) List?
The FFI List is issued by the IRS and includes all financial institutions, direct reporting non-financial foreign entities and branches that have submitted a registration and have been assigned a Global Intermediary Identification Number (GIIN) at the time the list was compiled. The list is compiled on a monthly basis and published the first day of each month. 

Updated:  11-19-2015

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Q2. How do I get to the FFI List?
You can access the tool from the FFI List Search and Download Tool Landing Page. The entire FFI list is available there to download in different formats and searchable using the FFI List Search and Download Tool.  

Updated:  11-19-2015

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Q3. What help is available for the FFI List Search and Download Tool?
The FFI List User Guide provides instruction on using the FFI List Search and Download Tool.  See About  the FATCA FFI list Search and Download Tool, FFI List FAQs, FFI List Video and GIIN Composition document for additional information.

Updated:  11-19-2015

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FFI List

Q1. Does the monthly update to the FFI List contain just the additions and deletions from the prior month after the initial list is published?
On the first day of each month, a complete new list is published for all entities that have an assigned and approved GIIN as of a specified cut-off date five business days prior to the last business day of the previous month.  The archived prior months' FFI Lists which started in July 2014 are available to download in CSV zipped and XML zipped formats on the FFI List Search and Download Tool.

Updated:  11-19-2015

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Q2. Is an archive of previously released versions of the monthly FFI List available for viewing and download on the IRS Website?
Yes.  The archived prior months' FFI Lists which started in July 2014 are available to download in CSV zipped and XML zipped formats from the FFI List Search and Download Tool

Updated:  11-19-2015

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Q3. How frequently will the FFI list file be updated? 
The FFI list is updated monthly on the 1st of the month.

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Q4. Which financial institutions (FIs), direct reporting non-financial foreign entities and branches are included on the FFI list?
The FFI list data comes from the FATCA Registration System.

The list includes all financial institutions and direct reporting non- financial foreign entities that have registered and been assigned a Global Intermediary Identification Number (GIIN) at the time the list was compiled. The cutoff date for the list is displayed at the top of the FFI List Search and Download Tool.  Those who selected “Limited Financial Institution” in question 4 of their registration are not assigned GIINs and will not be included in this list.

Branches from question 9a on the registration that have been assigned GIINs at the time the list was compiled will be included in the list only if the FI’s registration status is either Limited Conditional or Approved.  Branches that are limited (question 9b of the registration) are not assigned GIINs and will not be included in this list. When an FI registers a branch, the FI is stating they have one or more physical branches in that country/jurisdiction.  All physical branches in the country/jurisdiction where the FI has declared they have a branch can use the same GIIN.   We do not collect the names of each of the physical branches in a particular country/jurisdiction. Effective 12/01/2015, the word “branch” will be displayed next to the FI name.

Updated:  11-19-2015

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Q5. Do other entities appear on the FFI List?
There are certain entities, such as U.S. withholding agents (USWA), territory financial institutions (TFI), third party preparers, or commercial software vendors that do not need to have a GIIN. These non-GIIN filers are provided a FATCA identification number (FIN) to be used in lieu of a GIIN for FATCA reporting and will appear on the FFI list. Publication of the FIN on the FFI list does not serve any function related to withholding tax on payments under FATCA.

Entities desiring to obtain a FIN should do so at least six business days prior to month end in order to appear on the FFI list for the following month. For more information on FINs, go to the FATCA Identification Number (FIN) Enrollment Process page.

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Q6. In what languages is the FFI list available?
The FFI list is published in English only.

Updated:  11-19-2015

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Q7. Is there anything in the format of the FFI list that indicates that an FFI is a Deemed Compliant or a Participating FFI?
No, the list does not indicate the FATCA classification.

Added:  11-19-2015

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Q8. How many records are expected in the full FFI list?
At this time, the full FFI list is expected to be less than 500,000 records.

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FFI List Fields

Q1. What fields appear on the FFI list?
The FFI list contains three fields: global intermediary identification number (GIIN), financial institution (FI) name and country/jurisdiction of foreign financial institution (FFI) or branch.

The financial institution name field can be used to locate a financial institution, direct reporting non-financial foreign entity and/or a branch. The country/jurisdiction field will search for these entities by country/jurisdiction of residence for tax purposes or branch country/jurisdiction for branches.

Updated:  11-19-2015

Q2. What are the maximum lengths of each field?
The FI name field has a 150 character limit for the FI name, including upper and lower case letters (a-z, A-Z), numbers (0-9) and the following special characters - blank space, ampersand, hyphen, forward slash, period, comma, apostrophe, number sign, percent sign, brackets, parentheses, and curly brackets (% - / . , ' # % [ ] ( ) { }).  The GIIN field is 19 characters, including the period separators.

If you plan to download the FFI list and import it into your system, please see the FFI list schema and test file link for more information on the format.

Updated:  11-19-2015

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Downloading

Q1. What are the available FFI list file formats for download?
You will only need to download the complete FFI list if you plan to import the list into your system. You will be able to search, view and download partial information using the FFI List search and download tool directly from the IRS Webpage. (See searching category below).

If you plan to download the complete FFI list, it will be available in XML and CSV (comma delimited) formats, including zipped/ compressed versions. The zip files will download faster. You can also download your search results (partial list) in XML, CSV or PDF formats.

The FFI list will not be available in spreadsheet products, but the CSV file can be easily imported into most spreadsheet products

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Q2. Do you need to be a registered user with a login and password to access the FFI List search and download tool, and download the FFI list on the IRS website?
No, you do not need to be a registered user to access the FFI List search and download tool and download the FFI list on the IRS website. It is accessible to anyone with an internet connection.

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Q3. Will there be a web service (SOAP based) - where FFIs can automatically download the latest version of the FFI list?
No, the FFI list file will not be available for automatic download via a web service. The complete list can be downloaded manually in CSV or XML format or a partial list (from your search results) can be downloaded manually in CSV, XML or PDF format via the irs.gov web page.

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Q4. Is the FFI List file available via FTP?
No, the FFI list file will not be available via FTP. It can be downloaded manually via the irs.gov web page.

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Searching

Q1. Is a search tool available?
In addition to downloading the full FFI list, the FFI List search and download tool is available on the web site. This tool enables a user to create a partial list using search criteria of the GIIN, country/jurisdiction, financial institution name or a combination of the three. These search results can be exported to an XML, CSV or PDF file. A CSV file can be imported into most spreadsheet products and word processor document products. The search results have a maximum of 30,000 entities.

Updated:  11-19-2015

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Q2. Why is an FI not in the downloaded FFI List in CSV format, while it appears in the search results?
Depending on the number of records contained in the FFI List you downloaded, some CSV compatible spreadsheet and database applications may only display a maximum number of records.  If the FI’s location on the list is beyond the maximum limit, you might not see the FI on the list.  You can try to use another spreadsheet and database application or text editor to open the CSV file.

Updated:  08-1-2014

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Q3. Why are there multiple GIINs associated with a financial institution or branch (same FI name and same country/jurisdiction)?
There are three reasons why this will occur. The first reason is that the entity is a financial institution or direct reporting non-financial foreign entity but also acts as a sponsoring entity. The second reason is that the entity recently completed a change of financial institution type or a transfer to an expanded affiliated group.

If an entity is required to register under FATCA and also plans to act as a sponsoring entity, the entity is required to complete two separate registrations.   For each registration that is approved, the FI will be assigned a unique GIIN.   Please reference the GIIN Composition Information posted on the FATCA Foreign Financial Institution Registration page to understand the difference between the two GIINs.

If a registering entity enters more than one branch for the same country, this will create multiple records having the same GIIN.

Lastly, when an FI is in the process of transferring into another expanded affiliated group or changing its FI type, it will appear multiple times on the FFI List depending on the number of changes/transfers. Please note if the entity’s FATCA account is in approved status, a new GIIN will be issued when it changes/transfers. The old GIIN will remain on the published FFI list for a short time to allow the GIIN holder to distribute its new GIIN.

All approved branches for that entity will also be issued new GIINs. The old branch GIINs will also remain on the published FFI list for a short time.

Added:  11-19-2015

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Q4. How do I search for a branch?
Effective 12/01/2015, to find a branch, you search using the financial institution name followed by the phrase  “ – branch”. There must be a space between the financial institution name and the dash and a space between the dash and the word branch.

Added:  11-19-2015

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Legal Entity Name

Q1. Are the Legal Entity Names standardized in any way, e.g., Bank Corp. vs. Bank Corporation or Chairs Ltd. vs. Chairs Limited vs. Chairs LTD.?
The FFI list will contain the financial institution (FI) name or the financial institution name followed by the word “- Branch,” The FI name will display on the list in the exact way it was input on the registration.

Updated:  11-19-2015

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Q2. How do I find the legal entity name of the branches in the FFI list?
Branches are listed as the “Financial Institution Name” followed by the word “- Branch” in the “Financial Institution Name” column.

Updated:  11-19-2015

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Q3. Are there any other special names similar to branch that might appear on the list?
No, there will be no other special names. The schema and test files provide the format and sample data.

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Q4. Can the FI Legal Name be changed once it appears on the FFI List?
The Financial Institution (FI) Names on the FFI list are obtained from the data entered by the entity on their registration form or online registration system. The entity can edit this field on the online registration system at any time. If this field is changed by the entity, the updated name will appear on the next published list. This will not affect the GIIN.

Updated:  11-19-2015

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XML/CSV Files

Q1. Does the monthly FATCA FFI xml file contain a file date/production time identifier/tag?
No, the XML file will not contain a file date or production time identifier in the content of the file itself. However, the date of the file is posted on the web page.

Updated:  11-19-2015

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Q2. Does the CSV format file contain a trailer record identifying the number of records or a simple end marker??
No, the CSV file does not contain a trailer record or end marker. The test file on the FFI list Schema and Test File page provides the exact format that the published list will contain.

Updated:  11-19-2015

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Q3. How is the CSV file formatted for the FFI list?
The CSV file provides the FFI LIST in a comma separated value format.  Many spreadsheet and database applications readily import CSV files. Since commas are acceptable characters in the Financial Institution Name and Country/Jurisdiction Name, quotation marks (“ “) are placed around each of these fields in the CSV File and a comma (,) is used to separate the data fields. Spreadsheet and database applications can interpret the quotation marks as text qualifiers and commas as separators during import. Other applications may display the file with quotation marks (“ “) around each data field and commas (,) separating these values. More information about the CSV file and a sample file can be found on the “FFI List Schema and Test Files page.”

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Comment on FATCA Compliance

If you have additional  comments about FATCA compliance, please submit your comments.

NOTE: Do not provide any personal identification information such as your name, taxpayer identification number, social security number, address, or telephone number.

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Additional Support

If you need additional information please visit the FATCA Compliance and FATCA FAQs which are updated regularly.  

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Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 19-Nov-2015