IGOR US FATCA XML Correction Guide

To coincide with the issuing of the notifications referred to in the Income Tax Office’s bulletin 2015/6, we have published new documentation regarding the XML format required specifically when submitting US FATCA corrections to IGOR.

You can find this documentation here:


We have also updated FATCA Builder to support the DocTypeIndic values necessary for corrections in the DocSpec element.

If you have any issues with XML corrections, please post a question on the IGOR Forum.

New validation rules for US FATCA

As previously advised, IGOR has been updated with validation rules intended to prevent record-level errors being raised by the IRS on receipt of Guernsey data. These validation rules now form part of the front end of IGOR when accepting submissions under the US IGA (FATCA).

The full specifications of this update and details of all the validation rules have now been published as part of the IGOR documentation and can be reviewed via the link below:

US FATCA Validation Rules

FATCA Submission Update – Bulletin 2015/6

Guernsey Financial Institutions submitted the first report under the Intergovernmental Agreement with the United States of America (US IGA) for 2014 data on or before the 30 June 2015.

The onward submission of this data to the US was due to be submitted by 30 September 2015 and I am able to confirm that this data was transmitted to the US prior to this date.

Guernsey Financial Institutions are required to submit reports under the US IGA via the Information Gateway Online Reporter (IGOR), which validates the data against the schema provided by the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) prior to accepting this. This data is then compiled and submitted to the International Data Exchange Service (IDES), an electronic delivery point used for the purpose of submitting this data to the IRS.

When a file is submitted to IDES the system checks whether the file can be considered valid. Beyond this, there is a further check for any record level errors contained within the file.

Record level errors are errors which appear in the actual data contained within the schema, for example, a common record level error is that the TIN field does not include the requisite nine zeros where a TIN is not held.

The data submitted by Guernsey to the US via IDES has been confirmed to be valid, in that the data complied with the schema, however a notification was subsequently received by the Director detailing certain record level errors in some of the reports received.

Shortly before to the reporting date of the 30 September 2015, the US updated its frequently asked questions in relation to the submission of data in respect of the format of the Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN), as follows:

A value for a TIN data element must be either in a GIIN format or in one of the following formats for a U.S. TIN to be considered valid:

  • Nine consecutive numerical digits without hyphens or other separators (e.g., “123456789”)
  • Nine numerical digits with two hyphens, one hyphen entered after  the third numeric digit and a second hyphen entered after the fifth numeric digit (e.g., “123-45-6789”)
  • Nine numerical digits with a hyphen entered after the second digit (e.g., “12-3456789”)

The Account Holder TIN must be provided and cannot be blank characters in the TIN data sub-element. If an entity Account Holder does not have a TIN, enter all zeros in the TIN data sub-element, otherwise you will receive a “TIN not populated” error.

If a filer receives an N5 Error Notification regarding the TIN based on the above errors and has confirmed that their TIN is correct then the filer does not need to re-file.  If any other errors are included, then these should be addressed separately and the filer should re-submit a corrected file.

Any reports containing a TIN data element which does not conform to this format will produce a “TIN not valid” error message which is forwarded to Host Country Tax Authority.

The format of the TIN has been identified as the primary reason for a record level error, although there have been other errors identified.

It has been determined that in cases where it is possible to reformat the schema, without amending the data contained in the report to correct such errors, that the Director will undertake this in order to submit this data back to the IRS. This will alleviate the burden of Financial Institutions to correct the reports submitted to correct this second level of validation. In such cases the Financial Institution will be notified of this change via the messaging system of IGOR and will be able to view the changes made to the report. An opportunity will also be given to contact the Director ahead of the Director resubmitting these reports to the IRS, should the Financial Institution have any concerns regarding this proposed course of action.

It will also be necessary to contact some Financial Intuitions in order to obtain corrected reports where the Director is unable to reformat the schema without amending the data, but the Director is mindful to only undertake this in cases where there is a requirement to submit amended data. In such instances this will again be messaged via IGOR to the relevant Financial Institutions.

Messages will only be sent to Financial Institutions where it is necessary to correct record level errors in the reports submitted and if a message is not received, you will not be required to submit amended reports.

Now that the Director has been made aware of the additional levels of validation required relating to record level errors, IGOR has been updated so that this level of validation now forms part of the front end of IGOR when accepting submissions under the US IGA (FATCA). The specifications of this update will be communicated on both IGOR and the IGOR forum shortly.

Financial Institutions who are affected by this will be contacted by the Director, through IGOR, by 9 November 2015 with details of the record level error and instructions on how to correct the record. The notification will include the timeframe for submitting the amended data (which is anticipated to be a period of 60 days). Instructions for submitting amended data is available at https://igorforum.digimap.gg/

If you have not been contacted through the IGOR messaging system by 9 November 2015, you are not affected by this error and are not required to submit amended reports.

23 October 2015

Registration and reporting under the UK IGA

The Information Gateway Online Reporter (IGOR), has now been updated to allow both registration and reporting under the UK IGA. This includes both standard reporting under the UK IGA and reporting under the Alternative Reporting Regime (ARR).

Further information relating to reporting under the UK IGA can be in Bulletin 2015/5 published on the following page:


Full documentation in relation to the UK schema is accessible from IGOR at:


Provisional Igor-FATCA Schema for UK IGA reporting

Igor will shortly be allowing registration and reporting so that FIs can meet their obligations under the UK IGA, whether that is ‘standard’ reporting or reporting under the Alternate Reporting Regime (ARR).

In preparation, we are publishing a provisional document describing the XML schema which will be used for UK IGA reporting via Igor. You can read the document and download the schema XSD files via the links below:

The XML schema for UK IGA reporting via Igor is almost identical to the IRS FATCA XML schema v1.1. It has been necessary to extend the IRS schema slightly to accommodate the Alternate Reporting Regime. For FIs which are not offering ARR, the reporting format and semantics are identical to the IRS FATCA schema.

This document is provisional, pending receiving feedback on the schema from FIs. We expect to finalise this document after 21 September, after which the first UK reporting features will be introduced into Igor.

Please address any queries or feedback on this document to the forum.

Income Tax News – FATCA Reporting of 2014 accounts

This is a copy of an e-mail circulated by the Income Tax office

The first reporting, in respect of calendar year 2014 information for US Reportable Accounts, was 30 June 2015. This date has now elapsed and it may be that not all Financial Institutions have met their obligations in accordance with the Income Tax (Approved International Agreements) (Implementation) (United Kingdom and United States of America) Regulations, 2014, and therefore could be subject to penalties. As this is the first year of reporting, the Director is not intending to impose penalties immediately on Financial Institutions who appear not to have met their obligations yet, recognising that some Financial Institutions may have encountered unexpected issues which have led to a delay in submission. It is important, however, that any outstanding reports are now submitted promptly in order to avoid the imposition of penalties.

If any Financial Institution has already registered with IGOR, but has no reports to make for 2014 reporting, a simple ‘nil return’ is all that is required.

If a Financial Institution which has reports to make has not already registered on IGOR, or registered subsequent to 30 June 2015, they are urged to register and/or submit all 2014 reports within the next 7 days (i.e. by 8 July 2015). I would take the opportunity to clarify that there is only a requirement to register if it has been identified that reportable accounts are held.

If it is not possible for a Financial Institution to submit the 2014 report within the next 7 days (i.e. by 8 July 2015), they should use the correspondence facility in IGOR (Messages) immediately to send an explanation for this, and provide the date by which they expect to be able to do so, in order that the Director may consider the matter further.

Anyone requiring any further information concerning reporting obligations should refer to the published Guidance Notes.


Anyone having other technical issues relating to the submission of reports, should check the IGOR Forum and post questions if necessary.

A new tool has been created by Digimap in order to help technical personnel quickly understand the technical requirements of FATCA XML reporting. This is now available at https://fatcabuilder.digimap.gg/

Lee Harris
Compliance & International Manager
Income Tax Office, Treasury & Resources

New tool: FATCA Builder

A new tool called FATCA Builder has been created in order to help users rapidly gain an understanding of the technical requirements of FATCA reporting.

The tool is now live at https://fatcabuilder.digimap.gg/

FATCA Builder helps users familiarize themselves with the structure of FATCA XML by providing the means to craft sample FATCA XML files by hand. The tool is a free and works entirely within your web browser. None of your data is transmitted over the web.

FIs and developers who need to get to grips with the FATCA schema will find the tool invaluable for understanding the XML elements necessary to produce a simple report.

This tool is not part of the IGOR project but has been developed separately by Digimap and is provided free of charge. It uses the latest technology which does mean it is limited to the latest versions of web browsers.