Oman on its way to implement CRS

From 7 to 11 April 2019, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (“OECD”) Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes met with tax senior official of Oman to implement an Automatic Exchange of Information (“AEOI”) induction program.

The OECD states that the induction program is designed to help new members of the Global Forum ensure a smooth implementation of the international standards and benefit from exchange of information in their fight against tax evasion. Oman, which joined the Global Forum in October 2018, is committed to implement the Common Reporting Standard (“CRS”) by 2020 and will be reviewed against this standard in the near future. The induction program will enable Oman to implement the AEOI standards and to prepare for its peer reviews (Link).

Germany releases FATCA Infobrief 03/2019

On 14 June 2019, the Central Tax Office in Germany (“Bundeszentralamt für Steuern” or “BZSt”) issued a newsletter, “Infobrief FATCA 03/2019” (Link-German), which will be issued on the BZSt website shortly and provides updated information for the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”) outlining the following topics:

  • In agreement with the Federal Ministry of Finance, for the reporting period 2018 data can be submitted to the BZSt by 31 August 2019 (please note that this deadline is currently outlined in the info letter exclusively – the Website states still the 31. July 2019 as deadline). Reason: The FATCA Info letter 08/2017 indicated that on September 25, 2017, the IRS published Notice 2017-46 upon which the failure of reporting financial institutions to provide a US-TIN for the reporting periods 2017, 2018 and 2019 does not lead to a so-called “significant non-compliance” if certain requirements are met (please see IRS Notice 2017-46 or info letter for detailed requirements). The BZSt outlines that these requirements must be fulfilled prior to submission.
  • The BZSt has completely revised its internet presence and starts with a new website design in the second half of June 2019. FATCA will then be found under “Startseite/ Unternehmen/ Internationaler Informationsaustausch/ FATCA“.
  • As a result of the FATCA exchange of information between the BZSt and the IRS, the BZSt has recently been provided with a notification containing some information from the IRS regarding the processing of the data delivery as well as certain errors (US Notification), which has been forwarded to the Financial Institutions / Service Providers. The explanatory documentation to the „US-EmpfangsbestätigungAnFI (Notification)“ can be found under the following website (Link-German).

Australia clarifies FATCA reporting process

On 18 June 2019, the Australian Taxation Office (“ATO”) issued an email alert updating the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”) reporting process by clarifying the Tax Identification Number (“TIN”) reporting procedure.

ATO states that, if one is lodging a FATCA report, it is important to remember to include the United States TIN for each individual US Specified Person. If one cannot provide a TIN for each individual being reported on, one must comply with the following US due diligence actions:

  • obtain and report the date of birth of each account holder and controlling person whose US TIN is not reported
  • request any missing US TINs from each account holder annually
  • electronically searchable data maintained by the reporting institution for any missing US TINs before reporting each year.

The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will accept reporting of accounts without a TIN through to the 2019 reporting season, but only if the above strict conditions are met.

Any financial institution that does not provide complete information in a FATCA report lodged with ATO may incur Australian penalties. In addition, the IRS may determine the financial institution to be significantly non-compliant, a status that can lead to adverse US withholding tax treatment for the financial institution.

The deadline for submitting FATCA reports in Australia is 31 July (Link).

One can subscribe to receive e-mail alerts from the ATO when new information regarding FATCA reporting are released, by e-mailing ato-dmi@ato.gov.au.

Italy amends List of Reportable Jurisdictions under CRS

On 24 May 2019, Italy publishes information of an updated List of Reportable Jurisdictions on their website (Link-Italian). The Decree of 9 May 2019 amends annexes C of the Decree of 28 December 2015, on the Automatic Exchange of Information (“AEOI”). The change of annex C includes an updated list of Reportable Jurisdictions under the Common Reporting Standard (“CRS”). The new list includes the following countries:

Andorra; Argentina; Austria; Australia; Azerbaijan; Barbados; Belgium; Bonaire; Brazil; Bulgaria; Canada; Chile; China; Colombia; Cook Islands; Croatia; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; Faroe Islands; Finland; France; Germany; Gibraltar; Greece; Greenland; Guernsey; Hong Kong; Hungary; Iceland; India; Indonesia; Ireland; Isle of Man; Israel; Japan; Jersey; Latvia; Liechtenstein; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Malaysia; Malta; Mauritius; Mexico; Monaco; Netherlands; New Zealand; Norway; Pakistan; Panama; Poland; Portugal; Romania; Russia; Saba; San Marino; Saudi Arabia; Seychelles; Singapore; Sint Eustatius; Slovak Republic; Slovenia; South Africa; South Korea; Spain; Sweden; Switzerland; United Kingdom; Uruguay.

Three jurisdictions have been added to the List: Barbados, Cook Islands and Panama.

Pakistan seeks to introduce new CRS penalties

In June 2019, the Federal Board of Revenue (“FBR”) in Pakistan issued Notes on Finance Bill 2019 (Link). Clause 13(41)(H) seeks to introduce new penalties with respect to offshore tax evasion and failure furnish information required under the Common Reporting Standard (“CRS”) and Chapter XIIA of Pakistan Income Tax Rules.

For guidance and submission of reports, FBR AEOI Portal on the official website of FBR has been set-up (Link).

Cayman Islands releases AEOI News & Updates

On 13 June 2019, the Cayman Islands Department for International Tax Cooperation (“DITC”) released an updated version of the Automatic Exchange of Information (“AEOI”) News & Updates circular: “AEOI News & Updates” to reflect the recent changes regarding the AEOI (Link).

The following sections have been updated:

  • AEOI Portal Accessibility
  • Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”) IRS Error Notifications
  • Common Reporting Standard (“CRS”) Status Messages (errors)
  • CbCR Guidance

The following sections have been added:

  • AEOI Portal User Guide
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Industry advisories

The list of CRS reportable jurisdictions remains unchanged for this year.

Further information on the latest AEOI developments can be found on the Cayman Islands AEOI website (Link).

The Bahamas open reporting portal

In June 2019, the Bahamas Ministry of Finance announced the opening of the Automatic Exchange of Information (“AEOI”) reporting portal (Link). The AEOI portal will open for the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”) and the Common Reporting Standard (“CRS”) registration and submission on 15 July 2019 at 9 am EDT and close 30 August 2019 at 5 pm EDT.

Please keep the updated Bahamas CRS List of Reportable Jurisdictions in mind (Link-Blog).

Switzerland updates CRS documents

On 23 and 27 May 2019, Switzerland released updated versions of Common Reporting Standard (“CRS”) documents.

The Automatic Exchange of Information overview has been updated (Link-German). The document is also available in French (Link-French) and Italian (Link-Italy).

In addition, information about the Swiss Tax Identification Number for AEOI has been updated (Link-German). The information is also available in French (Link-French) and Italian (Link-Italy).

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