China releases CRS legislation

On 19 May 2017, the State Administration of Tax (“SAT”) in China released the final CRS legislation (Link-Chinese) based on feedback from the draft legislation released in October 2016. The key dates from the legislation include the following:

  • Cut-off date for Preexisting Accounts: 30 June 2017
  • Deadline for the completion of High Value Preexisting Account Due Diligence: 31 December 2017
  • Deadline for other account (Non-High Value) Due Diligence: 31 December 2018
  • Deadline for Preexisting Entity Account Due Diligence: 31 December 2018

Currently, there is no guidance related to this legislation which has been provided in English or any language other than Chinese.

Reminder: QI/WP/WT Agreement renewals are due by 31 May 2017

The deadline for submitting Qualified Intermediary (“QI”), Withholding Partnership (“WP”) and Withholding Trust (“WT”) agreements has been extended to 31 May 2017.  In addition, all new QI applications must also contain a request for Qualified Derivatives Dealer (“QDD”) status.  The effective date of all properly submitted and approved renewal applications shall be 1 January 2017 if they are submitted by the revised deadline of 31 May 2017. Official guidance can be found on the U.S. Internal Revenue Service’s QI/WP/WT Application and Account Management System (Link).

Cayman Islands releases an alert and revises AEOI User Guide

On 19 May 2017, the Cayman Islands Department for International Tax Cooperation issued a new AEoI News & Updates alert (Link) recommending that interested parties visit their website on a weekly basis to check for updates in the following areas:

  • AEOI Portal Accessibility

The Cayman Islands Automatic Exchange of Information (“AEOI”) Portal is online and accepting:

  • FATCA XML Schema v2.0 returns;
  • CRS Notifications; and
  • Variation in Reporting Obligations.

CRS Return submission functionality is anticipated to be available at the beginning of June 2017.

  • IRS Notifications – 2014 and 2015 US FATCA Reporting

Bahrain provides CRS Guidance and participating jurisdictions list

On 30 April 2017, the Central Bank of Bahrain (“CBB”) released a directive to financial institutions on the automatic exchange of information for tax purposes and the Common Reporting Standard (Link).  The Directive reiterates the content of the Directive OG/53/2017 from 30 January 2017 which required all financial institutions operating in Bahrain to comply with the CRS regulations. It goes on to state that:  “Licensees must comply with and implement all the requirements of the CRS and the CRS Commentaries, including but not limited to the due diligence and reporting obligations specified therein in order to enable the Kingdom of Bahrain to fulfil its obligations under the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters and the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement on Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information.”

IRS issues Draft W-8IMY Form and Instructions

On 9 May 2017, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) released a draft Form W-8IMY Certificate of Foreign Intermediary, Foreign Flow-Through Entity, or Certain U.S. Branches for United States Tax Withholding and Reporting (Link) including instructions (Link).  Users of this form are reminded that they should not file or rely on draft forms.  Instead, the September 2016 version of the form should be used currently (Link).  The draft form now explicitly references Qualified Derivatives Dealers (“QDDs”) and has removed the area for Sponsored FFIs and Sponsored Direct Reporting NFFEs to provide the GIIN of their sponsoring entities.

OECD updates status of commitments

On 5 May 2017, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (“OECD”) released a revised AEOI: Status of Commitments list (Link) which has moved the following countries from having a first exchange in 2017 to a first exchange in 2018:

  • Barbados
  • Curacao
  • Niue
  • Trinidad and Tobago

It should be noted that this change has not yet been reflected on the list of Signatories of the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement on Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information and Intended First Information Exchange Date as of 12 May 2017 (Link).

HMRC updates list of reportable jurisdictions

On 15 May 2017, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (“HMRC”) updated the list of countries whose tax residents must be reported on by Financial Institutions until 31 May 2017 (Link). The update, in accordance with changes reported by the OECD, has removed Barbados, Curacao, and Niue from the list of countries required to report by 31 May 2017, meaning that reports sent by Financial Institutions should not include accounts of tax residents of these countries. This come less than one week after Trinidad and Tobago was also removed from the May 2017 reporting list. HMRC did note that: