IRS issues “Disclosure of Information to Federal, State and Local Agencies Handbook”

On 31 July 2017, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) released Publication 3373 (revised 17 July 2017), Disclosure of Information to Federal, State and Local Agencies (“DIFSLA”), for the tax year 2016, notifying officers and employees of federal, state, and local agencies of procedures for obtaining return information from the IRS (Link).

CORRECTION: IRS publishes revised Form W-8BEN

On 19 July 2017, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) released a revised Form W-8BEN Certificate of Foreign Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding and Reporting (Individuals) (Link). If a W-8BEN is requested by a withholding agent, the new form (Revised July 2017) should be used, although the previous version of the form can be used until 31 December 2017.

Jersey publishes updates to the CRS legislation

On 12 July 2017, the Government of Jersey issued the Taxation (Implementation) (International Tax Compliance) (Common Reporting Standard) (Amendment of Regulations No. 2) (Jersey) Order 2017 (“Updated CRS Regulations”) (Link). The updated CRS Regulations amend Schedule 2 and Schedule 3 of the Taxation (Implementation) (International Tax Compliance) (Common Reporting Standard) (Jersey) Regulations 2015, and these amendments include changes to the lists of participating jurisdictions. These updated CRS Regulations became effective on 13 July 2017.

Cayman Islands announces that penalties may apply for those who failed to file

On 31 July 2017, the Cayman Islands Department for International Tax Cooperation announced updates regarding late submissions of new notification (registration) and variation of reporting (notification) obligations for US FATCA/CRS (Link). All Cayman Financial Institutions (“CFIs”) are required to register, or edit their existing U.S.FATCA/UK CDOT registration, for CRS on the AEOI Portal, even if they have no reporting obligations. The deadline for completion of the registration/variation process is 31 July 2017. A CFI’s obligation to notify the Department for International Tax Cooperation of the required information to the deadlines advised is enacted in Cayman law through the 2016 amendments to Regulation 8 of the Tax Information Authority (International Tax Compliance) (Common Reporting Standard) Regulations, 2015. CFIs which have not registered, or edited their existing registration, by the deadline will be in breach of Cayman law and may be subject to enforcement action and fines of up to KYD 50,000. The representatives, for example directors, of a CFI may be held liable for contraventions of the Regulations if proof of reasonable diligence cannot be provided.

Cayman Islands enforces beneficial ownership regime

On 1 July 2017, the Cayman Islands beneficial ownership regime came into force (Link). It establishes a secure, non-public centralised platform on which beneficial ownership information of in-scope companies must be maintained. From 1 July 2017, both in-scope companies and registrable persons of in-scope companies must comply with the beneficial ownership regime.

Turkey passes CRS legislation

The Parliament of Turkey approved the Law for the CRS which has been published in the Official Gazette on 20 May 2017, and came into force (Link-Turkish). Simultaneously, the Revenue Administration (“RA”) has shared a draft CRS Communiqué with Turkish banks to request their commentary. On 31 June 2017, the RA informed all Turkish financial institutions via an official letter stating that the secondary legislation has been published as a General Guidance Notes instead of a Communique and asked financial institutions to comply with the legislation by 1 July 2017, by way of amending client onboarding procedures for new account openings.