Greece ratifies IGA, CAA and memorandum of understanding

On 5 October 2017, the Minister of Finance of the Hellenic Republic introduced a bill to the Greek parliament which ratifies a memorandum of understanding between Greece and the United States, the Intergovernmental Agreement (“IGA”) for Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”) as well as the relevant Competent Authority Arrangement (“CAA”) and the rules for the corresponding applications (Link-Greek).

The memorandum provides an overview and additional background information of the agreements and the bill. The bill itself iterates the determination date for Greece as 30 November which was initially incorporated in the Model 1 IGA. According to the bill, financial institutions are required to submit their FATCA Reporting to the competent authority by 31 May annually.

In addition to the information relevant for FATCA reporting already available from the IGA and other related documents, the introduced bill contains more information which should be considered while preparing for the reporting. The Independent Authority for Public Revenue (“AADE”) should announce the covered filing period shortly.

Kuwait issues Ministerial Orders

On 12 July 2017, Kuwait published Ministerial Order No. 36 of 2017 in the official Gazette which confirmed Kuwait’s commitment to implement the Common Reporting Standard (“CRS”). The CRS rules will apply for pre-existing customer accounts beginning 31 March 2017, and for new customer accounts beginning 1 April 2017. The deadline to submit the CRS returns for the period ended 31 December 2017 is expected to be 31 May 2018 (Link).

In addition, the Kuwait Ministry of Finance issued the Ministerial Order Nr. 46 on the 14 August 2017. This Order provides a description of the self-certification requirements for the financial institutions as well as a list of services which must be provided by an audit firm during the CRS reporting process.

FinCen provides FBAR relief to hurricane victims

On 3 October 2017, the U.S. Department of the Treasury Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, reissued its Notice from 7 September 2017, which provides additional time to file Forms 114 to victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. The filling is now due to 31 January 2018 for the 2016 required foreign bank account report (“FBAR”) (Link).

The affected areas are:

  • 47 counties in Texas,
  • the US Virgin Islands (St. John, St. Thomas, and St. Croix),
  • Puerto Rico,
  • Florida, and

The same relief will automatically apply to FBAR filers in other locations affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma or Maria which are deemed eligible for individual assistance or public assistance at a later date (Link).

For more information on the taxpayer relief for victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, please also see PwC’s “Hurricane and disaster relief” website (Link).

Pakistan releases MCAA notification

On 19 September 2017, the Government of Pakistan released Notification 951(I)/2017 which states that in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 107 of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 (XLIX of 2001), the provisions of the MCAA in terms of its Section 7 shall come into effect between two Competent Authorities on the later of:

(i) the date on which the second of the two Competent Authorities has provided notification to the Coordinating Body Secretariat under paragraph 1, including listing the other Competent Authority’s Jurisdiction pursuant to subparagraph 1 (f) of the Agreement; and

(ii) the date on which the Convention has entered into force and is in effect for both jurisdictions.

In addition, the Pakistani Notification displays a table on Intended exchange dates (Link).

Hong Kong announces amendments to Inland Revenue Ordinance

On 06 October 2017, the Inland Revenue Department of Hong Kong announced (Link) that the Inland Revenue (Amendment) (No. 5) Bill 2017 (Amendment Bill) was gazette.  The purpose of these amendments was to enable Hong Kong’s participation in the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, and to align the Inland Revenue Ordinance (“IRO”) with the Common Reporting Standard (“CRS”) promulgated by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (“OECD”).

Ukraine intends to commence the automatic exchange of information in 2020

On 27 September 2017, the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (“OECD”) launched a program to start the implementation of the automatic exchange of financial account information (the AEOI Standard) and the BEPS measures. To implement the BEPS minimum standards, the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine is planning to join the Multilateral Instrument (“MLI”) before the end of 2017.

The program will also help Ukraine to fulfil its commitment to meet the international transparency standards made in 2013 by joining the OECD’s Global Forum for Transparency and Exchange of Information. The Ministry of Finance announced their intention to start collecting information for 2019 reporting year, which shall be exchanged in 2020 under the CRS (Link).

Panama launches FATCA and AEOI reporting platform and extends FATCA reporting deadline for 2017

According to the announcement of the Panama Revenue Office (“PRO”), the new web-based FATCA and AEOI reporting platform for financial institutions has been launched (Link). In order to submit relevant information to this platform, financial institutions have to be registered with the local tax authorities.

The PRO has also announced the extension of the FATCA reporting deadline to 8 September 2017.

To comply with the reporting obligations, financial institutions are obliged to provide the information from years 2014, 2015 and 2016. In case financial institutions fail to comply with the legal registration and reporting obligations, penalties up to USD$50,000.00 shall apply. Importantly, penalties shall apply even if there were no reportable accounts (Link-Spanish).