Switzerland updates FATCA Guidance

On 12 May 2020, the Federal Tax Administration (“FTA”) in Switzerland updated the Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQ”) regarding Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”) group requests with an update on the layout of the group request cover letter, the Business and Validation Rules, the GIIN and the TIN and further reporting updates. The FAQs can be obtained on request from the FTA via the following e-mail address: amtshilfe.usa@estv.admin.ch

In addition, the FATCA group requests PDF provides important business and validation rules for SEI XML and FATCA XML (Link).

The information on the Swiss website is also available in French (Link-French), German (Link-German) and Italian (Link-Italian).

Luxembourg issues report on bill to amend FATCA and CRS Legislation

On 3 June 2020, the Committee on Finance and Budget in Luxembourg published their report on the bill to amend the Luxembourg Common Reporting Standard (“CRS”) and Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”) legislation (Link-French).

As previously reported (Link-Blog) Luxembourg deposited a bill to amend those Exchange of Information legislation in February 2020 as a result of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (“OECD”) Global Forum’s review.

In its review of the step-by-step approach regarding the legislative framework, the Global Forum found that Luxembourg is not compliant with all aspects of CRS, as the amended law of 18 December 2015, on the Common Reporting Standard does not contain any provision requiring Luxembourg reporting Financial Institutions to keep records of actions taken and evidence used to ensure the reporting and due diligence obligations under the CRS.

Accordingly, the present draft law intends, inter alia, to amend the CRS Law and the amended law of 24 July 2015 relating to FATCA in this respect by introducing an explicit obligation for Luxembourg reporting Financial Institutions to keep records of actions taken and evidence used to ensure the reporting and due diligence obligations under CRS.

In addition, it is proposed to clarify the investigative powers of the Direct Tax Administration in order to enhance legal certainty.

In the PwC U.S. Insights “Luxembourg and Cayman Islands release guidance on FATCA and CRS” (Link), it is presented that the Luxembourg draft law would require all Luxembourg Financial Institutions to establish a compliance framework related to FATCA and CRS due diligence and reporting obligations. The commentary related to the draft law indicates that this obligation was inspired by similar anti-money laundering requirements. It is expected that the compliance framework will provide for:

  • Written policies and procedures regarding compliance with FATCA and CRS due diligence and reporting obligations,
  • The implementation of an information technology infrastructure necessary to comply with FATCA and CRS due diligence and reporting obligations, and
  • A set of proportionate effective controls around FATCA and CRS due diligence and reporting obligations.
  • Requirement to file CRS reports even in the absence of any reportable clients or investors (i.e., nil reports).

If enacted, the provisions related to the compliance framework will be effective January 1, 2021, and the reporting changes will be effective for 2020 reporting occurring in 2021.

Changes to the implemented website to view the legislation history and related insights (Link-French) concern the following:

  • 20 February 2020 – Submission of the bill (Link-French)
  • 28 February 2020 – PwC Luxembourg Insights “FATCA and CRS governance and controls mechanisms: obligation to have a compliance program” (Link)
  • 5 March 2020 – PwC U.S. Insights “Luxembourg and Cayman Islands release guidance on FATCA and CRS” (Link)
  • 12 March 2020 – Referral of the bill to the Committee on Finance and Budget
  • 14 April 2020 – Opinion of the Chamber of Commerce (Link-French)
  • 20 April 2020 – Discussion within Committee on Finance and Budget (Link-French)
  • 24 April 2020 – Appointment of the Committee on Finance and Budget’s rapporteur
  • 24 April 2020 – Report of the appointment of the rapporteur within Committee on Finance and Budget (Link-French)
  • 12 May 2020 – Opinion of the Council of State (Link-French)
  • 14 May 2020 – Opinion of the Chamber of Civil Servants and Public Employees (Link-French)
  • 29 May 2020 – Change of title to “Draft law amending 1° the amended law of 18 December 2015 on the Common Reporting Standard (CRN); 2° the amended law of 24 July and 2015 on FATCA”
  • 3 June 2020 – Report of Committee on Finance and Budget (Link-French)

In addition, on 11 May 2020, PwC Luxembourg released Tax Insights “DAC 6, CRS, FATCA: deadline extensions for Automatic Exchange of Information regimes” (Link) with the following takeaway for FATCA and CRS:

“Luxembourg tax authorities have yet to communicate on a similar extension of the FATCA and CRS internal reporting deadlines (i.e. the deadlines to file with the Luxembourg tax authorities), currently set at 30 June 2020. The Luxembourg tax authorities are in the meantime processing the 2019 reports that a number of Financial Institutions have already filed. Therefore, if reporting has not already been done, and the relevant financial data is already finalized and human resources are available to handle the process, we would recommend to file FATCA and CRS reports as soon as is practicable, in order to free resources for more critical projects once the crisis is over.”

Oman extends CRS Reporting Deadline

In May 2020, the Sultanate of Oman Tax Authority informed regulators regarding tax information on the Common Reporting Standard (“CRS”).

The deadline for submitting 2019 information under CRS has been extended to 31 July 2020.

Please note that the above information has been received through internal communication. The Omani website has not yet been updated.

Lebanon issues List of Reportable Jurisdictions and extends CRS Reporting Deadline

On 8 May 2020, the Republic of Lebanon Ministry of Finance issued decision 158 to publish the Common Reporting Standard (“CRS”) “List of Reportable Jurisdictions for the reporting year 2019” (Link-Arabic). The 63 countries are listed under one category.

In addition, on 27 May 2020, the Republic of Lebanon Ministry of Finance published decision 171 to extend the Financial Institutions reporting deadline under the Common Reporting Standard (“CRS”) to 30 September 2020 (Link-Arabic).

Kuwait issues List of Reportable Jurisdictions and extends CRS Reporting Deadline

On 5 May 2020, the Kuwait Ministry of Finance issued the List of Reportable Jurisdictions for the reporting year 2019. The 67 countries are listed under one category.

In addition, also on 5 May 2020, the Kuwait Ministry of Finance extended the reporting deadline for Financial Institutions under the Common Reporting Standard (“CRS”) to 31 August 2020.

Please note that the official link to the Kuwait Automatic Exchange of Information webpage and portal is only accessible for subscribers of the Kuwait Ministry of Finance Automatic Exchange of Information (“AEOI”) Portal (Link-Arabic).

South Africa ends Third Party Data Annual Submission process

On 1 June 2020, the South African Revenue Service (“SARS”) has announced that SARS’s “Third Party Data Annual Submissions” process has been closed. Furthermore, any submissions made after this closing will be considered as “late” and should be submitted without any further delay, as one may be liable to penalties (Link).

As previously reported, SARS held a Third Party Data Annual Submission process for the period 1 March 2019 to 29 February 2020 (Link).

Details on submission dates and the various reportable data types can be found in Table 1 provided on the SARS website.

Germany deletes FATCA test data

On 25 May 2020, the German Federal Central Tax Office (“Bundeszentralamt für Steuern” or “BZSt”) announced the deletion of data stock in the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”) test system. The previous data stock was deleted on 18 May 2020 (Link-German).

Please note that a successful transmission of a deletion message (FATCA13) is only possible if the FATCA message to be referenced (FATCA11) was processed by the test system after the time of deletion of the data and the data sender has received a positive response.

One should clarify whether, depending on the test simulation, a retransmission may be necessary and whether the new message is not identical to a previous one (file name, MessageRefID and DocRefId must be different).

China extends CRS Reporting Deadline

In May 2020, the People’s Republic of China released tax information on the Common Reporting Standard (“CRS”) (Link-Chinese).

  • The Chinese platform will be open from 1 August 2020 until 30 September 2020.
  • The deadline for submitting 2019 information under CRS will be extended to 30 September 2020
  • The deadline for Financial Institutions to submit the self-assessment written report of annual CRS compliance status to PRC State Taxation Administration is extended to 31 October 2020
  • The system is enhanced in validating TINs, English names and addresses. It will not allow Chinese characters and meaningless contents. The submission parties should prepare the correctness of their submitted data
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