On 9 November 2019, before Oman’s addition to the OECD Common Reporting Standard (“CRS”) Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement signatories list (Link-Blog), PwC Middle East released the Tax Insights: Oman: Capital Market Authority (“CMA”) announces the Common Reporting Standard (“CRS”) inspection and audit of financial institutions by the Secretariat General of Taxation of the Ministry of Finance (Link). The Capital Market Authority is the government entity which is supervising the operations of the capital markets and insurance sector in Oman. The Sultanate of Oman is one of the first jurisdictions in the Middle East region to begin audit and inspection processes for Financial Institutions under the CRS and could signify the beginning of other Middle East jurisdictions signed up to the CRS to also begin implementing similar processes to assess the level of compliance of Financial Institutions. The first exchange of information is expected to happen in 2020. The PwC report points out that it is critical that Omani Financial Institutions implement the CRS requirements and ensure they are onboarding new account holders in a CRS compliant manner.
In addition, on 17 December, the Capital Market Authority held a workshop on the lessons learnt from compliance with CRS and other exchange of information processes (Link). One of the workshop’s focus areas included the differences and similarities between the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”) and CRS.