Switzerland completes 2019 exchange of information under CRS

On 7 October 2019, the Federal Tax Administration (“FTA”) in Switzerland announced the completion of the 2019 exchange within the framework of the Automatic Exchange of Information (“AEOI”) (Link).

The Swiss Federal Tax Administration states that this year the AEOI involved a total of 75 countries. With 63 of these countries, the exchange of information was reciprocal. In the case of 12 countries, Switzerland received information but did not provide any, either because those countries do not yet meet the international requirements on confidentiality and data security (Belize, Bulgaria, Costa Rica, Curaçao, Montserrat, Romania, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Cyprus) or because they chose not to receive data (Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos Islands).

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

EU reduces tax haven black list

On 10 October 2019, the Council of the European Union (“EU”) found the United Arab Emirates, Albania, Costa Rica, Serbia, Switzerland and Mauritius compliant with all its commitments and removed them from the EU list completely. The Marshall Islands moved from the black list to the grey list (Link).

As a result, nine jurisdictions remain on the list of non-cooperative jurisdictions: American Samoa, Belize, Fiji, Guam, Oman, Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago, the US Virgin Islands and Vanuatu.

The EU information website contains further information on the list’s objectives and on how the list has evolved (Link).

OECD Secretary-General Tax Report

In 9 October 2019, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (“OECD”) Secretary-General released a Tax Report to the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (Link). The report includes tax transparency challenges arising from new technologies.

The Secretary-General states that exactly 5 years after the initial endorsement of the Common Reporting Standard (“CRS”) by G20 leaders, the OECD is now undertaking a comprehensive review of the CRS, ensuring that it continues to provide an effective global firewall against international tax evasion in an increasingly digital financial age. Alongside changes to the Common Reporting Standard, the OECD is also working with tax authorities to build strategies for ensuring compliance with tax obligations in respect of crypto assets, and to ensure they have the tools to address the risks of financial crime posed by such assets, such as through practical training and speedy access to data.

OECD Tax Talks

On 9 October 2019, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (“OECD”) held a Tax Talk with a number of important recent and upcoming developments in the OECD’s international tax work. The OECD’s Centre for Tax Policy and Administration (“CTPA”) gave the latest tax update on topics including:

  • Secretariat Proposal for a “Unified Approach” under Pillar One
  • OECD Secretary-General Tax Report to G20 Finance Ministers – October 2019

A replay of the recent Tax Talk and previous webcasts can be accessed via YouTube (Link) or the OECD’s website (Link).

IRS remind taxpayers of the QI (including QDD), WP, and WT application deadline for 2019

On 9 October 2019, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) released Issue Number 2019-8, which is an alert on the deadline for all Qualified Intermediary (“QI”), including Qualified Derivatives Dealer (“QDD”), Withholding Foreign Partnership (“WP”) and Withholding Foreign Trust (“WT”) applications for the year 2019 (Link). The deadline is 15 November 2019.

All applicants that desire to have an agreement in effect in 2019 must submit their applications through the Qualified Intermediary, Withholding Foreign Partnership, Withholding Foreign Trust Application & Account Management System (QAAMS) no later than 15 November 2019, to allow sufficient time for processing by year-end. Applicants must have obtained a GIIN prior to submitting their applications, if needed. See section 2.22 of the QI Agreement in Rev. Proc. 2017-15, or section 12.01(a) of the WP or WT Agreement in Rev. Proc. 2017-21 for the effective date of an agreement for a new applicant.

India updates documents on FATCA and CRS reporting

On 28 September 2019, the Income Tax Department of India issued new versions of the Common Reporting Standard (“CRS”) and the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”) related documents on their Utilities Download portal (Link).

The documents include new versions of:

  • View Request & Submit Response – Quick Reference Guide 1.0
  • Reporting Portal – User Guide 3
  • Reporting Portal – FAQs 4.1
  • Notification – Quick Reference Guide 1.0
  • Messages – Quick Reference Guide 1.0
  • Information Request Utility User Guide 0
  • Information Request Utility – Quick Reference Guide 1.0
  • Forum – Quick Reference Guide 1.0 and,
  • Information Request Utility 1.0

In addition, the functionality to download Statement XML is now available on request.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines extend FATCA and CRS reporting deadlines

On 1 October 2019, the Financial Services Authority of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (“FSA”) informed Financial Institutions reporting under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”) and the Common Reporting Standard (“CRS”) that it has managed to extend the reporting deadlines for both regimes to 2 October 2019. However, on 2 October 2019, the FSA again extended the deadline to 3 October 2019. Please check the Reporting Portal for further extensions (Link).

The online portal is available for registration and reporting purposes. Financial Institution Administrators must first be approved by the Competent Authority before reporting can take place. By uploading an authorization letter from the Financial Institution and a copy of an identification document for the Competent Authority the approval process can be initiated (Link).

Singapore announces changes t0 FATCA reporting requirements

As previously reported, with effect from 1 April 2020, Reporting Singapore Financial Institutions must submit all Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”) returns, including nil returns (if applicable), electronically to IRAS via the “Submit CRS or FATCA Return” e-Service at IRAS’ myTax Portal (Link-Blog). In order to submit this information Reporting SGFIs must provide their FATCA registration information to IRAS. Reporting SGFIs that have yet to do so should provide the information via the “Apply for CRS Registration” e-Service (Link).

On 30 September 2019, more information on the FATCA reporting requirements has been released (Link). Inter alia, the IRAS Supplementary XML Schema User Guide, which provides additional guidance on how the information data elements must be presented for the purpose of FATCA reporting to IRAS via myTax Portal (Link).

In addition, also on 30 September 2019, the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (“IRAS”) reported, that the updated list of US IRS-approved Certificate Authorities has been released (Link). With effect from 1 April 2020, Reporting SGFIs do not need to have a valid certificate, as there is no need to digitally sign, encrypt or compress the FATCA XML file for submission via myTax Portal.

Abu Dhabi Global Market updates Common Reporting Standard Regulations

On 12 September 2019, the Board of Directors of the Abu Dhabi Global Market enacted the regulations “Common Reporting Standards (Amendment No 1) Regulations 2019” to amend the Common Reporting Standards Regulations 2017 (Link). In Annex 1 and Annex 2 of the 2019 Abu Dhabi Regulation references of Annex II of the Model 1 Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) as published by the US Department of Treasury on its website from time to time were erased. Those references include Non-reporting Financial Institutions and Excluded Accounts.

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