On 6 August 2019, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) released issue number 2019-6 on the International Data Exchange Service (“IDES”) Planned Outage (Link). The International Data Exchange Service, which is an electronic delivery point where Financial Institutions and Host Country Tax Authorities can transmit and exchange Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”) data with the United States, will be unavailable from 4 a.m. Eastern time on 7 August 2019, until noon Eastern time on 9 August 2019, due to planned maintenance.
In July 2019, the text of the U.S. Competent Authority Arrangement (“CAA”) with Canada, signed on 28 February and 20 March 2019, was made available on the Treasury website (Link).
The Arrangement is in accordance with the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”) IGA signed between these jurisdictions in 2014 (Link). In general, a Competent Authority Arrangement is a bilateral agreement between the U.S. and a treaty partner to clarify or interpret treaty provisions (Link). The CAAs establish the procedures for the automatic exchange obligations and for the exchange of information between these jurisdictions.
In July 2019, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) updated certain Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQs”) on the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”) to support users in understanding the respective requirements:
- FATCA – FAQs General updated 12 July 2019 (Link);
- Qualified Intermediary (QI), Withholding Foreign Partnership (WP), and Withholding Foreign Trust (WT) FAQs updated 15 July 2019 (Link);
- IRS FFI List FAQs updated 19 July 2019 (Link);
- FATCA – FAQs Registration System updated 24 July 2019 (Link);
- Basic Questions and Answers on Form 8938 updated 29 July 2019 (Link); and,
- Qualified Intermediary (QI), Withholding Foreign Partnership (WP), Withholding Foreign Trust (WT) System Application and Account Management System FAQs updated 30 July 2019 (Link).
On 29 July 2019, PwC’s CITT Compare Tool was updated to include the latest content from the Cayman Islands, Colombia, France, Germany and Mexico. Please take this opportunity to re-run reports for those countries and use the latest information within your projects.
On 26 July 2019, the Australian Taxation Office (“ATO”) issued an email alert reminder for the Common Reporting Standard (“CRS”) reporting process deadline.
CRS reports in Australia were due on 31 July 2019. To apply for an extension to submit reports, filers can submit an email through ATO online services or the Business and Tax Agent Portals. To apply, filers should select a new message with the topic “Lodge report” and the subject “Common Reporting Standard (CRS) extension of time”. Information on what the message should include can be found on the Australian Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act reporting information webpage (Link).
Due to international exchange timeframes, extensions will only be granted in limited circumstances.
One can subscribe to receive e-mail alerts from the ATO when new information regarding CRS reporting is released by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to the alert on Singapore’s changes to the Common Reporting Standard (“CRS”) reporting process (Link-Blog), PwC Singapore has drafted a quick guide to create an overview on these guidelines, including the key consideration of implementing controls to ensure readiness.
The key point of the new quick guide is the question of whether Singapore Financial Institutions are prepared for the upcoming IRAS compliance review (Link).
On 25 July 2019, the Financial Services Commission of Mauritius issued a Joint Communique by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Ministry of Financial Services and Good Governance, the Financial Services Commission, and the Economic Development Board of Mauritius on the “Mauritius Leaks” (Link).
In addition to rejecting most of the statements made by various news articles on Mauritius published by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (“ICIJ”) on 23 July 2019 in the so-called “Mauritius Leaks”, the Government of Mauritius wishes to reiterate that the jurisdiction of Mauritius is compliant with international norms and standards, including standards on transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes, the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting recommendations, and the Common Reporting Standard on automatic exchange of information. Furthermore, Mauritius is not on the European Union’s blacklist.
On 30 July 2019, the Cayman Islands’ Department for International Tax Cooperation (“DITC”) released an updated version of the Automatic Exchange of Information (“AEOI”) News & Updates circular: “AEOI News & Updates” to reflect the recent changes regarding the AEOI (Link).
The following sections have been updated:
- AEOI Portal Accessibility
- Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”) IRS Error Notifications
- Common Reporting Standard (“CRS”) Status Messages (Errors)
- CRS Reportable Jurisdictions
New issues have been added to the following sections:
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Industry advisories
Further information on the latest AEOI developments can be found on the Cayman Islands’ AEOI website (Link).
On 29 July 2019, Slovenia’s Ministry of Finance published documents on an updated due diligence procedure for identifying controllers of “existing entity accounts” (Link-Slovenian) and “new entity accounts” (Link-Slovenian) under the Common Reporting Standard (“CRS”) (Link-Slovenian).
On 30 July 2019, German Federal Central Tax Office (“Bundeszentralamt für Steuern” or “BZSt”) issued a newsletter “CRS Infobrief 07/2019”, providing updated information regarding the Common Reporting Standard (“CRS”) (Link-German). The system malfunction with regard to the error message „CRS_E_MESS_049 (“Die Daten zum ReportingFI dürfen sich nicht verändern“)“ has been resolved. All reports made between 29 May 2019 and 21 July 2019 which were marked with the above error message will be reprocessed ex officio.
If the new output still contains the above error message, it will not have been as a result of a system malfunction and should be re-checked and adjusted by the transmitting Financial Institution.
Please note that the reprocessing can lead to changed or new error messages.