OECD publishes outcomes of peer review on tax transparency for further jurisdictions

On 30 July 2019, the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes announced that it has published nine outcomes of the second round of a new and enhanced peer review process (Link). These processes are aimed at assessing compliance with international standards for the exchange of information upon request between tax authorities.

Five jurisdictions – Costa Rica (Link), Croatia (Link), Lebanon (Link), Malaysia (Link), the Federated States of Micronesia (Link) and Nauru (Link) – received an overall rating of “Largely Compliant”. Two others – Botswana (Link) and Vanuatu (Link) – were rated “Partially Compliant” and one – Guatemala (Link) – was rated “Non-Compliant”.

The Global Forum is the leading multilateral body mandated to ensure that jurisdictions around the world adhere to and effectively implement both the standard of transparency and exchange of information on request and the standard of automatic exchange of financial account information. This objective is achieved through a robust monitoring and peer review process. The Global Forum also runs an extensive technical assistance program to provide support to its members in implementing the standards and helping tax authorities to make the best use of cross-border information sharing channels.

Additional information on the Global Forum, its peer review process, and all reports to date can be found on the OECD’s website (Link). For further information, journalists should contact Pascal Saint-Amans, Director of the OECD Centre for Tax Policy and Administration, (+33 6 2630 4923) or Dónal Godfrey, Deputy Head of the Global Forum Secretariat (+33 1 4524 8743).

Costa Rica – U.S. and Dominican Republic – U.S. IGA in force

On 8 July 2019, the Model 1 Intergovernmental Agreement (“IGA”) between Costa Rica and the United States to improve international tax compliance and to implement FATCA went into force (Link). The IGA was enacted through Costa Rica Decree 41739-H, which was published in Issue No.141 of Costa Rica’s Official Gazette (Link-Blog).

In addition, on 17 July 2019, the Model 1 IGA between the Dominican Republic and the United States to improve international tax compliance and to implement FATCA came into force (Link).

Mexico postpones AEOI reporting deadline once again

On 23 July 2019, the Government of Mexico released a communication document postponing the reporting deadline for all Automatic Exchange of Information (“AEOI”) data (Link-Spanish).

The new deadline for the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”) and Common Reporting Standard (“CRS”) data submission is 1 September 2019.

At the same time, the Mexican tax authority also extended the communication-testing and data-transmission-testing period to 31 July 2019. The testing environment will remain available without technical support until 1 September 2019.

In addition, on 22 July 2019, the calendar of Automatic Exchange of Information activities has been updated accordingly (Link-Spanish).

Singapore updates its CRS reporting process

On 23 July 2019, the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (“IRAS”) published the first edition of the Common Reporting Standard (“CRS”) e-Tax Guide (Link). The CRS e-Tax Guide covers the following information:

  • the types of entities that are regarded as Singapore Financial Institutions (“SGFIs”), Reporting SGFIs, NonReporting SGFIs and NFEs under the CRS
  • the types of in-scope Accounts (Financial Accounts) and Excluded Accounts;
  • the due diligence procedures required to be applied by Reporting SGFIs to identify Reportable Accounts;
  • the registration requirements of Reporting SGFIs; and
  • the information to be reported by Reporting SGFIs.

To complement the newly released e-Tax Guide, IRAS, also on 23 July 2019, released a new guide on CRS compliance to support Financial Institutions in implementing the Common Reporting Standard in Singapore (Link). This compliance guide describes IRAS’ guiding principles and compliance activities when reviewing whether Reporting SGFIs are fulfilling their CRS obligations effectively. It also explains IRAS’ expectations on the approach that Reporting SGFIs should take when demonstrating their compliance with CRS in Singapore. These expectations include putting in place sufficient and robust internal controls that are commensurate with the Reporting SGFI’s level of CRS compliance risks based on its business circumstances.

Finally, a newly implemented compliance section containing information on the CRS Compliance Guidelines, the CRS Compliance Activities and the Offences and Anti-avoidance under CRS in Singapore can be found on the IRAS website (Link).

Australia issues reminder on FATCA reporting process

On 22 July 2019, the Australian Taxation Office (“ATO”) issued an email alert reminding about the upcoming Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”) reporting process deadline.

FATCA reports in Australia are due on 31 July each year. To apply for an extension of time to submit reports, filers can write an email within the 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 “Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) 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).

One can subscribe to receive e-mail alerts from the ATO when new information regarding FATCA reporting are released, by e-mailing ato-dmi@ato.gov.au.

France releases updated technical guidance for CRS

On 15 July 2019, the French Tax Administration (“FTA”) released a revised version 2.1 of the Common Reporting Standard (“CRS”) technical guidance (Link-French). The guidance was updated to incorporate the newest information, which includes the updated account number syntax information in chapter 3.2.5. Remarks can be submitted to the FTA via email: bureau.cf1c@dgfip.finances.gouv.fr.

Malaysia updates Reportable Jurisdiction List

On 30 June 2019, the Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia (“IRBM”) updated the List of Reportable Jurisdictions under the Common Reporting Standard (“CRS”) (Link). The new list includes 65 countries.

Malaysian Financial Institutions (“MYFI”) are required to collect financial account information from all non-residents and report to IRBM that information relating to the Reportable Jurisdictions according to the timeline as stated on the CRS information webpage (Link).

To ensure that MYFIs are ready to submit the information relating to the reportable jurisdictions within the timeline, MYFIs are advised to prepare the report of all participating jurisdictions and not only the reportable jurisdictions. The initial List of Reportable Jurisdictions was published on 15 January 2018. For 2020 reporting onwards, the list will be updated on 15 January and 31 May each year.

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