Luxembourg publishes updated CRS FAQ

On 3 June 2019, the Luxembourg Tax Authorities (“LTA”) released updated Common Reporting Standard (“CRS”) Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQs”) (Link-French).

For more information on the CRS and the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”) in Luxembourg, the LTA provides a general information webpage on electronic exchanges in Luxembourg (Link-French).

Canada strengthens offshore tax compliance

On 13 June 2019, the Offshore Compliance Advisory Committee provided the Canadian Revenue Minister with a statement on the Canada Revenue Agency’s Treatment of the Panama Papers and the Paradise Papers (Link). The Revenue Minister welcomed the report and announced that information in the Panama and Paradise Papers leaks helps the Canadian Revenue Agency better risk assess and identify those who may be trying to hide assets offshore.

OECD releases compliance data on AEOI

On 7 June 2019, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (“OECD”) issued data to illustrate that international efforts to improve transparency via automatic exchange of information on financial accounts are improving tax compliance and delivering concrete results for governments worldwide (Link).

The OECD states that more than 90 jurisdictions participating in a global transparency initiative under the OECD’s Common Reporting Standard (“CRS”) since 2018 have now exchanged information on 47 million offshore accounts, with a total value of around EUR 4.9 trillion. The Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) initiative – activated through 4,500 bilateral relationships – marks the largest exchange of tax information in history, as well as the culmination of more than two decades of international efforts to counter tax evasion.

OECD’s Global Forum with technical assistance in Kenya and Armenia

From 27 May to 6 June 2019, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (“OECD”) Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes met with Kenya tax officials for a workshop on the Common Reporting Standard (“CRS”) and the use of exchange of tax information as a key tool to fight cross-border tax evasion (Link). The meeting was aimed at assessing the implementation of the EOIR standard by Kenya on both the legal framework and the practice.

From 4 to 6 June 2019, the Secretariat of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes (Global Forum) was in Yerevan, to help Armenia to implement and benefit from the international standards on exchange of information upon request (“EOIR”). The visit was designed to assist Armenia to put in place a smooth implementation of the international standards and benefit from exchange of information in their domestic revenue mobilization efforts.

Armenia will be reviewed against the standard of exchange of information upon request (EOIR) in 2020 and the assistance provided will enable Armenia to prepare its EOIR peer review and also take steps towards the implementation of the automatic exchange of information standard. Armenia will also receive assistance to train its auditors in the utilization of exchange of information during tax audits.

Taiwan updates information on CRS reporting

On 20 May 2019, the Taiwan Ministry of Finance published updated Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQ”) on the reporting under the Common Reporting Standard (“CRS”) to reflect the recent changes in the Taiwanese CRS implementation and due diligence process (Link-Chinese).

The relevant regulation was updated on 16 May 2019 (Link-Chinese).

The recently published List of Reportable Jurisdictions under CRS, which can also be found on the Taiwanese website, contains two countries, Australia and Japan (Link-Chinese). For more information regarding the Automatic Exchange of Information in Taiwan, the Taiwan Ministry of Finance published Questions and Answers (“Q&A”) on the implementation of the CRS (Link-Chinese). Questions on what CRS is, how it works and how Taiwan will keep up with the CRS implementation are answered in downloadable files.

It is also possible to view the Taiwanese Automatic Exchange of Information documents in English. Please keep in mind that the English documents may not be as current as the Chinese documents. Should discrepancy due to translation occur, the Chinese version shall prevail (Link).

South Africa releases final reminder and updates CRS draft regulation

On 1 June 2019, the South African Revenue Service (“SARS”) issued a reminder on third party data submission for the period 1 March 2018 – 28 February 2019, for the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”) and the Common Reporting Standard (“CRS”). The process closed on 31 May 2019.

If you have yet to submit, your submissions are late, and should be submitted without any further delay as you may be liable for penalties. Submissions in respect of data files and declarations of the various reportable data types as detailed per Table 1 were due (Link).

In addition, on 20 May 2019, SARS released a draft regulation with potential updates on the CRS in South Africa (Link).

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