IRS releases Issue Number 2019-1 on the Validation for the IDES Digital Certificate

On 26 September 2018, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) released issue number 2019-1 on the Validation for the International Data Exchange Service (“IDES”) Digital Certificate (Link). Digital certificates bind digital information to physical identities and provide non-repudiation and data integrity. IDES has advised that there is a significant number of expired digital certificates currently in the IDES enrollment system.

Additionally, many more certificates are set to expire in the next 90 days. One must have a valid certificate associated with the IDES enrollment to successfully file Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”) reports through IDES. If the certificate has expired, it can be replaced through the enrollment site.

More information on the IDES Digital Certificate can be found on the IRS website (Link).

Japan releases updated FAQs on CRS

On 30 December 2018, Japan updated the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”) and Common Reporting Standard (“CRS”) Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQs”) regarding the Reporting System for Automatic Exchanges of Financial Account Information on Non-residents (Link-Japanese). The document provides Japanese Financial Institutions with the technical description and specification for filing CRS returns. The updated FAQs contain the following additional questions:

  • Q1 – 1-6;
  • Q2 – 7, 12 and 14.

In addition, amendments have been made to the following questions:

  • Q1 – 1-9;
  • Q2 – 1;
  • Q2 – 9.

Andorra announces amended criteria on excluded accounts

On 19 December 2018, the Government of Andorra released a communication document on the interpretative criteria of the accounts excluded from the obligation to automatically report financial account information on tax matters (Link). In addition, an updated version of the Frequently Asked Questions on the automatic exchange of information (“FAQs”) has been released (Link). The purpose of the FAQs is to provide guidance on the domestic implementation of the AEOI.

More information on the exchange of information in Andorra can be found on the government’s website. This webpage has three different sections: “Exchange upon prior request”, “Automatic exchange” and “Spontaneous exchange” (Link).

India updates Reporting Portal Utilities section

On 16 January 2019, the Indian Central Board of direct taxes issued updated Report Generation and Validation Utilities Forms. The utilities are essential in order to use the Indian Reporting Portal in a proper manner. The updated utilities for forms 61, 61A and 61B can be found and downloaded on the website of the Indian Income Tax Department (Link).

Switzerland issues new version of FATCA Assessment document

On 24 January 2019, the Swiss “AIA-Qualifikationsgremium”, which is the Automatic Exchange of Information (“AEOI”) Qualification Committee, issued a new version of its Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”) assessment document to answer recent questions regarding FATCA certification in Switzerland (Link-German).

The AEOI Qualification Committee was established on 1 December 2016. This committee is led by the Swiss Federal Tax Administration (“FTA”) and the State Secretariat for International Financial Matters (“SIF”). The Qualification Committee provides a Questions and Answers (“Q&A”) page dealing with questions arising from the implementation of the AEOI in Switzerland. The Q&A is available in German (Link-German), French (Link-French), and Italian (Link-French).

United Kingdom publishes guidance on AEOI registration

On 18 January 2019, Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (“HMRC”) in the United Kingdom published an updated version of the guidance: “How to register for Automatic Exchange of Information” (Link).

This guidance refers to the following topics:

  • Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”);
  • Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories (“CDOTs”); and,
  • Common Reporting Standard (“CRS”).

On the same day, the guidance has been updated to include the current list of territories one needs to report on (Link). The current list of reportable jurisdictions can be found on HMRC’s International Exchange of Information Manual website (Link).

U.S. IRS IDES testing session ends today

The Internal Revenue Service in the U.S. (“IRS”) reminds users that the current testing session of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”) International Data Exchange Service (“IDES”) from Monday, 17 December 2018 at 8:00 AM EST to Friday, 25 January 2019 at 5:00 PM will end today (Link). The test session was open to users that completed IDES enrollment by Thursday, 13 December 2018 at 5:00 PM EST. In order to participate in testing, users need to have an active password. All passwords and profile information should be updated before the enrollment cutoff. All testing sessions will be announced on the IDES Testing Schedule web page (Link). If Financial Institutions need assistance with enrollment the IDES Help Desk should be contacted (Link).

Bulgaria publishes Information on the AEOI implementation

On 21 December 2018, the Bulgarian Government released updated Information on the implementation of the Automatic Exchange of Information (“AEOI”) in Bulgaria (Link-Bulgarian).This document provides certain information regarding the Common Reporting Standard (“CRS”) and Council Directive 2014/107/EU of 9 December 2014 amending Directive 2011/16/EU as regards mandatory automatic exchange of information in the field of taxation (“DAC2”).