News and Alerts

December 29, 2016

OECD announces significant expansion to CRS relationships

Earlier this month, the OECD announced that a further 350 bilateral relationships have been established between over 50 jurisdictions in 2017.  This is means that there are now over 1300 arrangements in place to exchange financial account information next year in the first wave of CRS exchanges.

December 16, 2016

FATCA Online System Update: Discontinuation of FATCA Classification of Limited Conditional Status

When registering after 31 December 2016, users of the FATCA Online Registration system should no longer select the limited conditional classification option. Similarly, limited branch status will no longer be valid. At this time, all new and existing limited conditional and limited branch registrations will be placed in “registration incomplete” status.

December 16, 2016

IRS announces the launch of a new Qualified Intermediary system

On 15 December 2016, the US Internal Revenue Service (‘IRS’) announced that Qualified Intermediary (‘QI’), Withholding Foreign Partnership (‘WP’) and Withholding Foreign Trust (‘WT’) questions will be removed from its FATCA Online Registration System.

November 15, 2016

UAE and Oman takes early lead in the introduction of Value Added Tax

Earlier in the year the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (“GCC”) namely Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE agreed to introduce Value Added Tax (VAT).

Notifying your customers that HMRC’s noose is tightening

On 9 September, HMRC laid The International Tax Compliance (Client Notification) Regulations SI 2016/899 (“the Notification Regulations”) which oblige UK FIs to notify their customers that HMRC will be exchanging financial account information with other Revenue authorities under the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”), the UK Agreements with the Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories (“CDOT”) and the Common Reporting Standard (“CRS”) (collectively “AEOI”).
The notifications must be sent to the relevant customers on or before 31 August 2017.

Kuwait acts as the Gulf trailblazer for CRS

Kuwait signs the international CRS agreement

The OECD has announced that  Kuwait is the 83rd signatory to the CRS Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement ("CRS MCAA").  This means that they have committed to the first information exchange in relation to financial accounts maintained by their domestic FIs in 2018.

Penalties for tax agents, financial institutions and other intermediaries for facilitating tax avoidance

Public Consultation on proposals – 17 August – 12 October

HMRC have announced proposals to penalise those who they suspect have been involved in the design, marketing or facilitation of tax avoidance schemes.  This is the latest measure in the government’s wider crackdown against tax evasion and avoidance.

Guernsey clarifies “Investment Entity” definition

The Income Tax Department of the States of Guernsey recently issued a bulletin (2016/6), clarifying its interpretation of the definition of an “investment entity” under the Common Reporting Standard (“CRS”).

The guillotine for FATCA IGAs agreed in substance?

The US Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) has published an announcement (2016-27) which aims to bring closure to the issue of countries that are still deemed to have Intergovernemtal Agreements (“IGA”) to implement the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”) agreed in substance.

China takes the next step

On 14 October, China took the next stage towards fully implementing the Common Reporting Standard (“CRS”). The country has now published its implementation plan for its FIs that will be required to undertake due diligence and reporting in respect of relevant customers. 

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