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Issued guidance on CRS

Adapting to a new global standard

​Below are publications providing guidance regarding Common Reporting Standard (CRS).

CRS developments 2018

October 17, 2018: On October 16, 2018, the OECD issued a press release announcing the publication of the results of its analysis of over 100 residence and citizenship by investment (CBI/RBI) schemes offered by CRS jurisdictions, identifying those that potentially pose a high-risk to the integrity of the CRS. Further to this release, on October 17, 2018, the OECD published a follow-up notice highlighting that the main goal of the high-risk RBI/CBI guidance is to provide Financial Institutions with the right tools to identify account holders that may misuse these schemes to avoid CRS reporting and carry out enhanced due diligence procedures where appropriate.

April 5, 2018: The OECD announced the release of: (1) the second edition of the CRS Implementation Handbook and; (2) a new set of bilateral exchange relationships established under the CRS Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement (MCAA) which for the first time includes activation of exchange relationships by Panama.

March 20, 2018: The Cayman Islands Tax Information Authority (TIA) released an Industry Advisory announcing the AEOI Portal reopening and issuance of revised documentation. As part of the revised documentation, a new version of the CRS self-certifications as well as a new version (v3.0) of the CRS Guidance Notes were released. None of the revisions impact current FATCA requirements.

March 9, 2018: The OECD published a press release “Game over for CRS Avoidance” providing access to the new Model Mandatory Disclosure Rules for CRS Avoidance Arrangements and Opaque Offshore Structures and related FAQs. This new regime will require lawyers, accountants, financial advisors, banks, and other service providers to inform tax authorities of any schemes they put in place for their clients to avoid reporting under the CRS or prevent the identification of the beneficial owners of entities or trusts.

February 19, 2018: The OECD published a press release announcing the release of a consultation document on misuse of residence by investment schemes to circumvent the CRS. The document addresses how “residence by investment” (RBI) or “citizenship by investment” (CBI) schemes can be used to circumvent the CRS. Interested parties are invited to send their comments by 19 March, 2018 at the latest.

CRS developments 2017

December 21, 2017: In December 2017, the OECD published new CRS-related FAQs:

  • FAQ 11 in Section I of CRS clarifies reporting obligations of reporting financial institutions in the process of being liquidated
  • FAQ 22 and FAQ 26 in Sections II-VII address timing to obtain self-certifications and applicable ownership thresholds when determining the controlling persons of an entity in jurisdictions that have established a threshold below 25% for AML/KYC purposes respectively
  • FAQ 10 and FAQ 11 in Section VIII (C) provide guidance on the treatment of accounts held for the purpose of condominium or housing cooperative and on the treatment of indirect distributions by a trust for CRS reporting purposes respectively

December 11, 2017: The OECD announced the publication of a consultation document seeking comments on new tax rules that would require disclosure of CRS avoidance arrangements and offshore structures. The draft rules are intended to target promoters and service providers with a material involvement in the design, marketing or implementation of CRS avoidance arrangements or offshore structures.

April 6, 2017: The OECD published a new version of their CRS-related Frequently Asked Questions and the second edition of the Standard for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information in Tax Matters (AEOI Standard). The AEOI Standard expands on the CRS XML Shema User Guide and includes additional guidance on handling corrections and cancellations within the CRS XML Schema. The CRS-related FAQs have been updated.

January 24, 2017: As announced by the Industry Advisory of December 22, 2016 the draft CRS Guidance Notes have been amended to incorporate the due diligence and reporting requirements modified by The Tax Information Authority (International Tax Compliance) (Common Reporting Standard) (Amendment) Regulations, 2016 (Second Tranche). Available download lists a summary of key additions and modifications included in the draft CRS Guidance Notes v2.0. The draft document is open for industry comments until January 27, 2017.


CRS developments 2016

December 22, 2016: The Government of the Cayman Islands announced the approval of The Tax Information Authority (International Tax Compliance) (Common Reporting Standard) (Amendment) Regulations, 2016 (Second Tranche). A revised version of the CRS Guidance Notes will be published in the first quarter of 2017.

November 8, 2016: At a meeting of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council on November 8, 2016, the Council of the European Union (EU) agreed on a proposed directive enabling tax authorities to access information held by anti-money laundering authorities. Specifically, beginning on January 1, 2018, the directive will require member states to allow access to information on the beneficial ownership of companies. This proposal follows the April 2016 release of the Panama Papers as well as the October 2016 Secretary-General Report to G20 Finance Ministers, which discussed updates and proposals to improve the implementation of the international standards on tax transparency, focusing on beneficial ownership standards.

July 23, 2016: Following the G20 Tax Policy Symposium in Chengdu on July 23 and 24, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released its Secretary-General Report to G20 Finance Ministers.

July 15, 2016: The Government of Panama announced (in Spanish) its commitment to sign the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, a comprehensive multilateral instrument for all forms of tax co-operation to tackle tax evasion and avoidance developed jointly by the OECD and the European Council.

July 6, 2016: The Government of Luxembourg published a press release (in French) announcing the adoption of a draft regulation amending the Grand-Ducal Regulation of March 15, 2016 which implements article 2, paragraph 4 of the Law of December 18, 2015 regulating the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) in Luxembourg.

July 5, 2016: The European Commission (EC) released a communication setting out next steps in its campaign to boost tax transparency in order to fight tax evasion and avoidance in the European Union (EU).

June 1, 2016: The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) releases new Common Reporting Standard (CRS) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

May 11, 2016: The OECD and the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes announced that Bahrain, Lebanon, Nauru, Panama, and Vanuatu have committed to implement the Common Reporting Standard (CRS), with first exchanges to occur in September 2018.

April 14, 2016: Panama’s Vice President and Ministry of Foreign Affairs has released an official statement affirming the country´s “full and immediate commitment to the implementation of bilateral automatic exchange of information consistent with the goals of the Common Reporting Standards.”

April 12, 2016: Cayman Islands Tax Information Authority (TIA) issues Common Reporting Standard (CRS) Guidance Notes and updated Entity Self-Certification Form.

CRS developments 2015

December 14, 2015: The OECD released an announcement responding to a request by the EU to include additional fields in the CRS XML Schema. In this announcement, the OECD stated that they agreed to adopt future changes to the CRS XML Schema which aim to address the concerns of all stakeholders involved while seeking to ensure that one single global standard is maintained going forward.

December 8, 2015: The Cayman Islands DITC published an industry advisory updating industry members on recent and future CRS publications released as part of the ongoing CRS implementation effort in the Cayman Islands.

November 13, 2015: The OECD released an updated version of their CRS-related FAQs which includes a number of new FAQs. Several of these FAQs require reference to the Commentaries on CRS.

October 31, 2015: The European Commission published a resolution which included lists of the Excluded Accounts and Non-Reporting Financial Institutions (Non-Reporting FIs) under the Common Reporting Standard (CRS). CRS allows for expansion of its definitions of Excluded Accounts and Non-Reporting FIs using domestic law in certain circumstances.

October 30, 2015: The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released an update on the Global Forum’s efforts toward tax transparency in the international community. At the conclusion of the eighth meeting held by the Global Forum, 13 new countries signed Multilateral Competent Authority Agreements (MCAAs), increasing the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) participating jurisdictions to 74 signatories, with 22 additional committed jurisdictions.

October 30, 2015: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) releases updated list of Common Reporting Standard (CRS) jurisdictional commitments.

October 13, 2015: The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) launched the AEOI Portal, a webpage intended to provide a comprehensive overview of the OECD’s progress in implementing the Common Reporting Standard (CRS). The portal content includes a historical timeline and background on information exchange, guidance and materials, details on the international framework for CRS exchange relationships, information on and assistance with implementation, and an explanation on the commitment and monitoring process.

October 12, 2015: Hong Kong Inland Revenue Department releases consolidated response to Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) industry consultation.

September 14, 2015: Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) releases draft Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information Guidance Notes (draft Guidance).

August 7, 2015: The OECD publishes three new reports to assist with global CRS implementation.

August 3, 2015: The OECD Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes (Global Forum) publishes 12 new peer review reports and releases compliance ratings.

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