Guidance Notes for the Common Reporting Standard

The British Virgin Islands International Tax Authority ("ITA") released guidance notes for the Common Reporting Standard ("CRS").

1. ITA clarified that there are separate notification and reporting requirements:

  • CRS Notification: Notification is required upon enrollment for Reporting Financial Institution no later 30 April 2017.
  • CRS reporting: The annual reporting must be made via the BVIFARS portal. The first reporting period is for the calendar year 2016 and the reporting deadline is 31 May 2017.

2. The UK FATCA/CDOT reporting requirements will transition into CRS since the UK and all of the Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories ("CDOT") will adopt the CRS and exchange information for the year 2016 for the first time in 2017.

According to the guidance there are items that would be reportable under the CDOT arrangement for 2017 which are not within the CRS, and terms within the CRS which would lead to more reporting than under the CDOT arrangement. The rule to follow will be that wherever the IGA or the CRS requires more reporting in the transition year of 2017, then the "more" should be reported. There will be no need for duplicate reporting.

The practical effect of this approach results in the following reporting:

  • Reporting for the year 2016: IGA requirements.
  • Reporting for the year 2017: mix under IGA and CRS requirements.
  • Reporting for the year 2018 onwards: the requirements of the CRS that apply.

There will be no need for duplicate reporting.

3. Investment Managers and Advisors that provide only provide investment advisory or management services will be regarded as not having any financial accounts and therefore, not required to report, as long as they meet the "solely because" test in the definition of a Financial Account in the CRS.

4. The CRS self-certification forms are accessible on the ITA website.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.