After a long period without any changes, on 9 April 2019 the Cayman Islands (‘Cayman’) Department of International Tax Co-operation (‘DITC’) has updated its Automatic Exchange of Information (‘AEOI’) Portal News & Updates page (‘Update’). The changes include an update to the AEOI Portal (’Portal’) User Guide to version V5, a new section ‘C’ with FAQs, new information on error notifications for Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (‘FATCA’) returns and Common Reporting Standard (‘CRS’) status messages, as well as important information on current Country by Country Reporting (‘CbCR’) deadlines.

AEOI Portal is open

The DITC Update advises that the Portal is open for Notification and Reporting submissions, but that Cayman Financial Institutions (‘CFI’) should submit their current and any outstanding returns as soon as practicable because access to the Portal may be affected by the volume of activity in the final weeks before the deadline. A Principal Point of Contact (‘PPOC’) must ensure that reporting obligations have been met for all CFIs, for all years.

What are the CbCR deadlines?

The deadlines for CbCR Notification and Reporting submissions are:

  •          Notification – a Constituent Entity (‘CE’) has until no later than the last day of the reporting fiscal year to complete the Notification process, by successfully submitting both Notification Part 1 and Notification Part 2;
  •          Reporting –Reporting Entities (‘RE’) have to make their CbC Report within 12 months of the end of their reporting fiscal year. This means that reporting for the year end 31 December 2019 is due by 31 December 2020.

The Update reminds users that CbCR notification is a one-off process and should not be repeated annually. Also, CEs should advise any changes to the Cayman Tax Information Authority (‘TIA’) by uploading a revised CE File and Authorisation Letter via the CbCR Portal by the end of the fiscal year during which the changes occur. CbCR Guidance v1.1 is available here and additional resources on CbC Reporting can be found here or if you still have questions the DITC suggest you email the CbCR Team on: CaymanCbCRportal@gov.ky.

What are the FATCA and CRS reporting deadlines?

Provided reporting obligations are complete on or before Wednesday, 31 July 2019, the DITC advises that there will not be compliance measures for late filing, and therefore no adverse consequences, enforcement measures or penalties. However, as usual, it warns that reporting submitted after that date may be subject to DITC compliance reviews. The DITC reminds CFIs with CRS reporting obligations that their applications will not be considered complete until they successfully submit a CRS Filing Declaration for the relevant period.

What’s new in the Portal Guide?

Information in the new Portal Guide includes information on the following :

  •  Page 27 - FATCA Tax Identification Numbers (‘TIN’) There is a new validation rule for reports in the case of Pre-Existing Specified US Person (Entity) and Substantial Owner type Organisation, where the Reporting CFI has been unable to obtain the U.S. TIN.
  • Page 52 – Internal Revenue Service FATCA Error Notifications, giving examples, suggested causes and steps to take – for example that “A FATCA4 (Amended Return) should never be submitted in response to an IRS error notification.” And the usual warning regarding IRS Notifications that “US FATCA Reporting CFIs MUST NOT address any IRS notifications in respect of 2014 and 2015.”

        Page 83 – CRS Status messages and how to deal with them, including the reminder:

You MUST carefully follow the file preparation instructions in the OECD CRS Status Message XML Schema: User Guide for Tax Administrations before addressing any CRS Status Messages: http://www.oecd.org/tax/exchange-of-tax-information/common-reporting-standard-status-message-xml-schema-user-guide-for-tax-administrations.pdf

These sections are also explained in sections D and E of the Update.

New FAQs section

The new Frequently Asked Questions section C provides answers to the five most commonly asked questions:  I have forgotten my password/not received log in credentials?; I have received an IRS error notification what do I do?; How can I change the name of an FI?; Why can’t I submit any Reporting?; Why can’t I submit CRS Reporting?. For further questions the DITC suggest referring to the User Guide and Guidance Notes.

Solomon Harris
We at Solomon Harris have been monitoring and covering the introduction of international AEOI regulations, including FATCA, the CRS andCbCR and keeping a close eye on updates to the Cayman AEOI Portal. If you would like advice or assistance on any FATCA, CRS or other regulatory matters contact us on info@solomonharris.com to see how we can help.
Disclaimer
The information contained in this article is necessarily brief and general in nature and does not constitute legal advice. Appropriate legal or other professional advice should be sought for any specific matter.

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