Information for LOM Customers regarding International Tax Information Exchange
Several different, though similar, tax reporting and information exchange programs have come in to effect in the last several years.
More detailed information is provided below on the following:
1. U.S. FATCA – affects United States residents, citizens and green card holders, including beneficial owners of non-US legal entities (e.g. companies and trusts).
2. U.K. FATCA – affects United Kingdon residents (applies to BERMUDA domiciled investment accounts only).
3. Common Reporting Standard (“CRS”) – effectively a ‘global FATCA’, eventually affecting virtually all account holders
FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act)
Any customers, account signatories or beneficial owners that are U.S. citizens, U.S. residents or green card holders, or that were born in the United States should read the following notice:
LOM is registered as a participating foreign financial institution under FATCA regulations. Customer accounts determined to be “U.S. Accounts” under the regulations will be reported annually to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service beginning in 2015. Bermuda signed a “Model 2” Intergovernmental FATCA agreement (“IGA”) with the U.S. on December 19, 2013. Bahamas signed a “Model 1” IGA with the U.S. on November 3, 2014.
“U.S. Accounts” may include, but are not limited to:
- Individual or joint accounts with a U.S. citizen or U.S. resident as an owner or accountholder
- Where the account holder is a U.S. corporation, partnership or trust
- Foreign corporations with one or more U.S. persons owning more than 10% of the entity (with some exceptions depending on the type of corporation)
- Foreign trusts where the grantor is a U.S. person, or more than 10% of the beneficial interest is held by one or more U.S. persons
- An account with a U.S. citizen or U.S. resident as an account signatory or POA
Note individuals born in the United States are considered U.S. citizens unless they can provide documentation evidencing renunciation of citizenship.
Beginning as of January 1, 2014, accounts deemed to be U.S. accounts under FATCA will be reported to the IRS at various subsequent reporting deadlines. For more information, contact your account advisor. Also see the IRS Website.
U.K. FATCA Agreement for U.K. Residents (applicable only to Bermuda customers)
Bermuda and the United Kingdom signed a “U.K. FATCA Intergovernmental Model 2 Agreement” on November 25, 2013. This agreement is modeled on the U.S. FATCA program, and will require reporting of Bermuda financial accounts held or controlled by individuals or entities that are resident in the UK for tax purposes. The agreement is effective as of June 30, 2014. The other U.K. Crown Dependencies and British Overseas Territories have already signed or are expected to sign similar agreements. Initial reporting for UK reportable accounts will begin in 2016 for the 2015 calendar year.
Note: UK FATCA only applies to clients of LOM’s Bermuda affiliate, LOM Financial (Bermuda) Limited. Customers of LOM’s Bahamas affiliate, LOM Financial (Bahamas) Limited, are not affected. UK FATCA is expected to be replaced by the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) once it is fully in effect.
OECD Common Reporting Standard
To encourage tax transparency and prevent international tax evasion, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (“OECD”), in co-operation with the G20 countries and the European Union, has developed a new standard of international tax information exchange known as the “Common Reporting Standard” or “CRS”. The Common Reporting Standard became effective in respect of certain CRS jurisdictions on 1 January 2016.
CRS is similar to the FATCA reporting program already in place for US persons. At a high level, CRS requires financial institutions in participating jurisdictions to identify and report to their home tax authorities details of accounts held by their customers resident in other participating jurisdictions. Tax authorities in participating jurisdictions will exchange this information on an annual basis with other tax authorities in participating CRS jurisdictions where account holders are resident.
At the date of this notice, nearly 100 jurisdictions (including Bermuda and the Bahamas) have committed to implementing the CRS, and more are expected to follow. [See attached media]
CRS became effective in Bermuda and at least 53 other countries as of January 2016, with the first reporting expected to be in September 2017. It is our understanding that the initial reporting in 2017 will apply to all new accounts opened after 1 January 2016, and to high-value (>$1 million value) pre-existing customers. Reporting in the following year (2018) will apply to all customers (for 2017 account information).
CRS is expected to become effective in the Bahamas (and at least 40 other countries) as of January 2017, with similar reporting deadlines as Bermuda, but one year behind.
Information exchanged will include the customers’ name, address, and tax identification number, and information about financial accounts, such as account value, income received and gross proceeds.
In order to comply with CRS, all financial institutions (e.g. banks, brokerage firms, mutual funds and insurance companies) in participating jurisdictions must perform due diligence on their customers, and obtain self-certifications regarding their customers’ tax residency.
In the coming months we may contact you to request additional information which is necessary for CRS purposes, in order to comply with LOM Financial’s legal obligations.
If you have any questions regarding this notice, please contact your account representative. However, please note that this notice does not and is not intended to constitute tax advice, and neither LOM Financial nor its officers or employees are authorised or qualified to provide tax advice to customers.
More information is available on the OECD website.