Financial Services Institutions Invited To FATCA Workshops

Financial Secretary, Mr. Neil Smith and KPMG FATCA Specialist, Mr. Doug Harrell.

Financial Secretary, Mr. Neil Smith and KPMG FATCA Specialist, Mr. Doug Harrell.

Friday, July 11, 2014

The Government of the Virgin Islands, in collaboration with KPMG (BVI) Limited and Harney Westwood & Riegels are hosting two Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”) workshops for members of the financial services industry.

These workshops are scheduled for Tuesday, July 29 from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and on Thursday, July 31 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 Marias by the Sea.

According to Director of Communications Mrs. Arliene T. Penn, the aim of these workshops is to provide members of the financial services industry and the public with an opportunity to provide feedback on the Guidance Notes.

“The Guidance Notes will assist financial institutions and other parties in the Territory in determining their requirements under the Model 1B intergovernmental agreement (“IGA”),’ she said.

She added that these workshops will assist the Government with ensuring that the Guidance Notes address any BVI-specific situations with sufficient clarity that the requirements of the IGA can be understood and performed.

Both workshops will cover the same topics and include: an update on the key timelines and requirements of FATCA; an outline of the various documents covering the FATCA requirements; an introduction to the guidance notes; and an open floor question and answer session, enabling attendees to provide feedback and seek clarity on the guidance notes, which is anticipated to make up the majority of the workshop.

KPMG’s FATCA specialist Mr. David Conen and Harney’s Head of Funds and Regulatory Services Mr. Ross Munro will facilitate both workshops.

“Both KPMG and Harneys have participated in the Government working group, which has prepared the draft guidance notes,” Mrs. Penn said.

She explained that the draft guidance notes will be released next week ahead of the workshops.

On June 30, Government signed a Model 1B intergovernmental agreement (IGA) in relation to the United States (US) Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). FATCA is a United States federal law that is universal. It requires United States persons living outside the United States to report, among other things, their income to United States Government.

The signing of the FATCA IGA is universal. By entering into an intergovernmental agreement with the United States, the BVI and all the many countries around the world that have done so, have simplified the requirements to comply with FATCA for the financial institutions within their borders. The IGA lessens the burden of reporting and the costs associated to its citizens and financial institutions. Additionally, the IGA prevents the automatic application of a 30 percent withholding tax from being applied to institutions, if they were not compliant.

The Government of the Virgin Islands remains committed to alleviating the burden on its citizens to comply with this universal law and protecting the financial services industry by helping the institutions to comply with the FATCA obligation.