Premier and Minister for Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith announced that a series of workshops will be held this week to educate BV Islanders who will be affected by the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (or FATCA), which the Government recently signed on to.
Premier Smith made the announcement during the 22 July sitting of the House of Assembly. In his statement to the House, the BVI Leader explained that the workshops were deemed necessary because there are currently many BV Islanders who may have been unaware of their obligations as US citizens.
Hon. Smith explained that FATCA does not put any new obligations on BV Islanders with dual nationality. In fact, Hon. Smith stated that these obligations have always existed as part of the obligations of being a US person. However, he announced that the BVI Government will, assist persons who need this support in meeting their reporting requirements to the US by providing useful advice and identifying professionals versed in US Tax matters to assist.
The Premier said: “Last year we began a public information programme on the impact of FATCA on such persons and what they must do in fulfilment of their obligations to the United States. In the coming days we will reinforce these messages and announce the measures that we are taking to assist BV Islanders who are also ‘accidental’ Americans as we often refer to them in coming up to speed on their commitments to the Internal Revenue Service. These measures will include a help desk at the Government Administration Building.”
Additionally, Hon. Smith stated that during this week the Government of the Virgin Islands will be hosting workshops, and will also be speaking to the public again in order that any remaining questions can be answered and the apparent mysteries surrounding FATCA dispelled. He stated that these discussions will be done through various media, including television and radio.