Within moments of the circulation of Appleby's eAlert entitled, " Cayman AEOI Portal Almost Open," the Cayman Islands Tax Information Authority followed through: the Portal is now indeed open.
Cayman Islands reporting financial institutions (Reporting FIs) are required to use the Portal to file the reports required pursuant to the Tax Information Authority (International Tax Compliance) (United States of America) (Amendment) Regulations, 2015 and the Tax Information Authority (International Tax Compliance) (United Kingdom) (Amendment) Regulations, 2015 (Regulations). It is expected that the Portal will also accommodate filings under the OECD's Common Reporting Standard (CRS) once in effect.
Step 1: Cayman AEOI Portal Initial Set Up
The first step to using the Portal is for the Reporting FI to complete the necessary form to set up an account. To do this, go to the Department of International Tax Cooperation website [ www.tia.gov.ky ], select "Automatic Exchange of Information" (AEOI) from the side bar, then click on "Cayman AECI Portal Initial Setup (Notification)". After a security check, the Reporting FI will be presented with an online form requesting basic information, including its name, email address, GIIN number, category of FI, and confirmation of whether it is subject to the US or UK Regulations, or both. A principal point of contact (POC) must be named and a PDF document attached authorising the POC to act on behalf of the Reporting FI. More information on the POC is contained in our earlier eAlert.
Upon submission of the online form, the Reporting FI will receive a username and temporary password to access the Portal. The POC will want to adopt a new password when first accessing the site.
Note that the Reporting FI must complete its initial set up on the Portal by 30 April 2015.
Step 2: US Reporting Requirements
The US Regulations require that the first reports be filed no later than 31 May 2015. This first report is in respect of individual accounts held by US Specified Persons that were opened between 1 July 2014 and 31 December 2014.
The next deadline is 30 June 2015 in respect of pre-existing high value individual accounts (ie individual accounts that were already in existence on 30 June 2014 and which had a balance or value that exceeded US$1,000,000 as at 30 June 2014).
If the Reporting FI has carried out a review and classification process on any of its pre-existing individual accounts that are low value (ie an account that had a balance or value of less than US$1,000,000 on 30 June 2014) and any pre-existing entity accounts (ie those in existence on 31 December 2014 with a balance or value that exceeds US$250,000), those can also be reported as part of this reporting cycle but the deadlines for those reviews and reports are as follows:
- Pre-existing low value individual – 30 June 2016
- Pre-existing entity accounts – 30 June 2016
The Portal permits the Reporting FI to enter the data manually in an online template, or the information can be uploaded as an attachment in XML format following the IRS Schema. The data required in respect of each reportable account are:
- Tax identification number
- Account number
- Name of the Reporting FI
- GIIN of the Reporting FI
- The account balance or value as at 31 December 2014 (or immediately prior to its closure if the account was closed during the reporting period)
Further Reporting Requirements
Reporting under the UK Regulations will commence in 2016 and under the CRS in 2017. Appleby will advise when those deadlines approach.
Note that under the US Regulations, this first reporting period is treated as something of a 'soft launch': in future reporting, additional information may have to be reported depending on the nature of the account.
Update to the Regulations
The Ministry of Financial Services has also announced that it has received Cabinet approval to amend the mandatory nil return requirements in the Regulations. Currently, the Regulations require that a Reporting FI with no reportable accounts must report that fact via the Portal in each calendar year. Under the amended Regulations, it will not be mandatory for the Reporting FI to submit nil returns annually. However, Cayman Reporting FIs with no reportable accounts will still need to complete the notification requirement using the Portal.
The Portal and User Guide can be accessed here
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.