In an Industry Advisory dated 1 February 2018, the Cayman Islands ('Cayman') Ministry of Financial Services has advised that the Cayman Automatic Exchange of Information ('AEOI') Portal ('Portal') will re-open in March 2018. Further, the Cayman Department for International Tax Cooperation ('DITC') has published an updated list of Common Reporting Standard ('CRS') Participating Jurisdictions and Reportable Jurisdictions. The new list includes Azerbaijan and Pakistan as Participating Jurisdictions. The CRS Guidance Notes are also due to be revised to reflect various changes, as is the Portal User Guide.

Portal reopening

The Cayman Tax Information Authority ('TIA') expect the Portal will reopen in early March 2018. Any Cayman Financial Institutions ('CFI's) which have been unable to make their Notification (i.e. register) through the Portal before that date must do so by 30 April 2018.

2018 FATCA and CRS Deadline

For 2018 the deadline for making all new data Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act ('FATCA') Returns, new data CRS Returns and CRS Filing Declarations with respect to the 2017 calendar year is 31 May 2018.

Upcoming amendments to the CRS Guidance Notes

The TIA's CRS Guidance Notes are expected to be updated during February 2018. This will reflect changes such as a new and revised form of Entity Self-Certification and also the updates to the Participating and Reporting Jurisdictions. The current Version 2.1, which was updated in July 2017, is available here)

AEOI Portal User Guide Updates

The AEOI Portal User Guide (currently V3.2.1 of June 2017) is also planned to be updated in February to reflect new functions on the Portal. These include new processes for changing the Principal Point of Contact or Authorising Person of a CFI and for deactivating a CFI.

Participating Jurisdictions and Reportable Jurisdictions

The lists of CRS Participating Jurisdictions and CRS Reportable Jurisdictions are issued pursuant to regulation 5(3) of the Tax Information Authority (International Tax Compliance) (Common Reporting Standard) Regulations, as amended. They are published in Extraordinary Gazette No.2 of 2018 (here (at pages 146-148))

OECD updates its CRS FAQs

In December 2017, the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development ('OECD') published updated CRS FAQs (here). The changes, whose headings are marked in yellow, are: to Section I, General Reporting Requirements, FAQ 11 on the 'Reporting obligations of reporting financial institutions in the process of being liquidated'; Sections II –VII: Due diligence requirements in FAQs 22 on 'Timing of Self –Certifications', and FAQ 26, 'Determining Controlling persons of entity'; and Section VIII Definitions FAQ 10, 'Excluded Accounts held for the purpose of condominium or housing co-operative'; and, FAQ 11 'Indirect Distributions by a trust'.

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