Cayman Islands FATCA Portal Opens

March 20, 2015

The Cayman Islands Tax Information Authority (“TIA”) has launched the Automatic Exchange of Information (“AEOI”) portal.  Along with the launch, they have released v1.0 of the User Guide for Cayman Islands Reporting Financial Institutions.  Each Reporting FI will be required to make two submissions in 2015 to the Cayman TIA through the portal, a Notification and a Report.  The user guide can be found by clicking here.

Notification

The original deadline for the Notification was March 31, however, the Cayman Islands Government recently approved an extension to April 30, 2015.  The Notification requires that the Reporting FI submit the  entity name and GIIN, along with full details of the appointed Principal Point of Contact (“PPOC”).  Full details include name, email, telephone number, as well as the full business address of the contact.  It is important to note that, in addition to the information entered into the portal, the Reporting FI is also required to submit a PDF letter of authorization, appointing the PPOC.  The letter should be on letterhead, addressed to the TIA, and signed by an “appropriate person”.  The letter must contain, at a minimum:  Reporting FI name, GIIN (if applicable), full name and contact details of person providing the authorization, as well as the full name and office address of the PPOC.

Note that the Reporting FI will be able to assign additional contacts in the system, but the PPOC will have the personal requirement to manage these users and safeguard the access and passwords of the users.  Only the PPOC will be able to add or remove users in the system.  Any additional user (“Secondary User”) will have the same rights as the PPOC in terms of viewing and uploading/downloading reports, but the additional users will not have access to modify users.

The portal instructions also provide confirmation that both the US and UK Notification of reporting obligations can be accomplished in the same letter and registration process, which will offer some relief to users as they contemplate compliance under the two regimes.  As a reminder, the appointed PPOC does not have to be the same person who is identified on the IRS portal as the Responsible Officer.

Report

The first report for US FATCA is due by May 31, 2015 and will cover the period from July 1 – December 31, 2014, while the first report for UK FATCA will be due May 31, 2016 and will cover the period July 1, 2014 through to December 31, 2015.  The report can be submitted manually or via an XML file upload.

Some Welcome Relief

The Cayman Islands Tax Authority has issued an advisory regarding the opening of the FATCA AEOI Portal, which contained some breaking news. The Cayman Islands government has approved the waiving of mandatory nil returns for Cayman Islands, which will mean than Reporting FI’s in the Cayman Islands will not be required to submit a return if they do not have any Reportable Accounts.  All Reporting FI’s will still have to submit the Notification on the portal.

If you would like to discuss the content of this briefing in any further detail, please do get in touch with your usual Elian contact.