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What is CRS?

It is the standard for the Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) endorsed by all G20 and developed by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). It is the new reporting information aiming to collect information for the financial institutions in all the participating jurisdictions, to help fight against tax evasion and protect the integrity of tax systems.

 

Differences between FATCA and CRS

There are many differences between the two reporting regimes; the key differences are the following:

  FATCA CRS
For Governing Authority United States Separate participating tax jurisdictions. Until now 101 jurisdictions have signed
Withholding 30% withholding on Non-Compliant Payees / Intermediaries No Withholding
Account Scope US Individual Accounts, US Entity Accounts and Passive NFFE accounts held by substantial US owners Individual and Entity accounts held by tax residents of any CRS participating jurisdiction or Passive NFEs with Controlling persons that are resident in any CRS participating jurisdiction
Thresholds New Individual: $50,000

New Entity: N/A

Preexisting Individual: $50,000 (generally) and $250,000 (cash value insurance)

Preexisting Entity: $250,000

With the exception of preexisting entity accounts, no thresholds applicable
Documentation Requirements Forms W-8/ W-9 may be used to capture all tax data U.S. Tax Forms are not acceptable to capture all CRS data (e.g. multiple tax residences, CRS legal entity classification); CRS self-certifications must be developed
New Accounts of Preexisting Account Holders Allowed to treat new accounts of preexisting clients as preexisting accounts IF Financial Institution is permitted to satisfy such AML/KYC Procedures for the Financial Account by relying upon the  AML/KYC Procedures performed for the Preexisting Account Same as FATCA and UK CDOT but is not allowed when by instance, the account holder of a preexisting account needs to provide new, additional, or amended customer information (as a result of a legal, regulatory, contractual, operational or any other requirement).
Sponsored Entities Category available with special rules applicable Category not available

 

Is CRS applicable in Cyprus?

Yes it is.

Cyprus has signed the MCAA for CRS as early adopter.

Also Cyprus, as a member of the European Union must implement the Directive 2011/16/EU on Administrative cooperation in the field of direct taxation (DAC) as amended by Directive 2014/107/EU in its national legislation.

As a result of the above, in 2017 Cyprus will proceed with the exchange of information based on the bank account balances as at 31 December 2016.

 

Other jurisdictions which signed the CRS and year of information will be exchanged

JURISDICTIONS UNDERTAKING FIRST EXCHANGES BY 2017 (54)

Anguilla, Argentina, Barbados, Belgium, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Bulgaria, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Croatia, Curaçao, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Greenland, Guernsey, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Jersey, Korea, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Montserrat, Netherlands, Niue, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Seychelles, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, United Kingdom

 

JURISDICTIONS UNDERTAKING FIRST EXCHANGES BY 2018 (47)

Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Australia, Austria, The Bahamas, Bahrain, Belize,

Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, China, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Dominica, Ghana,

Grenada, Hong Kong (China), Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Marshall Islands, Macao

(China), Malaysia, Mauritius, Monaco, Nauru, New Zealand, Panama, Qatar, Russia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Samoa, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Saint

Maarten, Switzerland, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Vanuatu

 

Links below show the year of the exchange of information and also the choices made by the jurisdictions signed the protocol:

– 2017 https://www.oecd.org/tax/automatic-exchange/crs-implementation-and-assistance/crs-by-jurisdiction/#d.en.345489

 

– 2018 https://www.oecd.org/tax/automatic-exchange/crs-implementation-and-assistance/crs-by-jurisdiction/crs-by-jurisdiction-2018.htm

 

Who is within the scope of CRS?

The CRS regulation generally applies to any Financial Institution (FI) located in a CRS participating jurisdiction and obliges those Financial Institutions to identify tax residency of account holders. CRS applies to both individuals and entities. An up to date list of the countries that have either signed or committed to adopt CRS can be found on the OECD’s site at: http://www.oecd.org/tax/transparency/AEOI-commitments.pdf  

Description of the procedure: Local Financial Institutions report the necessary specific information requested to their Competent Tax Authority which will exchange the collected information with the respective Authorities of the other participating jurisdictions (CRS countries), which have also signed the related agreement. Among other items, self-certification information includes the country/ ies of tax residence and the tax identification number(s).

 

Who is reportable?

The CRS seeks to establish the tax residency of customers. Under the CRS, financial institutions are required to identify customers who are tax resident in foreign jurisdictions i.e. outside of the country where they hold their accounts and products, and report certain information to the national tax authority.

The reportable accounts are those connected to tax residents of countries which have signed CRS as below:

  1. Accounts of physical persons
  2. Accounts of legal entities that are Passive Income companies. Active Income companies are not reportable.
  3. For pre-existing accounts of Passive Income legal entities, only accounts opened before January 2016 with balances over €250.000 will be reported

 

Does CRS apply to all Banks and financial institutions in Cyprus?

Yes. CRS applies to ALL Banks and financial institutions in Cyprus. The Automatic Exchange of Information under CRS will take place between the countries which are in the first group and have signed the CRS protocol.

 

For more information and clarification please contact us 

00357 25 817181
[email protected] & [email protected]

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