The government of the British Virgin Islands ("BVI") has recently clarified the filing deadlines under the various automatic exchange of information regimes in a number of bulletins and press releases.
UK FATCA / UK CDOT
The BVI government has advised that BVI Reporting Financial Institutions will be able to enrol and make filings in respect of UK FATCA on the BVI Financial Account Reporting System ("BVIFARS") from 2 May 2016. As a result, it has also announced that the UK FATCA enrolment and reporting deadlines have been extended as follows:
- The 1 April 2016 deadline to enrol with the BVI International Tax Authority ("ITA") on BVIFARS has been extended to 10 June 2016; and
- The reporting deadline of 31 May 2016, in respect of reportable accounts under UK FATCA for the period 1 July 2014 to 31 December 2015, has been extended to 29 July 2016.
BVI Financial Institutions that have already enrolled on BVIFARS for US FATCA purposes, and who will also be filing reports under UK FATCA, will not be required to re-enrol in order to submit reports under UK FATCA but will need to complete a change of reporting obligations form to update their reporting obligations to include UK FATCA reporting.
It should be noted that these extensions do not apply to those Financial Institutions which have elected to use the alternative reporting regime under UK FATCA ("ARR"). Reportable accounts information should be submitted to the ITA under the ARR by 31 May 2016, noting that such reports should not be filed through BVIFARS but should be submitted to the ITA by way of encrypted email.
The BVI government separately issued a reminder that the annual reporting deadline for US FATCA is 31 May and, as such, 2015 returns must be submitted by 31 May 2016. In addition, it was noted by BVI Financial Institutions that information may still be accepted in respect of 2014 reportable accounts without incurring penalties, as the US government has extended the time for reporting 2014 accounts. Any BVI Financial Institution that is required to submit returns for the 2015 reporting period and who has not already enrolled on BVIFARS should note that the deadline for enrolment is 30 April 2016.
The BVI government has also advised that all Financial Institutions who have reporting obligations under CRS for the 2016 reporting period will be required to notify the ITA of this fact before 30 April 2017 and the requisite reporting will have to be undertaken by 31 May 2017. Additional details on the processes to be used for making this notification and submitting the reports required under the Common Reporting Standard will be provided by the ITA by the end of 2016.
Transition from UK FATCA / UK CDOT to CRS
There has been some uncertainty regarding whether UK FATCA / UK CDOT would continue in 2016, since both the BVI and the UK are early adopters of CRS. The UK has announced that, for 2016 accounts, both UK CDOT and CRS will be operational for all Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies. As such, BVI Financial Institutions will need to report on pre-existing low value individual accounts and pre-existing entity accounts of UK tax resident persons for 2016 under UK CDOT and will not be able to rely on the later deadline for completing their due diligence on such accounts under CRS. It is expected that UK FATCA / UK CDOT will be phased out for 2017 reporting.