Press Release

Ministry of Finance
Release Date:
Thursday, 11 September 2014 - 10:00am

In providing more information to the Territory’s residents on the United States (U.S.) Foreign Accounts Tax Compliance Act (FATCA, the Government of the Virgin Islands has invited a FATCA specialist to deliver special presentations to individuals affected by the United States law.

KPMG FATCA Specialist, Mr. Doug Harrell, will visit the Territory to share information with residents at a public meeting on Thursday, September 19 at the Sir Rupert Briercliffe Hall at 6:30 p.m.

Mr. Harrell will also present to public officers and residents on September 20 at the Breezeway, Central Administration Building at 11:00 a.m.

According to Financial Secretary Mr. Neil Smith, Government commissioned KPMG a few months ago to carry out a study on FATCA to better understand individuals’ obligations and the ramifications for non-compliance, in addition to highlighting those persons who may be exempt from reporting under FATCA.

The financial secretary said that Mr. Harrell’s visit is aimed at informing residents about FATCA who may be unclear on their individual obligations under the U.S. law, in addition to the role of the Government of the Virgin Islands.

Mr. Smith said, “What is important to note, is that FATCA gives the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) a new mechanism to collect information on U.S. citizens that are not properly filing U.S. income tax returns and reporting their bank accounts. The Government really wants to ensure U.S. citizens in the BVI are aware of their general U.S. tax filing requirements.”

He also said that the Government’s involvement with FATCA will take place through the negotiation of an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with the United States. Its sole purpose is to make it easier for financial institutions to submit their reports to the Government of the Virgin Islands, rather than directly to the U.S. tax authorities.

In addition to the public talks and interviews with the Department of Information and Public Relations, the FATCA specialist will participate in the Rotary luncheon on September 19.

Mr. Harrell will also be a special guest on ZBVI 780AM’s Live 3D Show with Doug Wheatley on September 20 at 7:30 p.m.; and JTV Channel 55’s Spotlight with Edju Enka which will air later this month.

The Government of the Virgin Islands remains committed to being fully compliant with global practices and standards to safeguard the reputation of the jurisdiction.