Press Release

Ministry of Finance
Release Date:
Tuesday, 26 January 2016 - 1:00pm

Financial Secretary Mr. Neil Smith has updated Financial Institutions on the new amendment to the Mutual Legal Assistance (Tax Matters) Act, 2003 which incorporates the Common Reporting Standards (CRS).   

The legislation to implement CRS was passed by the House of Assembly by way of the Mutual Legal Assistance (Tax Matters) (Amendment) (No. 2) Act, 2015 (No. 17 of 2015) and the amendment took effect from January 1, 2016.  

Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE, said last year that the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) has become the standard for automatic exchange of financial account information in tax matters and this standard is the means by which tax authorities can share relevant data in relation to financial assets held by their tax payers around the world.

Financial Secretary, Mr. Neil Smith outlines the following important factors all financial institutions must pay attention to concerning the CRS:

1. The Competent Authority has not yet decided to issue Guidance notes. A final decision on the issuance of guidance notes for the CRS will be given by the end of May, 2016. In the meantime, the industry and Financial Institutions (“FIs”) should note that any issues concerning CRS are primarily addressed in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) CRS Commentary and Frequently Asked Questions, which can be found on the OECD’s Automatic Exchange Portal”

2. All reporting FIs must provide to the Competent Authority notification that they have reporting obligations by the April 30, 2017. This notification must include:

  1. The name of the Reporting Financial Institution;
  2. The categorisation of the Reporting Financial Institution as determined in accordance with the CRS; and
  3. The full name, address, designation and contact details of the individual authorised by the Reporting Financial Institution to be the reporting Financial Institutions principal point of contact for all purposes of compliance with CRS.

This notification does not occur until 2017. The Competent Authority will provide further details on how this notification must be made by the end of 2016.

3. A reporting FI is required to make a return by May 31, 2017. All FIs will be notified of the form in which this return must be made by the end of 2016.

4. The Competent Authority will produce a list of participating jurisdictions for CRS once every calendar year which shall be published in the Gazette. The first of these lists will be published in the Gazette before the end of January 2016 and a copy will be kept on the website of the International Tax Authority; and

5. Self-certification forms for both individuals and entities under the CRS were developed by the International Tax Authority and are also available on the website of the International Tax Authority. For more information about the Common Reporting Standards contact the International Tax Authority at 468-4415. 


Sheriece T. Smith

Information Officer II 
Dept. of Information & Public Relations 
Telephone: 468- 2740