FATCA and CRS Compliance in the Middle East

Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA)

FATCA is a U.S. legislation which aims to combat tax evasion by U.S. persons. The intent behind the law is for Foreign Financial Institutions (FFIs), i.e. non-U.S. financial institutions, to identify and report any U.S. persons that hold assets abroad to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)Common Reporting Standard (CRS)

Following on from FATCA, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has formed an initiative for global tax transparency known as the CRS. The CRS is a broad reporting regime, the goal of which is to tackle offshore tax evasion, that draws extensively on the intergovernmental approach to the implementation of FATCA.

Similar to FATCA, the CRS requires all financial institutions resident in a participating jurisdiction to identify and report any reportable accounts (typically persons tax resident in a CRS participating jurisdiction). As of May 2018, over 100 jurisdictions have signed or committed to sign the CRS; including Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

MBG offers the following with regard to FATCA and CRS compliance:

  • Entity Classification – determining the classification of the entity under the regulations
  • Impact assessment – analyzing the impact on the entity systems, products, departments, policies and procedures and identifying the gaps that need to be addressed in order to comply with the regulations
  • Support – supporting the entity to implement due diligence requirements
  • Policy and procedures – creating policies and procedures in line with the regulations
  • Compliance Review – conducting a comprehensive review to validate if the organization is following the policies and procedures and complying with the regulations
  • Reporting Support – assistance in reporting process to the relevant authority

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