The environment for tax reporting between international jurisdictions has been undergoing significant change in a global effort to improve tax transparency. An example is the Foreign Accounts Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) imposed by US starting in 2014. Drawing extensively on FATCA, the OECD Common Reporting Standard (CRS) is a further international initiative and is based on the development of a single global standard for the automatic exchange of information between tax authorities.
As of December 2015, several jurisdictions (including Cyprus) have adopted CRS, of which the most jurisdictions have signed a Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement and the number is constantly increasing. A full list of the committed participating jurisdictions can be found here. Cyprus Government, as well as another 57 jurisdictions, have agreed to early adoption of the CRS and will undertake the necessary CRS obligations from 1st January 2016 (reporting starting in 2017).
How this will affect you
Since Cyprus is an early adopter, starting 1st January 2016 all local Financial Institutions, including The Cyprus Investment and Securities Corporation Ltd (CISCO), will need to comply with the requirements of the CRS and will contact customers (gradually during 2016) to collect certain information. Specifically, the collection of information will affect:
holders of new accounts opened on or after 1st January 2016 and
certain holders of pre-existing accounts i.e. accounts which were in existence on 31 December 2015,
This information will consist of their Jurisdiction(s) of Tax Residence and Tax Identification Number (TIN), among other fields where applicable, in the form of a self-certification. Accounts held by CISCO that fall within the scope of a Reportable Account in the CRS, will be subject to reporting on an annual basis.
Our commitment to you
CISCO is committed to comply with this requirement and collect relevant information with a minimum burden on our customers. CISCO is unable to comment on an account holder’s tax position and you may need to consider professional advice if you are unsure of your personal tax circumstances.