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Banking & Financial Services Alert

Draft of FATCA reporting form released

On Wednesday, August 14, 2013, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) released a draft of Form 8966 (the “FATCA Report”). The FATCA Report will be used by foreign financial institutions (“FFIs) and other withholding agents to report certain information with respect to U.S. accounts to the IRS in accordance with their obligations under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”). The first date participating FFIs will file their first FATCA Report (covering only calendar year 2014) is March 31, 2015. Thereafter, the FATCA Report will be due annually on March 31 for the prior calendar year.

Read the draft of the FATCA Report

U.K. issues FATCA Guidance

On Wednesday, August 14, 2013, the U.K.’s HRMC issued 142 pages of guidance notes (the “Guidance Notes”) on the implementation of the International Tax Compliance (United States of America) Regulations 2013 (the “ITC Regulation”). The Guidance Notes are intended to provide guidance to U.K. Financial Institutions, U.K. entities that will need to certify their entity “classification” for the purposes of FATCA and entities that undertake FATCA obligations on behalf of financial institutions.

As a result of the intergovernmental agreement (“IGA”) the U.K. entered into with the U.S in September 2012, the U.K. is in the process of instituting necessary legislative reforms (such as the ITC regulations) that will allow U.K. financial institutions to comply with their obligations under the IGA and FATCA.

Read a copy of the Guidance Notes
Read a copy of the ITC regulations

Cayman Islands announce Model 1 IGA with U.S.

On Tuesday, August 13, 2013, the Cayman Islands government announced that it had concluded negotiations with the U.S. on a Model 1 IGA and a new tax information exchange agreement (“TIEA”). According to the press release issued by the Cayman Islands government, both governments have initialed the agreements and the official signing of the IGA and TIEA will be held as soon as possible.

Read the press release issued by the Cayman Islands government

The Bahamas announces intent to pursue Model 1 IGA with U.S.

On Tuesday, August 13, 2013, the Minister of Financial Services of The Bahamas announced that his country intends to achieve compliance under FATCA by negotiating and entering into a Model 1 IGA with the U.S. In a press released issued by The Bahamian government, the Minister also announced that the government of The Bahamas would establish an inter-Ministerial committee on FATCA under the leadership of the Ministry of Financial Services to prepare an implementation strategy for FATCA, which would, among other things, oversee all aspects of the implementation of The Bahamas’ FATCA compliance regime, the negotiation of the IGA, the development and implementation of a FATCA reporting system and oversight of necessary legislative reforms.

Read the press release issued by The Bahamas government

Panama “immobilizes” bearer shares

On August 6, 2013, Panama’s National Assembly enacted legislation that will “immobilize” bearer shares for Panamanian Companies. The new law will become effective on August 7, 2015 (the “Effective Date”) and generally requires that Panamanian bearer shares (“acciones al portador”) in circulation prior to the Effective Date be placed with an authorized custodian within three (3) years of the Effective Date. The new law also requires that bearer shares (“acciones al portador”) issued after the Effective Date be placed with an authorized custodian within twenty (20) days of the shares’ issuance.

As a result of the foregoing, financial institutions may need to update and revise their FATCA and/or BSA/AML/OFAC compliance programs. If you have any questions regarding FATCA, please contact Mark Scheer, Andres A. Fernandez or Gabriel Caballero.

This publication is for general information only. It is not legal advice, and legal counsel should be contacted before any action is taken that might be influenced by this publication.

Established in 1925, Gunster is one of Florida’s oldest and largest full-service law firms. The firm’s clients include international, national and local businesses, institutions, local governments and prominent individuals. Gunster maintains its presence in Florida with offices in Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Palm Beach, Stuart, Tallahassee, Tampa, The Florida Keys, Vero Beach and its headquarters in West Palm Beach. Gunster is home to more than 150 attorneys and 200 committed support staff, providing counsel to clients through 18 practice groups including banking & financial services; business litigation; construction; corporate; environmental & land use; government affairs; health care; immigration; international; labor & employment; leisure & resorts; private wealth services; probate, trust & guardianship litigation; professional malpractice; real estate; securities and corporate governance; tax; and technology & entrepreneurial companies. Gunster is ranked among the National Law Journal’s list of the 350 largest law firms.

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