On 12 May 2020, the BVI International Tax Authority (ITA) published a press release advising that requests were issued to certain BVI Financial Institutions (FI) to produce their written policies and procedures within 10 working days, as part of the CRS compliance regime.
Maintaining written policies and procedures is one of the obligations placed on a BVI FI, both reporting and non-reporting, under the Mutual Legal Assistance (Tax Matters) Act, 2003 (the Act). A 2018 amendment to the Act included March 2019 as the deadline for complying with this obligation.
A BVI FIs policies and procedures must detail how the FI complies with the requirements outlined in the Act.
Non-Reporting Financial Institutions (NRFIs) (except TDTs and NRFIs with reporting obligations) should include the specifics of the exemption they have availed of and the analysis of the circumstances resulting in the decision to avail of the exemption, as well as policies in place to ensure the regular review of the circumstances to ensure the on-going validity of the analysis and the exemption still applies.
For a Trustee of Trustee Documented Trust (TDT), policies and procedures can be put in place to cover obligations of all TDTs which the trustee is responsible for. A separate policies and procedures document is not required for each TDT.
The ITA will take a pragmatic approach to these requests and any BVI FI facing difficulties in providing policies and procedures documents due to COVID19 should contact the ITA at +1 284 468 4415 or by email at email@example.com
The press release can be found here.