St. Maarten government working on United States' Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act together with local banks



MONDAY, 12 NOVEMBER 2012

PHILIPSBURG--Government will work together with the Bankers Association and other financial institutions to be able to "effectively and efficiently as possible" meet the requirement of the United States' Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), according to Finance Minister Roland Tuitt.

Tuitt said in a press conference Friday that an inter-governmental approach is of utmost importance. "That is why this government is pursuing the path to make sure we can get an agreement with the financial institutions that are required to report on the island, and to have a good communication and come to an inter-governmental agreement with the government of the US."

Meetings will be held with the Bankers Association, after which government will formalise a strategy with which to move forward and have negotiations with the Treasury Department. Negotiations with the US Treasury Department and government will take place in collaboration with The Netherlands.

The US Department of the Treasury announced in a press statement Thursday that it is engaged with more than 50 countries and jurisdictions around the world to improve international tax compliance and implement the information reporting and withholding tax provisions, commonly known as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).
Enacted by Congress in 2010, these provisions target non-compliance by U.S. taxpayers using foreign accounts.Treasury's engagement with this broad coalition of foreign governments to efficiently and effectively implement FATCA marks an important milestone in establishing a common, inter-governmental approach to combating tax evasion.

"Global cooperation is critical to implementing FATCA in a way that is targeted and efficient," said Treasury Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy Mark Mazur. "By working cooperatively with foreign governments and financial institutions, we are intensifying our ability to combat tax evasion, while minimizing burdens on financial institutions."

This summer, Treasury published a model inter-governmental agreement for implementing FATCA, and announced the development of a second model agreement. These models serve as the basis for concluding bilateral agreements with interested jurisdictions.

The Treasury Department has already concluded a bilateral agreement with the United Kingdom. Additional jurisdictions with which Treasury is in the process of finalizing an inter-governmental agreement and with which Treasury hopes to conclude negotiations by year-end include: France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan, Switzerland, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Guernsey, Ireland, Isle of Man, Jersey, Mexico, The Netherlands, and Norway.

Jurisdictions with which Treasury is actively engaged in a dialogue towards concluding an inter-governmental agreement include: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, the Cayman Islands, Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Israel, Korea, Liechtenstein, Malaysia, Malta, New Zealand, the Slovak Republic, Singapore, and Sweden. Treasury expects to be able to conclude negotiations with several of these jurisdictions by year-end.

The jurisdictions with which Treasury is working to explore options for inter-governmental engagement include: Bermuda, Brazil, the British Virgin Islands, Chile, the Czech Republic, Gibraltar, India, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Romania, Russia, Seychelles, St. Maarten, Slovenia, and South Africa.

The Treasury Department will continue its outreach to interested jurisdictions that wish to consider an intergovernmental approach to implementing FATCA, including participation in a meeting hosted by Qatar Central Bank in early December to provide information about FATCA and the inter-governmental agreements for invited senior government officials and financial institutions in the Gulf Cooperation Council.