With the advent of the legislation relating to the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), Tax Administration Jamaica (TAJ) is finalising preparations to administer the implementation of the automatic exchange of information. In recent weeks TAJ has been working with Financial Institutions (FI) to register and submit test data, to assess the readiness of the system configured to accommodate the upload and transmission of FATCA reports to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Financial Institutions have since been responding to the invitation to register and to test the format of their FATCA reports by logging onto the TAJ Portal at www.jamaicatax.gov.jm and uploading their test files. So far 49 of 61 financial institutions have registered on TAJ’s Tax Portal, with some participating in the test phase. Contact is being made with the remaining FIs to get them registered. Testing is being extended until August 7, 2015, to accommodate necessary adjustments.
Financial Institutions or their intermediaries are encouraged to contact TAJ during the current registration and testing phase for any guidance on FATCA. Persons may call the Exchange of Information Office (EOI), within the Large Taxpayer Office or email their FATCA questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Financial institutions are reminded that based on the legislation, they will be required to submit their reports for calendar year 2014 to TAJ by August 31, 2015. This will enable the authority to transmit the data to the IRS by September 30, 2015, in keeping with the IRS requirements. Financial Institutions (FIs) are therefore urged to continue preparing the relevant financial information for submission.
The FIs, such as banking institutions, will be required to upload FATCA reports of US Persons (including US citizens or residents such as green card holders), who hold accounts with them. TAJ in turn will submit the files to the IRS on behalf of the Financial Institutions, in accordance with the Inter-Governmental Agreement.
The FATCA submission process is facilitated through the TAJ’s new Revenue Administration Information System (RAIS) that is accessible through its web portal at www.jamaicatax.gov.jm. The system employs industry standard security practices at the database and communication layers.
Since May 2014 when the agreement was signed by the Jamaican authorities and the US, TAJ, in collaboration with other Government partners, has had several sensitisation sessions and workshops to prepare key stakeholders for the introduction of FATCA. Sessions have been held with entities and persons such as the Jamaica Bankers Association, the Joint Cooperative Credit Union League, the Jamaica Association of Insurance and Financial Advisers, Compliance and Information Technology Officers of major financial institutions, the management of large financial institutions and the Jamaica Institute of Financial Services. In addition TAJ representatives have presented papers at conferences such as the Anti-Money Laundering Conference and, most recently, at the Jamaica Diaspora Conference. TAJ will be continuing its stakeholder engagements on FATCA.