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    Texas Man Faces Historic Charges Over Crypto Capital Gains Tax

    US Historic Crypto Tax charges – Introduction

    In a groundbreaking case that signals the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) increasing scrutiny of digital assets, a Texas man has been indicted for filing false tax returns related to unreported cryptocurrency transactions.

    This marks a significant moment in the enforcement of tax laws on digital currency gains, underscoring the federal government’s commitment to upholding tax compliance in the cryptocurrency space.

    Background

    The Department of Justice (DoJ) announced that an Austin resident was charged with filing false tax returns from 2017 to 2019, during which he allegedly failed to report the sale of approximately $3.7 million worth of Bitcoin.

    These unreported sales resulted in substantial capital gains, part of which was used to purchase a residence.

    The indictment also accuses the individual of structuring cash deposits to evade currency transaction reporting requirements, further complicating the case.

    A Historic Prosecution

    This prosecution is notable not just for its focus on cryptocurrency but because it represents what is believed to be the first-ever criminal case concerning the tax implications of legal source crypto transactions in the United States.

    Implications of the Case

    The charges underscore the IRS’s stance: the vast majority of digital asset transactions are taxable and must be reported.

    With the IRS placing the crypto question prominently on tax forms, the message is clear—ignorance or avoidance of reporting digital assets is fraught with legal peril.

    This case serves as a stark reminder of the consequences of failing to comply with tax obligations related to cryptocurrency gains.

    The Importance of Reporting and Compliance

    As digital currencies continue to integrate into the mainstream financial ecosystem, the IRS and the DoJ are signaling their intent to rigorously enforce tax laws in this domain.

    For cryptocurrency investors and users, this case underscores the importance of maintaining meticulous records and ensuring all taxable transactions are accurately reported.

    Presumption of Innocence

    It’s crucial to remember that an indictment is merely an allegation, and the defendant in this case is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

    However, if convicted, the charges carry substantial penalties, including potential prison time for each count of structuring and filing false tax returns.

    US Historic Crypto Tax charges – Conclusion

    This landmark case is a wake-up call to all who engage in cryptocurrency transactions to take their tax reporting obligations seriously.

    With the IRS and federal prosecutors now actively pursuing legal actions against tax evasion in the crypto space, ensuring compliance has never been more critical.

    Further, one suggests the rest of the world is likely to follow suit.

    Final thoughts

    If you have any thoughts on this article regarding US Historic Crypto Tax charges, or any US tax matters, then please get in touch.

    US: Washington Finalises Beneficial Ownership Database Access

    US Beneficial Ownership Access – Introduction

    In a key development for corporate transparency, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) of the US government has initiated the process of receiving beneficial ownership information reports as mandated by the Corporate Transparency Act 2021.

    This strategic move aims to fortify the battle against financial crimes by ensuring clarity in company ownership structures.

    Submission Requirements and Deadlines

    Under the new framework, existing companies are provided with a one-year window to submit their reports, while newly established entities must adhere to a 90-day filing deadline post-creation or registration with FinCEN.

    The agency is entrusted with the administration and secure management of the beneficial ownership database.

    Reporting entities are required to furnish comprehensive details for each beneficial owner, including their name, date of birth, address, and a valid identification number from an approved list of documents such as a US driving license, passport, or other state or local government-issued documents, including foreign passports.

    FinCEN’s Final Rule and Access Rights

    As 2023 drew to a close, FinCEN unveiled a final rule elucidating the conditions and authorized entities eligible to access the national beneficial ownership database.

    This rule, largely based on the previous year’s draft but incorporating notable amendments, is set to progressively allow access from 20 February onwards.

    The list of entities with granted access includes federal, state, and foreign law enforcement agencies, financial institutions, regulators involved in customer due diligence processes, and the US Treasury.

    Expansion of ‘Customer Due Diligence Requirements’

    A significant enhancement in the final rule is the broadening of the ‘customer due diligence requirements’ clause.

    This expansion now covers legal obligations designed to counteract money laundering, terrorism financing, or protect the US’s national security.

    Consequently, financial institutions are empowered to integrate FinCEN’s beneficial information into their due diligence and suspicious activity monitoring and reporting mechanisms, thereby reinforcing their compliance with the Banking Secrecy Act or sanctions enforced by the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.

    Phased Implementation and Pilot Program

    The implementation of access to the beneficial ownership information will commence on 20 February with a pilot program aimed at key federal agency users.

    This initial phase will be followed by extending access to other federal agencies, and subsequently to state and local law enforcement agencies.

    The final rule also paves the way for financial institutions to share beneficial ownership information with employees or contract personnel outside the USA, with specific exceptions, thus addressing operational challenges for institutions with extensive international operations and compliance functions.

    Database Operation and Data Access

    While the precise operational framework of the database remains under wraps, FinCEN has clarified its stance against providing bulk data exports to authorized users.

    Instead, an application programming interface is expected to be made available, allowing these users to conduct specific queries in the database.

    US Beneficial Ownership Access – Conclusion

    This landmark regulation marks a significant stride in the US government’s ongoing efforts to enhance corporate transparency and combat financial crimes effectively.

    If you have any queries about this article on US Beneficial Ownership Access, or any other US matters, then please get in touch.

    BVI and Online Submission for FATCA, CRS and CbC Reports

    BVI and Online Submission for FATCA, CRS and CbC Reports – Introduction

    The BVI has made a significant stride towards enhancing transparency and tax information exchange.

    It has mandated that, from 24 January 2024, all entities under its jurisdiction with certain financial reporting responsibilities, are to submit their reports exclusively through the BVI Financial Accounting Reporting System (BVIFARS).

    The relevant reporting responsibilities include:

    Background and Impetus for Change

    The shift to the digital platform is in response to the recommendations from the OECD Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes (the Global Forum).

    Despite BVI’s AEOI legislation aligning with the Global Forum’s technical standards for years, the OECD’s 2022 review identified significant gaps in the actual AEOI implementation.

    The spotlight was on the “significant issues” concerning the assurance that Reporting Financial Institutions were accurately carrying out due diligence and reporting procedures.

    The Global Forum hence called for the BVI to fortify its domestic compliance framework to solidify CRS implementation effectiveness.

    Challenges and Proactive Measures by the BVI Government

    The BVI government candidly attributed the shortcomings to the devastating impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria and the subsequent global COVID-19 pandemic, which significantly hindered their information exchange capabilities.

    In light of these challenges, the government requested a supplementary review to validate the improvements in their AEOI processes.

    This request was approved, with an on-site visit by the OECD slated for the first quarter of 2024 to confirm the BVI’s adherence to the stipulated conditions.

    Operational Details of the BVIFARS Portal

    With the activation of BVIFARS in January 2024, entities are now transitioning to this centralized online system for their FATCA, CRS, and CbC report submissions.

    A notable feature of this new system is the imposition of an annual usage fee of USD185 for each reporting entity, payable by 1 June each year.

    Key Deadlines and Compliance Requirements

    Entities are required to be vigilant about the following critical deadlines:

    Additionally, each legal entity is obligated to furnish its registered agent with the mandated economic substance information annually.

    The registered agent, in turn, must relay this data to the BVI International Tax Authority within six months from the end of the pertinent reporting period.

    BVI and Online Submission for FATCA, CRS and CbC Reports – Conclusion

    This transformation in the reporting process for BVI entities signifies a proactive approach to addressing the challenges previously flagged by the OECD.

    By embracing a digital and centralized reporting system, the BVI is taking definitive steps towards bolstering its compliance framework, thereby reinforcing its commitment to international tax transparency and cooperation.

    If you have any queries on this article about BVI and Online Submission for FATCA, CRS and CbC Reports, or BVI matters in general, then please get in touch.

    Citizenship and Residency by Investment Programs: Striking a balance?

    Citizenship and Residency by Investment – Introduction

    In the landscape of global investment, Citizenship by Investment (CBI) and Residency by Investment (RBI) programs offer a compelling gateway for foreign investors seeking expedited citizenship or residency in other countries.

    These initiatives, while promising economic growth through substantial foreign investment, have a flip side.

    It is alleged that they’ve become a magnet for unscrupulous individuals—criminals and corrupt officials—who exploit these programs to evade justice and launder billions of dollars obtained through illicit activities.

    Who yer gonna call?

    The FATF team, of course.

    Recently, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) teamed up with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to delve into the risks and vulnerabilities of these programs in their joint project.

    Their findings underscored the inherent dangers associated with CBI/RBI programs, particularly in terms of money laundering, fraud, and their adverse effects on public integrity, taxation, and migration.

    FATF President T. Raja Kumar highlighted the dual nature of these investment schemes, acknowledging their potential for stimulating economic growth while underscoring the grave threats they pose when abused by criminals and corrupt entities.

    “Golden” passports and visas extended through these programs often fall prey to exploitation by individuals looking to obfuscate their identities, launder illicit gains, or perpetrate further criminal activities.

    The report

    The report illuminates how these programs offer criminals enhanced global mobility, enabling them to cloak their identities and illegal undertakings behind opaque corporate structures in foreign jurisdictions.

    Complex and multifaceted, these international investment migration programs frequently involve multiple government agencies, intermediaries, and lack proper governance, making them vulnerable to abuse by professional facilitators.

    OECD Secretary-General Cormann emphasized the alarming scale of exploitation within these citizenship and residency programs, characterizing it as a multi-billion-dollar enterprise utilized by criminals to launder the proceeds of fraud and corruption, evade accountability, or access third-party countries.

    Countering the threats

    To counter these threats, the report proposes a series of measures and best practices aimed at mitigating risks.

    It advocates for robust due diligence mechanisms, transparency, and integrity frameworks to be integrated into the fabric of these investment migration programs.

    Additionally, it stresses the importance of dissecting how criminals exploit these programs and delineates the need for clear demarcation of roles and responsibilities among involved parties to spot and prevent fraudulent activities.

    Citizenship and Residency by Investment Conclusion

    In essence, while CBI/RBI programs offer a potential gateway to economic growth, their unchecked exploitation poses a severe threat to global financial systems and integrity.

    The onus lies on policymakers and administrators of these programs to adopt stringent measures, ensuring these schemes aren’t hijacked for nefarious purposes.

    The report serves as a clarion call to establish a delicate equilibrium between economic prosperity and robust security measures within the realm of investment migration programs.

     

    If you have any queries about Citizenship and Residency by Investment programs, then please get in touch.

    The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023

    The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023 – Introduction

    Following a bumpy legislative journey, the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023, formerly the Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill, received Royal Assent on 26 October 26 2023.

    Hurray!

    Or should we pause with such unusual exuberance?

    What is it?

    This new Act encompasses extensive reforms, notably affecting the limited partnership regime and corporate criminal liability.

    This article will highlight some of those amendments that relate to company administration regime under the Companies Act 2006 (CA 2006).

    Key Reforms Overview

    The Act introduces comprehensive changes to the company incorporation and administration processes, aiming to enhance corporate transparency and combat the misuse of the UK companies regime in facilitating economic crimes.

    The key measures include:

    Empowered Registrar Role

    The Act will empower the Registrar of Companies, significantly augmenting their authority to scrutinize and reject filed information at Companies House.

    This transformative shift makes Companies House more proactive, ensuring the accuracy and reliability of company-related data.

    Moreover, the Registrar may demand additional information for filings.

    Identity Verification

    The Act mandates the verification of identities for all current and proposed directors, as well as persons with significant control (PSCs).

    Acting as a director without verified identity will be an offense, potentially leading to disqualification.

    Furthermore, those filing documents on behalf of a company must also undergo identity verification.

    Filing Regime Changes

    Solely officers, employees, or authorized corporate service providers, with verified identities, can file documents at Companies House, restricting unauthorized filings.

    Company Administration Amendments

    Companies must maintain a registered office and a registered email address at an “appropriate” location to receive correspondence from the Registrar.

    Enhanced confirmations will be required during incorporation and in annual confirmation statements.

    Statutory Registers and Members

    Most statutory registers (except the register of members) will be abolished, with Companies House now tasked to maintain such records.

    The register of members must comply with specified information requirements, increasing the onus on companies to promptly notify changes to directors and PSCs.

    Timeline and Implementation

    Many measures necessitate secondary legislation, expected to roll out over the next 12-24 months. Companies House requires operational reforms to meet its elevated responsibilities, including new systems for identity verification.

    Certain obligations have a six-month transitional period post-enforcement.

    Some measures, not dependent on secondary legislation, are expected to come into force in early 2024.

    Implications and Preparation

    Companies need to update their internal processes to align with the new regime.

    Company secretaries and individuals filing for companies must await finalized regulations on the verification process.

    Directors and PSCs/RLEs must be informed and prepared for the identity verification requirements.

    Company Secretaries – to do list

    1. Verification Process Preparation: Understand the verification process once finalized. Prepare directors and individuals filing for companies for the upcoming verification requirements.
    2. Group Structure Familiarization: Larger organizations involved in periodic group reorganizations or incorporating subsidiaries should acquaint themselves with the new incorporation regime.
    3. Registrar’s Query Powers: Proactively review internal records against Companies House data to rectify any inconsistencies that may lead to information rejection.
    4. Registered Office Compliance: Ensure compliance with the Act’s criteria for a company’s registered office and maintain a monitored registered email address.
    5. Transition from Statutory Registers: Assess the need for internal record maintenance post the abolition of certain statutory registers.
    6. Register of Members Compliance: Understand the register of members’ changes and ensure accurate and updated member information.

    The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023 – Conclusion

    The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023 introduces substantial changes, requiring companies to adapt and prepare for an evolved compliance landscape.

    Make sure you are up to speed.

    If you have any queries regarding the The Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023 then please get in touch.

    ULD Quater: Regularising the irregular

    ULD Quater – Introduction

    The end is nigh for Belgium’s so-called Unique Liberation Declaration quater (ULD quater) procedure.

    This has allowed Belgian residents to regularise their tax position.

    It will come to an end with effect from 31 December 2023.

    ULD Quater – present status

    ULD Quater has been a lifeline for taxpayers looking to voluntarily regularise their previously undeclared assets.

    In exchange for a flat-rate tax of 40% on assets with uncertain origins, taxpayers could find relief from criminal prosecution, particularly for money laundering offenses.

    The certificate of regularisation issued upon completion of the process has been invaluable, especially for Belgian banks, allowing them to accept assets with less than perfectly traceable origins.

    This has been a boon, even for taxpayers beyond reproach but unable to provide written proof of their asset’s origin, often due to the antiquity of the assets in question.

    ULD Quater: The Final Chapter

    A crucial update came in July 2023 when the tax authorities clarified that provisional “pro forma” and “materially incomplete” declarations for 2023 wouldn’t be accepted with the intent of completing them in 2024.

    However, reasonably complete declarations submitted in 2023 and later updated with minor additions in 2024 should still be considered admissible.

    But, the FAQs remain ominously silent about what happens after December 31, 2023.

    Beyond December 31, 2023: What’s on the Horizon?

    The looming deadline raises questions about the future of taxpayers who fail to regularise their assets by the cutoff date.

    The Belgian Minister of Finance hinted at a new procedure, suggesting that from 2024, taxpayers seeking to regularise tax-barred assets would have to declare this to the Prosecutor’s office, which would initiate an extended transaction procedure.

    However, significant uncertainties persist.

    Will the tax authorities cease processing regularizations in 2024 and redirect taxpayers to the Prosecutor’s office?

    The Prosecutor’s discretionary power over whether to prosecute or propose a transaction adds an extra layer of complexity.

    Moreover, discussions are underway to introduce a new “permanent administrative approach” to tax regularisation, which could tax up to 45% of spontaneously regularized tax-barred assets, seemingly in exchange for immunity from criminal prosecution.

    The clarity and security of this solution remain questionable.

    For those with time-barred capital, there’s the option to revive the spontaneous declaration of income to the Inspection Spéciale des Impôts / Bijzondere Belastinginspectie service, although this raises concerns about criminal immunity and the ability to regularize time-barred capital.

    Conclusion

    There is impending uncertainty beyond 2023, and with the government’s “new approach” appearing to be less favorable than ULD quater.

    As such, time is of the essence for those wishing to regularize their assets, especially in the case of repatriation.

    The clock is ticking, and the future of tax regularisation in Belgium is shrouded in uncertainty.

    If you have any queries about ULD Quater, Belgium tax or tax matters in general then please get in touch.

     

    BVI Removed from EU’s ‘Blacklist’

    BVI removed from blacklist – Introduction

     

    In a significant development for the British Virgin Islands (BVI), the European Union (EU) has officially removed the BVI from its list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes. 

     

    This is important news for the BVI, a prominent offshore financial centre, and reflects its commitment to adhere to international standards, particularly those set by the OECD Global Forum regarding the exchange of information on request.

     

    The EU’s announcement

     

    The EU press release regarding this development stated that the British Virgin Islands had been removed from the list due to amendments made in its framework concerning the exchange of information on request, specifically criterion 1.2. 

     

    The EU further noted that the BVI would be reassessed in line with the OECD standard. While this reassessment is pending, the jurisdiction has been placed in Annex II.

     

    What is the EU’s Non-Cooperative Jurisdictions List?

     

    The EU’s list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes was established in December 2017 as part of the EU’s external taxation strategy. 

     

    Its primary goal is to support worldwide efforts in promoting good tax governance. 

     

    The EU Council has established a set of criteria by which jurisdictions are evaluated. 

     

    These criteria encompass areas like tax transparency, fair taxation, and the implementation of international standards aimed at preventing tax base erosion and profit shifting. 

     

    The code of conduct group’s chair engages in political and procedural dialogues with relevant international organizations and jurisdictions as needed.

     

    Understanding the BVI Listing

     

    The BVI’s journey towards removal from the EU’s list of non-cooperative jurisdictions began when, on 9 November 2022, the OECD Global Forum published its second-round Peer Review Report on the BVI. 

     

    This report revealed that the BVI’s rating had been downgraded from ‘largely compliant’ to ‘partially compliant.’ Importantly, a rating below ‘largely compliant’ automatically led to a jurisdiction being placed on the European Union’s list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes.

     

    The ‘partially compliant’ rating assigned to the BVI encompassed the period from 1 March 2016, to 30 June 2020, considering exchange of information requests received during this timeframe. 

     

    It also factored in a ‘block period’ from 17 September 2017, to 31 December 2018, which was due to the disruptive impact of Hurricane Irma. Furthermore, the report assessed the legal and regulatory framework in place as of 9 September 2022.

     

    Crucially, this rating did not account for the legislative changes introduced in 2022, which included the BVI Business Companies Amendment Act 2022 and the BVI Business Amendment Regulations 2022, both of which came into effect on 1 January 2023.

     

    BVI removed from blacklist – Conclusion

     

    The removal of the British Virgin Islands from the EU’s list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes is a significant milestone for the BVI and its reputation as a financial center. 

     

    It reflects the dedication of the BVI government and stakeholders in aligning with international standards and demonstrating a commitment to transparency and cooperation. 

     

    This development not only bolsters the BVI’s status but also highlights the importance of maintaining adherence to global tax governance standards in an increasingly interconnected world.

     

    If you have any queries about BVI removed from blacklist, BVI matters in general, or any tax matters, then please get in touch.

    Cayman Islands Beneficial Ownership Transparency Bill 2023

    Cayman Islands Beneficial Ownership Transparency Bill – Introduction

    In August 2023, the Cayman Islands legislature introduced the Beneficial Ownership Transparency Bill 2023 (BOR Bill) after extensive consultations with key stakeholders in the financial services industry.

    This bill aims to streamline and enhance the existing beneficial ownership framework while aligning with international standards, particularly Recommendation 24 of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Recommendations.

    In this article, we look at the key aspects of the BOR Bill and its implications, with a focus on investment funds.

    Consolidating Existing Legislation

    One of the primary objectives of the BOR Bill is to consolidate various pieces of beneficial ownership legislation into a single cohesive framework.

    This consolidation simplifies compliance and ensures consistency across the Cayman Islands’ financial landscape. It also brings the Cayman Islands in line with international best practices, promoting transparency and accountability.

    Enhancing Transparency

    The BOR Bill takes a step further in promoting transparency by ensuring that legal entities operating within the Cayman Islands provide accurate and up-to-date beneficial ownership information.

    This aligns with FATF Recommendation 24, which emphasizes the importance of granting access to reliable beneficial ownership data.

    Key Changes Impacting Investment Funds

    For investment funds, fund managers, and advisors in the Cayman Islands, several critical changes deserve attention:

    Inclusion of All Partnerships

    The BOR Bill brings all partnerships, including exempted limited partnerships commonly used in investment fund structures, under the beneficial ownership regime.

    This means that such partnerships will be subject to the same disclosure requirements as other legal entities.

    Removal of Exemptions

    The current exemptions available under the existing beneficial ownership regime will be eliminated.

    This includes the exemption for funds registered under the Mutual Funds Act (Revised) or the Private Funds Act (Revised).

    Instead, these registered funds will have to follow an “alternative route to compliance.” They must provide their corporate services provider with contact details for a licensed fund administrator or another licensed contact person within the Cayman Islands who can supply beneficial ownership information promptly upon request.

    Redefined “Beneficial Owner”

    The definition of “beneficial owner” will be revised to more closely align with Cayman’s Anti-Money Laundering Regulations.

    While the ownership and control percentage thresholds (25%) remain unchanged, this alignment ensures consistency and clarity in identifying beneficial owners.

    Securities and Virtual Asset Entities

    Entities registered with the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority under the Securities Investment Business Act or the Virtual Asset (Service Providers) Act will no longer be exempt.

    They will be required to establish and maintain a beneficial ownership register.

    What Should Investment Funds Do?

    While there is no immediate action required until the BOR Bill becomes law (expected in phases), Cayman Islands investment fund clients are advised to prepare for compliance in advance. Here’s how:

    Public Register Considerations

    The BOR Bill acknowledges the Cayman Islands Government’s commitment to the UK government regarding public beneficial ownership registers.

    However, it does not implement public access provisions but lays the foundation for future regulations.

    The introduction of public registers hinges on future resolutions from the Cayman Parliament and ongoing consultations between the Cayman Islands Government and the UK government, considering recent judgments and privacy considerations.

    Cayman Islands Beneficial Ownership Transparency Bill – Conclusion

    The Cayman Islands’ Beneficial Ownership Transparency Bill 2023 reflects ongoing efforts to align with international standards while maintaining its status as a global financial hub.

    Staying informed and prepared is crucial for investment funds and stakeholders to navigate these changes effectively.

    If you have any queries about the Cayman Islands Beneficial Ownership Transparency Bill  then please get in touch

    Quad Island Forum convenes to address economic crime and international tax offences

    In a notable step towards combating overseas economic crime and tax offences, representatives from the Financial Intelligence Units of Gibraltar, Guernsey, Isle of Man, and Jersey met at London’s Gibraltar House.

    The meeting marked the continued commitment of the Quad Island Form to strengthen its framework and enhance collaboration with other authorities responsible for tackling financial crime.

    During the three-day event, participants engaged in productive discussions involving the Economic Crime and Confiscation Unit from Jersey and the Isle of Man Proactive International Money Laundering Investigation Team. The primary focus was on sharing best practices in preparation for upcoming Moneyval assessments.

    An important outcome of the meeting was the establishment of a dedicated subgroup that integrates tax authorities from all four jurisdictions. This initiative aims to foster greater cooperation between tax authorities and FIUs, enabling them to combat serious tax-related crimes and sophisticated fraud schemes that result in substantial illicit gains.

    The participants discussed other matters, including:

    The formation of this sub-group represents an encouraging step, showcasing the commitment of each jurisdiction to equip themselves with comprehensive financial intelligence and mechanisms to target criminals and illicit proceeds.

    It also serves as a collaborative platform for sharing knowledge and experiences, allowing the four jurisdictions to work collectively towards their objectives.

    Recognising the significance of international cooperation in combating money laundering, financial terrorism, and proliferation, the Forum emphasises the importance of collaboration, providing a vital avenue for identifying and addressing criminal activities effectively. The Forum members share common values, face similar challenges, and closely collaborate on issues of mutual importance.

    Lynette Chaudhary, Director of Sovereign Tax Services, welcomes the Forum’s continued commitment to strengthening its framework and expanding collaboration. Emphasising the collaborative approach would facilitate closer working and knowledge sharing within the quad, and aid in the fight against financial crime.

    New Tax Association in Gibraltar

    The Gibraltar Association of Tax Advisers (GATA) was formally launched in mid-February 2023. The main objective of GATA is to:

    Tax Advisers play an important role in the administration of the tax system and many taxpayers choose to use their services to assist them with their tax compliance and planning.

    GATA believes that it will be beneficial to the profession, and to Gibraltar as a whole, for there to be a professional organisation that represents and promotes this distinct profession.
    GATA will provide specialist tax support and a local voice for cross-border tax matters impacting Gibraltar.

    In achieving this, GATA aims to work with connected well-established organisations locally, along with building relations between Gibraltar’s tax profession and its international counterparts, most notably the UK’s Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT).

    The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT)

    The CIOT is the leading body in the UK for tax professionals whose primary purpose is to promote tax education. One of its key aims is to achieve a more efficient and less complex tax system for all.

    GATA is looking to do something similar in Gibraltar. Its views and recommendations on tax matters will be made on this basis. GATA has met with Gibraltar’s Commissioner of Income Tax, and the CIOT, both resulting in encouraging outcomes.

    GATA is looking to promote education in a variety of ways, both on its own and in conjunction with the CIOT. As a starter, it would like to offer quarterly open tax training seminars.

    These seminars will be designed to cover a broad range of tax topics, from aspects which may be of interest to many taxpayers locally, to others which will focus on technical aspects of the tax regime which may be of more interest to relevant professionals.

    Therefore, GATA is looking to provide a tax education and tax discussion platform. Membership of GATA is open to anyone who:

    The founding members of GATA, whose specialisms cover the many aspects of tax, and represent a variety of local firms, include:

    GATA officers have been elected: the Chair, Grahame Jackson; Education Officer, John Azzopardi; GSA Liaison Officer, Darren Anton; Tax Technical Officer, Paul McGonigal; and Secretary, James Bossino and Marco De La Chica.

    In the first year of operation at least, there is no fee to join GATA. An open invitation stands to all those who meet the entry requirements and who are interested in joining.