The Cayman Islands Department for International Tax Cooperation (DITC) issued an Updates Bulletin dated December 10, 2020 with a number of important updates.
Problems with the Portal & Flexible Deadline
Given the technical problems users are experiencing with the DITC portal, the DITC announced that it will not be automatically issuing penalties to Financial Institutions (FIs) who are unable to complete their Common Reporting Standard (CRS) reporting by the December 16, 2020 deadline. The DITC does expect users to make their best efforts to submit their reporting by the deadline.
Portal Partially Closing December 17
In order to prepare the DITC portal for the new CRS XML Schema Version 2.0, there will be a period from December 17, 2020 through a yet to be announced date in March 2021 that users will not be able to submit CRS reporting. Additionally, any CRS reporting that users were unable to complete prior to the partial portal closing will need to be changed from version 1.0 CRS XML schema to version 2.0 for submission in the spring.
Ongoing Portal Functionality
From December 17, 2020 through March 2021, you will still be able to use the DITC portal to:
Register new FIs.
Complete Authorizing Person (AP), Principal Point of Contact (PPoC) and Secondary User updates.
Submit the Cayman CRS Compliance Form.
Submit FATCA reporting.
Portal Activation Emails
Some users have not received activation emails the DITC sent them. It is important for someone on your FATCA/CRS team to work with your company’s IT department to ensure emails from email@example.com and the IP address (220.127.116.11) are not blocked.
If anyone on your team has left since last year’s reporting, you should also determine whether their email was forwarded to another employee who might mistakenly believe the messages are spam.
Entity Registration Tips
The U.S. IRS and global tax authorities share information for FATCA matching purposes. It is important that you register the name of each entity the same way in the Cayman DITC portal as you do in the IRS FATCA portal including spelling, abbreviations, etc.
If the Cayman DITC portal seems to be rejecting the Global Intermediary Identification Number (GIIN) you are trying to enter while registering the entity in the DITC portal, it may be because you have only recently registered the FI with the IRS. Until the IRS updates its monthly FFI List, the Cayman DITC portal will not recognize the GIIN. Given the short time left for CRS reporting, it is best to skip the field and complete the rest of the DITC registration. This way you can complete your CRS reporting by the December 16, 2020 deadline. You can update the GIIN field after December 16, 2020 and complete any outstanding FATCA reporting in the DITC portal once the IRS updates its FFI List.
It will not be possible to deregister an FI from the DITC portal until the first quarter of 2021. The DITC stated “FIs will not be required to submit any additional reporting beyond the relevant dissolution date.” Check out pages 34 and 35 of the Cayman’s CRS Guidelines for the specific steps to follow once the portal deregistration capability is activated.
If you cannot find your entities in the DITC portal, it is possible they were not moved from the old portal to the newly launched portal. The DITC did not migrate FIs which had been registered on the old AEOI Portal but which were dissolved or wound up before the new portal’s launch date. The DITC stated these FIs “will not be expected to complete any outstanding actions which were due during this time and the DITC will not enforce any penalties for the same.”
The DITC also did not move Sponsoring FI information from the old AEOI Portal to the new DITC Portal. “Where two FI profiles for the same FI were held on the AEOI Portal only one, the CRS profile, is available on the new DITC Portal.”
I recommend you read the full Caymans Islands DITC December 10, 2020 Updates Bulletin.
Cayman Islands DITC contact for FATCA/CRS questions: CaymanAEOIPortal@gov.ky