Cayman Islands Government Announces FATCA Intergovernmental Agreement

The Cayman Islands government announced on August 13, 2013 that it has concluded negotiations with the US government on a “Model 1” intergovernmental agreement (“IGA”) with respect to the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”) and a new tax information exchange agreement (“TIEA”). Both countries have initialed the agreements and stated that the official signing will be held as soon as possible. Like the IGAs the US government has signed with other foreign governments, the Cayman Islands IGA is intended to streamline FATCA information reporting and reduce compliance burdens for Cayman Islands financial institutions.

Background -

FATCA (contained in Sections 1471 through 1474 of the Internal Revenue Code) was enacted in 2010 in order to reduce perceived offshore tax evasion by US persons holding assets through offshore accounts that were not subject to US information reporting to the Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”). FATCA generally requires a foreign payee that is a foreign financial institution (an “FFI”) either (1) to enter into an agreement with the IRS relating to such reporting (an “FFI Agreement”, and such an FFI, a “Participating FFI”) or (2) to comply with local laws that implement an IGA. If an FFI does not satisfy these requirements (and is not otherwise exempt), withholdable payments made to such FFI will be subject to withholding under FATCA at a rate of 30%. FATCA information reporting and withholding requirements generally do not apply to FFIs that are treated as “deemed-compliant” because they present a relatively low risk of being used for tax evasion or are otherwise exempt from FATCA withholding.

Please see full memo below for more information.

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