Jersey’s financial services businesses were told that they have nothing to fear from FATCA – yet, at a presentation given by EY’s Executive Director for Tax, Wendy Martin. Before joining EY, Wendy was Director of Tax Policy at the States of Jersey where she played key roles in negotiating the Intergovernmental Agreements and drafting the Crown Dependencies’ Guidance Notes on UK and US FATCA.
250 local professionals attended the presentation, which provided a practical approach to both UK and US FATCA compliance for the island’s financial institutions. The format avoided technical jargon in favour of an easy-to-understand, step-by-step guidance that outlined the actions companies should undertake in order to be ready for full implementation on 1 July 2014.
Whilst there will be a great deal to do in the first 6 to 12 months, companies shouldn’t feel overwhelmed and should feel free to use the information available to them, such as the recently published Crown Dependencies Guidance Notes, and external advisers who have the expertise to help them navigate the process.
Importantly, Wendy Martin explained that there is no “one size fits all approach” and different types of entities will be concerned with different elements of compliance. For instance, banks and financial institutions will be more concerned with processes and systems, whereas fiduciary companies will be primarily concerned with entity classifications. It is also important to get advice locally as entities need to comply with local regulations which can vary.
“It’s important that companies of all sizes engage fully with the FATCA process,” said Wendy Martin. “Every company will have different needs and requirements, so it does help to make use of external expertise. Your advisers will be able to break down the steps you need to take, so the compliance process becomes less daunting and you will be assured that your company is ready for the introduction of both the UK and US FATCA regimes.”