Germany’s BZSt released both FATCA schema files (XSD files are provided in the [zip file|www.bzst.de/SharedDocs/Downloads/DE/FATCA_downloads/ELANKOM_Schema_FATCAXML2.0_230317_zip.zip?__blob=publicationFile]), and guidance ([Communications Manual Part III, version 2.0|www.bzst.de/DE/Steuern_International/FATCA/Kommunikationshandbuch/Kommunikationshandbuch_FATCA_Teil_III.pdf?__blob=publicationFile]).

Both provide important information on how to properly create FATCA returns. Information about the releases can be found in the latest [Infobrief|www.bzst.de/DE/Steuern_International/FATCA/Infobrief/Aktuell/Infobrief_Aktuell.pdf?__blob=publicationFile].

In addition, Germany published guidance on notifications (“[Verarbeitungsprotokolle FATCA|www.bzst.de/DE/Steuern_International/FATCA/zul.Korrekturwege/Verarbeitungsprotokolle.pdf?__blob=publicationFile]”), and a [sample notification XML|www.bzst.de/SharedDocs/Downloads/DE/FATCA_downloads/BASE-FATCA-USEMPFANGSBESTAETIGUNGANFI-2_3.xml;jsessionid=59A55E9D225E6CAE8ECB7A25249E2AFD.intranet1?__blob=publicationFile]. Previously, Germany had released an [Abbreviation Index/Glossary|www.bzst.de/DE/Steuern_International/FATCA/Kommunikationshandbuch/Abkuerzungsverzeichnis_Glossar.pdf?__blob=publicationFile], and [Business Rules|www.bzst.de/DE/Steuern_International/FATCA/Vorschriften/Datensatzschema.pdf?__blob=publicationFile].

All of these files should be reviewed in order to prepare for this August’s FATCA reporting. Germany has already posted guidance on CRS filing.

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SSA has released Draft Form W-2 and Form W-2c Specifications for TY2017 Reporting. There are a number of changes from the previous revisions of the two form specifications.

Form W-2 Changes

Form W-2c Changes

To view the new Draft Form W-2 and W-2c Specifications, please click the links below.
W-2
W-2c

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West Virginia’s State Tax Department has released a new publication TSD-100, “West Virginia Business Taxes.” The publication provides guidance to Business who need to register for business tax purposes. The six page document is merely instructive and does not function as a legal document. The last time West Virginia published a similar document was November, 2014.

The new guidance is available Here 

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The IRS has released an updated version of Publication 1281, Backup Withholding For Missing and Incorrect Name/TIN(S).

There are a couple of changes from the previous revision:

• Form 1099-G payments made under IRC 6041 and 3406(b)(3)(A), which include taxable grants and agricultural payments, are now subject to backup withholding

o New code for the Payer “B” Record to account for this change

 Position 17-18, “91” = Form 1099-G

To view the new Publication 1281, link is found Here

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Singapore’s Inland Revenue Authority has released a paper form that Reporting Financial Institutions may use to file a nil report. Nil reports are required whenever an FI does not have any U.S. Reportable Accounts. A Singaporean FI may elect to file an electronic nil through the IDES Gateway, as it would a typical FATCA return. Or, the FI may send the paper form to the IRAS. The paper form is available from this zip file.

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New regulations came into effect this week for CRS in Singapore. The Minister for Finance has published Amendments the last year’s Regulations. Many of the Amendments concern due diligence procedures, including the self-certification process. Singapore is a late adopter. Financial Institutions are required to complete the due diligence procedures this year, and then report in 2018.

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The Icelandic Directorate of Internal Revenue has released information about its domestic schema to be used for both FATCA and CRS reporting. There is a new section in the schema, <FatcaCrs í framtalsgögnum> (FATCA CRS tax return data), which is meant to allow for either FATCA or CRS data to be reported. Additionally, there is another new section, <Vidskiptastofnun>, which includes the Type of Sender (Filer Category). A description of this section may be found here.

The Icelandic legislature has enacted a FATCA Resolution and CRS Resolution, both containing legal guidance for financial institutions reporting for Tax Year 2016. The due date for both reporting regimes is May 31, 2017. Each resolution outlines the content of the information to be reported by Icelandic Financial Institutions according to the due diligence measures in the agreements. The resolutions also provide instructions for passive or inactive non-financial entities (NFEs) and due diligence protocols for preexisting accounts.

Under both FATCA and CRS, financial institutions are required to submit Nil Reports in order to inform the Directorate that they have no reportable

accounts.

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Arizona has released its 2017 Quarterly Withholding Tax Return, the A1-QRT. This form is the quarterly reconciliation and reporting form used for withholding payments made over the course of a quarter.

The form has undergone extensive formatting changes, but relatively few material changes. The form now requests more detail related to business closures and successive businesses, and it also requests information on any predecessor employer if the filer is a surviving employer. In addition, for occasions where the form is filed as a final return, the form now requests information of any successor employer.

The attached instructions have also undergone similarly broad formatting changes with a few material changes. The instructions now make it explicit that payroll service companies must include their TINs on any returns they prepare for employers and that any return prepared by a payroll service company must be filed electronically. The revision also includes instructions for who must sign the return. The revision’s instructions also omit the example of the form previously provided at the end of the instructions.

To view the Quarterly Withholding Tax Return and its instructions, please click here.

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Maine recently published updated instructions for Form 941-ME, the “Employer’s Return of Maine Income Tax Withholding.” Generally, Form 941-ME is used to report employee or payee income tax withholding to the Maine Revenue Service.

The 2017 version of these instructions include a few changes, mostly related to amended returns.

• Amended Returns: This section was expanded to include more details on using Form 941-ME in conjunction with filing amended returns. This expanded section provides extensive information on how to amend a prior return.

• Specific Instructions: Several sections were added to this part of the instructions regarding amended returns.

To review these instructions in full, please click here.

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North Dakota recently released an updated version of Publication 28262 – “Guideline to Income Tax Withholding: Oil and gas Royalty Payments.” The Guideline provides withholding criteria regarding oil and gas related royalty payments.

There is one change from the previous version of this publication involving remittance of 1099-MISC forms under the Combined Federal/State Program administered by the IRS: If a remitter transmits federal Form 1099-MISC information under the federal program, it must separately submit any federal Form 1099-MISC containing North Dakota income tax withheld with Form RWT-1096.

To review this publication in full, please click here.

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The Australian Taxation Office has made some revisions to the ATO FATCA and CRS websites.

Additionally, the ATO has created a new FATCA Reporting page that provides essential information regarding the transmittal of FATCA returns. The reporting page confirms that Australia will continue to use the IRS XML Schema, and permit but not require Nil reports. Extensions of time are available, if necessary. In addition, the reporting page also contains a list of common errors, and how to make corrections.

As for CRS, Australia is a late adopter, and will have its due date of July 31, 2018. This report will include data from July 1, 2017 through December 31, 2017. After this period, reports should include data from January to December.

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The OECD has recently put out a new edition of the Standard for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information. This text is sometimes referred to as the “purple book.” The OECD explains that the update was made to give more clarity to the process of submitting corrected returns. In that vein, the OECD updated the information in the Common Reporting Standard User Guide, or the XML User Guide, contained in Annex 3. The Annex begins on page 230.

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Luxembourg has published their list of Reportable Jurisdictions in the Journal Officiel. The list is a requirement from the Common Reporting Standard, and should be use by Reporting Financial Institutions if they have Reportable Accounts. It’s Luxembourg’s first publication of such a list. Otherwise, an FI may submit a Nil but it is not required to do so.

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The BVI International Tax Authority has relaxed the statutory deadlines for both UK CDOT and CRS – extending them to June 30, 2017 for enrollment and to July 31, 2017 for submissions. The ITA will inform BVI FIs directly once the portal is open to accept UK and CRS enrollments and filings. In addition, UK CDOT is currently in transition to being subsumed within CRS. BVI FIs should submit the maximum of what is required by CRS or UK CDOT in order to be fully compliant. Those with UK CDOT obligations should submit using the manual entry or upload option via the CRS filing option.

As for FATCA, the ITA has announced that the BVI Financial Account Reporting System (BVIFARS) is now open and prepared to accept FATCA returns for Tax Year 2016 filings. FIs that have not previously registered with BVIFARS must enroll to file by April 1, 2017. The due date for all filings will be May 31 – which will not be subject to extension by the BVI government.

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The United Kingdom took the long-anticipated first formal step towards officially leaving the European Union when on March 29, the UK Envoy to the EU hand delivered the “Article 50 Letter” to the EU Council President. As of today, the clock begins ticking on a 2 year window in which the UK can negotiate its withdrawal. While the UK Government optimistically views “Brexit” as an opportunity to create a new and equal partnership with their friends and allies in the EU, questions surrounding immigration, trade, and budget commitments will likely present substantial challenges in reaching a final agreement.

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