The Ministry of Financial Services, co-ordinator of The Bahamas’ effort to prepare for the 2014 implementation of the United States’ Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), together with the financial services regulators: The Central Bank of The Bahamas, the Securities Commission of The Bahamas, the Inspector of Financial and Corporate Service Providers and the Compliance Commission issued a survey to assess the industry’s readiness for FATCA.
The survey, in particular, examines the preparations already undertaken and planned undertakings by those entities deemed as “foreign financial institutions” (FFIs) under FATCA. The survey also seeks to provide the Government an estimate of the costs for resources, both financial and human resources, which will be incurred to become FATCA compliant by Bahamian financial sector firms.
Minister Pinder stated that “FATCA preparations are well advanced in The Bahamas. I have installed a Minister’s Advisory Committee consisting of private sector participants, the regulators and the relevant public sector officials including the Ministry of Finance and the Attorney General’s Office. We are closely reviewing both Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) Models and also examining the agreements which have recently been finalized to determine the best way forward for The Bahamas. I continue to see the sovereignty of The Bahamas as an asset, as the Cabinet of The Bahamas, and ultimately the Prime Minister decide the best route for The Bahamas rather than external pressures. The Bahamas will be ready.”
FATCA was signed into US law in 2010 through the US Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act. Its effective date is 1st January, 2013. FATCA has the effect of requiring Foreign Financial Institutions (FFIS) to report certain account information to the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) with respect to persons considered US residents for tax purposes.