Swiss Federal Council Adopts Dispatch on AEOI with 41 Jurisdictions

On 16 June 2017, the Swiss Federal Council agreed to adopt the dispatch on the introduction of the Automatic Exchange of Information (“AEOI”) with 41 states and territories. Switzerland will activate the AEOI with each individual state/territory via specific federal decrees within the framework of this dispatch.

This dispatch strengthens Switzerland’s international position, as its AEOI network has extended to most of the G20 and OECD states, in addition to the already existing agreements with 38 states and territories, including all EU member states.

As part of this dispatch, collection of information will begin in 2018 for a first data exchange in 2019. Brazil, China, Liechtenstein, and Russia are notable states included within the list of 41 states and territories.

Please refer to the following link for the Swiss Federal Council’s official media release:


FFIs should renew their FATCA agreements by 31 July 2017

IRS reminds FFIs to renew their FATCA agreements on the FFI Registration System

On 7 June 2017, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) reminded foreign financial institutions (“FFIs”) that the FATCA FFI Registration system has been updated to include the ability for FFIs to renew their agreement with the IRS.

FFIs that are required to renew their FFI Agreements should resubmit their registration applications by 31 July 2017, in order to be treated as having the FFI Agreements in effect as of 1 January 2017.

In addition, FIs around the world have been receiving messages from the IRS FATCA Registration System reminding them to update their agreements, if required. To make this process simpler, a “Renew FFI Agreement” now appears on the account home page after logging in.

For more information regarding which FFI’s are required to register, please see Table 17 on page 85 in Publication 5118.

IRS releases revised FATCA Online Registration User Guide

In June 2017, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) released a revised Publication 5118 Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act Online Registration User Guide. Under the “What’s New” section, the IRS has provided the following information:

  • The FATCA Online Registration System now allows FIs to renew their foreign financial institution (FFI) agreement with the IRS. Certain financial institutions (FIs) must complete the renewal by July 31, 2017. All registered entities should use the system to determine whether they need to renew their agreement. (Table 17: Self Determination for Renewal of FFI Agreement can assist FIs with their determination.)
  • The FATCA Online Registration System adds account home page information regarding Renewal of FFI Agreement information including updates to account information such as the renewal due date and submitted date.
  • The IRS has discontinued the limited status for new or renewing FI applicants. Existing branches will no longer be marked as being in limited status.
  • Additional updates include:
    • A warning banner added to the login steps.
    • The number of attempts allowed to login to the registration system is reduced from five to three attempts.

CRS Updates May 2017

Second Edition of the OECD Standard for AEOI Released

On 27 March, 2017, the OECD published the second edition of the standard for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information in Tax Matters (“AEOI”). This newly released edition replaces the first edition of the standard for AEOI from July 2014.

The vast majority of the standard for AEOI remains unchanged relative to the first edition. In the second edition, Annex 3 “Common Reporting User Guide” is updated, as it now contains additional technical guidance on the handling of corrections and cancellations within the CRS XML Schema, including a revised set of correction samples.

Please refer to the following link for access to the second edition of the standard for AEOI:

Facility to Disclose CRS Avoidance Schemes Launched by OECD

On 5 May, 2017, the OECD launched a disclosure facility on the Automatic Exchange Portal allowing parties to share information on potential schemes, products, and/or structures that may be used to circumvent the Common Reporting Standard (“CRS”).

Parties are able to fill out a form through the Automatic Exchange Portal to describe any identified loopholes or schemes that may be used for avoiding the CRS. The form asks for a description of the scheme, information on how actively it is used, and a list of the countries or regions where the scheme is used . The OECD then systematically analyzes the received information on the reported schemes to assess the risk they present to the overall integrity and effectiveness of the CRS. If required, the OECD uses the acquired information to take appropriate courses of action. Parties may fill out the forms on an anonymous basis.


OECD Automatic Exchange Portal’s form


Christoph Schaerer
PwC Schweiz
+41 58 792 4282

QI renewal deadline is fast approaching (31 March) and IRS publishes new FAQs regarding QDD application

QI Renewal Deadline

Qualified Intermediaries (QIs) that wish to renew their QI Agreements with an effective date of 1 January 2017 are reminded that the application for their renewal is due by 31 March 2017.  Renewing by 31 March 2017 will ensure that there is a seamless transition from the old QI agreement to the new 2017 QI Agreement.

The application must be submitted online through the new IRS QI Portal.

For more information about the application process and the use of the portal, please see our PwC Tax Insights publication.

New FAQs regarding QDD application

On 17 March 2017, the IRS published new Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQs”) that provide additional details regarding the completion of the application questions for QIs that wish to apply to be Qualified Derivative Dealers (“QDDs”) for 2017.  These FAQs are published on the FATCA FAQ website under the Qualified Intermediary heading.  There are a total of eleven FAQs (beginning with #10) posted by the IRS that answer a variety of questions regarding the completion of the application for QDD status.

QI’s that wish to be QDDs with an effective date of 1 January 2017 must submit their applications on or before 31 March 2017 through the online QI Portal.

SuisseTax Online Portal Open for AEOI Registration

As of this week, ESTV SuisseTax, the Swiss Federal Tax Administration’s online portal, has opened its AEOI registration function for reporting Swiss Financial Institutions (“FIs”). Reporting Swiss FIs must register by the end of 2017 for an initial AEOI data exchange in 2018.

Please note that a registration for AEOI purposes is only possible via the online portal. Swiss FIs can enter the ESTV SuisseTax portal by referring to the following link:

The Swiss Federal Tax Administration is expecting to provide a data exchange test phase for reporting Swiss FIs in the summer of 2017.

Please refer to the link below for the official media release:

PwC invites you to the Tax Technology Fair 2017

Over the last 20 years digital transformation has changed the world almost beyond recognition. The Internet has connected people around the globe, mobile phones have opened up a new dimension of communication, and accounting systems have driven efficiency and enabled new business models.

The world of tax is changing just as rapidly. But despite the transformation brought about by developments such as BEPS, many corporate tax divisions, in Europe at least, are still structured the same as they were ten years ago. And they still heavily rely on Excel – for analytics, calculations and reporting – even though ever shorter deadlines and increasing data volumes are pushing old-fashioned spreadsheets to their limits.

This is where modern tax technology comes in:

  • It can reduce risks associated with spreadsheets
  • It can free up resources from administrative tasks (data collection) for analytics
  • It can reduce future costs.

While most tax professionals acknowledge these benefits, many still do not completely grasp the true power and relevance of the developments behind buzzwords, such as software robotics, blockchain and machine learning.

The sixth Tax Technology Fair is designed to give you an overview of the leading solutions available to support people working in tax. It will also provide insight into the relevance to your tax division of hot topics, such as artificial intelligence and data analytics.

You will get to hear market-leading PwC professionals and IT vendor representatives with live presentations on their technologies and applications. You will also be able to compare solutions and discuss your questions and issues directly with providers in one-to-one sessions.

PwC’s Tax Technology Fair is a great opportunity to discover how the latest solutions can benefit your organisation and to share experiences with people facing the same issues as you.

Date & Time:
Wednesday, 10 May 2017
9.45 am to 4.10 pm

Find here more information about our programme. Please note that as technology is evolving so quickly, details of the break-out sessions will not be published until closer to the event.

Swissôtel Zurich, Schulstrasse 44, 8040 Zurich

Participation fee:
CHF 380 (including VAT) per participant (full day)

Register now:
Online registration

New QI Application Portal

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on December 30, 2016 released Rev. Proc. 2017-15, which sets forth the final 2017 qualified intermediary (QI) agreement (2017 QI Agreement). The 2017 QI Agreement provides procedures for QIs (including qualified derivatives dealers (QDDs)) and qualified securities lenders (QSLs)) to comply with their US information reporting and withholding obligations.

Historically, the process for applying for QI status has been a paper process that included the completion of Form 14345, Application for Qualified Intermediary, Withholding Foreign Partnership, or Withholding Foreign Trust, and IRS approval. The IRS currently is implementing an electronic QI application (QI Portal) process. In addition to the actual application, the QI portal has a link to a user guide and a frequently asked questions (FAQ) section as well as links to other resources for portal users.

Similar to systems used to manage foreign financial institution (FFI) agreements, the QI Portal provides users a secure system, a convenient method to upload certain supportive documents, the ability to receive electronic notifications regarding changes to status, renewal reminders, and other updates, and reduces the need to contact the IRS directly in many cases.

For more information about the application process and the use of the portal, please see our PwC Tax Insights publication.

IRS issues updated regulations under section 871(m) dealing with dividend equivalent payments

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the US Department of the Treasury (Treasury) on January 19, 2017 issued final, temporary, and proposed regulations (the 2017 Section 871(m) Regulations) under Section 871(m) of the Internal Revenue Code (Code). The 2017 Section 871(m) Regulations provide much anticipated guidance in response to comments provided with respect to the existing Section 871(m) regulations as well as additional guidance provided by the IRS in Notice 2016-76 and the new qualified intermediary agreement (2016 QI Agreement) provided in Revenue Procedure 2017-15. The 2017 Section 871(m) Regulations:

  • consistently with Notice 2016-76, provide that Section 871(m) will apply to delta-one transactions only for 2017,
  • consistently with the 2016 QI Agreement, provide for changes to the treatment of payments made to qualified derivatives dealers (QDDs) and calculation of their tax liability, and
  • address a multitude of comments made with respect to the existing Section 871(m) regulations, including providing clarification with respect to the timing of the determination of delta, the ability for withholding agents to choose to withhold on the underlying dividend payment date, and the treatment of parties to Section 871(m) transactions.

Observation: These 2017 Section 871(m) Regulations were issued immediately prior to the memorandum issued by the White House Chief of Staff freezing the publication of new regulations. However, the 2017 Section 871(m) Regulations were subsequently published in the Federal Register on January 24, 2017 and therefore appear to be currently effective. However, future action may change the current status.

For more information, please refer to our PwC Tax Insights publication.

Final QI agreement includes updated QDD provisions

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on December 30, 2016 issued Rev. Proc. 2017-15 setting forth the final qualified intermediary (QI) withholding agreement (2017 QI Agreement). Non-US entities and certain foreign branches of US entities may enter into the 2017 QI Agreement with the IRS to simplify their obligations as withholding agents under Chapters 3 and 4 (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act or FATCA) of the Internal Revenue Code (Code) and as payers under Chapter 61 and Section 3406 of the Code for amounts paid to their account holders. The 2017 QI Agreement has an effective date of January 1, 2017.

The 2017 QI Agreement allows certain non-US derivatives dealers and securities lenders that are QIs to enter into an agreement with the IRS to act as qualified derivative dealers (QDDs) with respect to transactions that give rise to payments with respect to Code Section 871(m) transactions and substitute interest. The QDD regime addresses the problem of cascading or over-withholding on certain derivatives and securities lending transactions by providing that no withholding tax is required on certain payments made to a QDD when it is acting as a principal.

Rev. Proc. 2017-15 follows Notice 2016-42, which was issued in July 2016 and set forth a proposed QI agreement (2016 Proposed QI Agreement) that contained provisions setting out terms and requirements for QDDs. The IRS requested and received many stakeholder comments on the 2016 Proposed QI Agreement. The 2017 QI Agreement (including the QDD provisions) responds to certain of those comments, and implements the guidance set forth in Notice 2016-76 which delayed many of the provisions related to Code Section 871(m).

For more information about the changes and provisions relevant for QDDs, please see our PwC Tax Insights publication.

IRS Releases Final FFI Agreement and Final QI Agreement

Revenue Procedure 2017-15 – Final QI Agreement

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on December 30, 2016 released Rev. Proc. 2017-15, which sets forth the final 2017 qualified intermediary (QI) agreement (2017 QI Agreement). The QI regime permits certain foreign persons acting as intermediaries to simplify their federal tax withholding and information reporting responsibilities (1) under Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 of the Internal Revenue Code (Code) and (2) as a payor under Chapter 61 and Section 3406 of the Code (i.e., Form 1099 reporting and backup withholding).

The 2017 QI Agreement is based on the 2016 Proposed QI Agreement released by the IRS in July 2016, but contains certain changes and points of clarification made in response to stakeholder comments regarding certain provisions of the QI agreement. See our Insight: IRS proposes updated qualified intermediary agreement for more information on the 2016 Proposed QI Agreement. The more notable changes and points of clarification among others include information on:

  • QI compliance program including the periodic review and certification of compliance;
  • Partnerships or trusts applying the joint account or agency options;
  • Entities eligible for QI agreements;
  • Documentation requirements relating to account holders;
  • Application for QI status, term of the agreement, effective date; and
  • Qualified Derivatives Dealers (QDDs)

The 2017 QI Agreement has an effective date of January 1, 2017. QIs with expired agreements must renew before March 31, 2017 to have a new QI agreement with a retroactive effective date of January 1, 2017.

For additional information on these new provisions and clarifications, please see PwC’s Tax Insight on the 2017 QI Agreement.

Revenue Procedure 2017-16 – Final FFI Agreement

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on December 30, 2016 released Rev. Proc. 2017-16 which provides guidance to foreign financial institutions (FFIs) that are treated as participating FFIs (PFFIs) and as reporting financial institutions under an applicable Model 2 intergovernmental agreement (IGA) (Reporting Model 2 FFIs). Rev. Proc. 2017-16 updates the 2014 FFI agreement, which was set forth in Rev. Proc. 2014-38 and expired on December 31, 2016, to provide guidance on new and renewed FFI agreements.

The 2017 FFI agreement, which expires on December 31, 2018, has been revised to provide clarification with respect to certain compliance requirements and to be consistent with various provisions of concurrently released final and temporary Chapter 4 regulations implementing the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). Modifications contained in the 2017 FFI agreement address:

  • the expiration of transitional periods;
  • clarification of the requirements for Reporting Model 2 FFIs and branches; and
  • new procedures for final certifications of compliance and other obligations upon termination of an FFI agreement.

For additional information on these modifications, please see PwC’s Tax Insight on the 2017 FFI Agreement.