The BVI Perspective: Trusts and the CRS - What’s In, What’s Out

Venue: General Chamber of Commerce, Hong Kong

Hong Kong, May 31, 2017 – The BVI House Asia Seminar on “Trusts and the Common Reporting Standard (CRS),” held on May 29 at the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, attracted more than 70 lawyers, trust practitioners and other financial services experts.

Among more than 100 participating jurisdictions committed to the CRS, the BVI was an early adopter and has agreed to exchange financial account information with the first group of participating jurisdictions by September 2017. The seminar answered the latest frequently asked questions about the CRS and provided a platform for financial industry practitioners to exchange information and share insights. 


The seminar’s speaker, Mr. Mirza Manraj, a member of the Financial Services Regulatory practice group at Harneys, recognised by IFLR 1000 as a leading lawyer in the British Virgin Islands, shared his expertise on the impact of CRS implementation from an international tax perspective, including the framework and important dates for financial institutions (FIs) and the implications of CRS reporting for trustees and trust administrators.   

“The notification date has been extended to 30 June, 2017. And the first report deadline for FIs reporting to the BVI International Tax Authority (ITA) via the BVI Financial Account Reporting System (BVIFARS) has been extended to July 31, 2017,” Mr. Manraj said. “CRS will generally apply to two types of trusts - either the trust is a Reporting Financial Institution or the trust is an NFE that maintains a Financial Account with a Reporting Financial Institution.”

In addition, Mr. Manraj presented practical examples, illustrating the systematic methods used to identify reportable accounts, apply due diligence rules, and report the relevant information to the ITA. 


Director of BVI House Asia, Ms. Elise Donovan, said, “A lot of people have questions and concerns regarding the CRS’s applications to BVI Trusts. We are pleased that Mr. Manraj gave us this informative and engaging presentation.”