Common Reporting Standard (CRS Charities)

Common Reporting Standard (CRS Charities)

The Common Reporting Standard (CRS) was approved by the OECD Council in 2014 as a global standard to facilitate the automatic exchange of financial information between OECD tax jurisdictions on an annual basis.


It is similar to the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) which has been in operation since 2010 and requires foreign financial Institutions to report to the US tax authorities details of financial accounts held by US tax payers. FACTA has specific exemptions for Charities but unfortunately so far the CRS in the UK does not give exemption.


Some Charity clients may well be aware that UK Banks want disclosure in relation the FATCA despite this specific exemption.


Returning to the subject of the CRS, any Charity which derives most of its income from an investment portfolio such as a grant making Trust, is likely to be caught by the definition of a financial Institution and have to identify the tax status of all grantees whether Institutions or individuals which will create a highly hugely expensive administration burden and not all the information evidence required will even be available.


These Charities will need to report due diligence on all their grantees whether they are individuals or Institutions and say whether they are resident in the UK or overseas.


The items to be reported are:


1. Individuals, name, addres, jurisdictions of residence, TIN (Tax Identification Number) and date and place of birth of each reportable person that is an account holder of the account, i.e. any individual receiving a grant or the benefit of a grant.

2. Where entity is an account holder and that after of application the due diligence procedures, is identified as having one or more controlling persons that is a reportable person.

3. The name, address, jurisdiction of residence and TIN of the entity and the name address, jurisdictions of residence, TIN and date and place of birth of each reportable person.

CRS came into force on 1st January 2016 in the UK and the first reporting will be required from 31 May 2017. HMRC has now issued specific guidance for Charities.