PwC: captives want more guidance on CSR
The captive industry in Bermuda faces a new obstacle as tough new rules on reporting foreign assets come into force.
Scott Slater, tax services partner at professional services firm PwC, said: “Our captive clients face a number of challenges with the new common reporting standard which came into effect in Bermuda on January 1, 2016 with the first international reporting due in 2017.
“As the Bermuda financial services industry is anxiously awaiting the issuance of further guidance on CRS from the Bermuda Government, our tax specialists are at the forefront of understanding the impact of CRS and are working with our clients to prepare.”
The common reporting standard, also called the Standard for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information, is an information standard for the automatic exchange of information on assets and tax.
It was developed in the context of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development,
The legal basis for exchange of data is the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters and the idea is based on the USA Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act implementation agreements.
Until now, the parties to most treaties for sharing information did so only on request, which is said to be ineffective in tackling tax evasion.
Mr Slater was speaking after the three-day Bermuda Captive Conference closed on Wednesday.
Richard Irvine, PwC tax leader, who took part in a conference session on US tax developments, said: “We are very pleased at the continued growth of the conference and interest in Bermuda as the domicile of choice for captives.”
He added: “We continue to monitor changes in US tax law and the OECD-led base erosion and profit shifting project and how it affects our Bermuda-based captive insurance clients.”
PwC captive insurance leader David Gibbons said: “Our market share in Latin America and Canada is growing as service providers, including PwC, do a great job of raising awareness of the potential benefits of retaining risk through captive programmes.”
Latin American attendees at the conference, held at the Fairmont Southampton, were able to take advantage of a session in Spanish on captives and the benefits of the Bermuda domicile for Latin American companies, moderated by PwC's assurance manager Giulianna Molero Solari.
Ms Molero Solari, who specialises in the Latin American region, said growth in the market stemmed from better education of risk managers in the region.
She added: “Providers are also facilitating the training and education programmes throughout the region to raise awareness of the potential benefits of captive programmes.
“Brokers are also a very important part of this picture as they are often the first contact a risk manager will deal with and trust.”