The implementation of the FATCA Intergovernmental Agreements (IGAs) signed by the BVI with the US and the UK has taken another step forward by way of amendments to the Mutual Legal Assistance (Tax Matters) Act, 2003 (MLAT) and the issue on 23 October 2014 of the Mutual Legal Assistance (Tax Matters) (No. 4) Order, 2014 (No. 4 Order).

The MLAT amendments (contained in the Mutual Legal Assistance (Tax Matters) (Amendment) Act, 2014) also provide some additional clarification as to the extent of the record keeping obligations of BVI companies. All BVI companies have been required to maintain and retain all of their “records and underlying documentation”. Whereas previously MLAT stated that records and underlying documentation “included accounts” further guidance is offered by way of the following extended definition which provides that:

“Records and underlying documentation includes accounts in relation to:

  1. all sums of money received and expended by the company and the matters in respect of which the receipt and expenditure takes place;
  2. all sales and purchases of goods by the company; and
  3. the assets and liabilities of the company.”

Harneys has prepared a guide to record keeping obligations following the amendments to MLAT in 2012 which first introduced section 5A. The guide has been updated to reflect the latest changes.

Posted by Theodore H. Waggner, Esq., Associate Editor, Wealth Strategies Journal