In December 2015 the Cyprus Ministry of Finance issued a Decree implementing the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development's (the OECD) Common Reporting Standard (CRS) and the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement on the Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information (MCAA).
The Decree, which took effect on January 1 2016, sets out the framework for financial institutions operating in Cyprus to collect and review information from their customers and investors regarding tax residence. It also sets out the framework for these financial institutions to forward prescribed information to the national tax authorities for disclosure to relevant overseas tax authorities.
The Decree sets out the main rules regarding client acceptance, due diligence and reporting, defines the scope of the CRS in terms of entities and products and sets out the reporting deadlines and penalties for any breach.
Financial institutions are required to obtain the tax residence and tax identification number of all new customers. For existing individual account holders they may rely on the customer's residential address according to their records for the purposes of determining the account holder's tax residence and reporting status. The deadline for reporting information to the Cyprus tax authorities is June 30 of the year following the calendar year to which the information relates. As what is known as an early adopter under the MCAA, Cyprus will collect information from 2016 and reporting of the information for that year will take place in 2017.