Offshore Banking and Tax Reporting in Times of Covid-19
On October 28, Hubbis and our exclusive partner for the event, BearingPoint RegTech, invited a group of top-level private bankers from Europe and Asia to a virtual thought leadership discussion titled ‘Offshore Banking and Tax Reporting in Times of Covid-19’. The backdrop for the discussion is that there is most evidently a global shift to regulatory supervision based on substance over form, transparency over opaqueness, of full disclosure and exchange of information over poor transparency, and the wealth management community must either ride with it or be left foundering. The ‘assembled’ experts debated some key questions that financial institutions are now forced to think about. How should the wealth management industry react and adapt to maintain compliance, transparency and at the same time, help their clients stay compliant in this environment? How will the expectations of wealthy cross-border clients evolve? Can banks assist their clients with the delivery of financial data they hold that will, in turn, help their clients with their personal income tax obligations? Can the industry turn these needs and expectations from yet another cost driver into a service, or at least an asset to help the resilience of its client relationship management? To address these questions and debate these vital matters, our remarkably experienced group of experts offered their insights; the attendees included the heads of international tax reporting for private banks, heads of compliance, as well as COOs and CEOs of selected private banks.
A ‘Closed Door’ Hubbis Webinar in association with exclusive partner BearingPoint RegTech
Setting the Scene
At any time, compliance is never easy, and it is virtually certain that things will only get tougher across the globe. But with Covid-19 still wreaking havoc on so much of the economic and social activity around the world, governments and their authorities are even more in need of bolstering dwindling tax revenues than ever before to pay for burgeoning government debts.
As a spate of acronyms has been rolled out by authorities and bodies worldwide in recent years in the form of FATCA, CRS, AEOI, MDR, UBO, BEPS and others (that no longer even need spelling out in full, so embedded in the daily lives of everyone in the wealth industry), the wealth management community in all its shapes and forms, and the private clients and their families that they work for, therefore need to really up their game in terms of the demands of tax transparency and enhanced reporting.
The obligation is on the banks and other institutions to deliver information to the authorities, and on the wealthy private clients to then deliver to the authorities at home and where necessary abroad an honest assessment of their wealth, including cross-border assets, cross-border transactions, their businesses. And those who imagine they still do not need to do so are rather deluded - their wealth and their capacity to pay make them natural targets for the authorities at home and abroad.
But there also is a bright side to it for private banks and independent wealth management firms: they might be able to turn what is an increased regulatory and administrative burden into a new service, by bolstering their ability to provide tax reports and assistance to their clients. This has already been becoming more commonplace in Europe amongst the private banking community, which has significantly enhanced its capacity and willingness to help deliver tax filing information to its clients. But Asia lags far behind.
Our thought leadership discussion took place only a matter of weeks after Hubbis, again in collaboration with BearingPoint RegTech, conducted a short survey amongst specialists in the Asian wealth management industry to find out how they are working with their clients to help promote and solve these complex and important challenges, and to find out if some are turning the challenge into a means of gaining a competitive edge over their peers.
BearingPoint RegTech Opens the Discussion
The event opened with a presentation from Bella Lai, Head of BearingPoint RegTech APAC, Singapore, and Stefan Fuchs, Product Manager BearingPoint RegTech APAC, Singapore. They introduced themselves briefly, and Fuchs then offered a presentation on their thesis and some of their insights [Link to presentation].
Fuchs first explained that the objective of the discussion was to discuss the implication for the private banking and wealth management community of cross-border tax reporting challenges set against an increasingly robust and penetrative global regulatory environment, and also amidst the ongoing pandemic, which he noted was pushing more and more governments to forensically scrutinise exactly where they might bolster waning tax revenues.
Nowhere to hide
“Covid-19,” he explained, “is just a starting point, the backdrop for a discussion on some deeper trends and currents that we can all observe today. The trend to tax transparency for been becoming more and more evident over the past two decades, it accelerated after the global financial crisis of 2008-9 and with newer initiatives such as FATCA, the CRS and MDR, and AEOI, there is literally nowhere for individual or wealth management institutions to hide. There is even TRACE now, which is a newer Qualified Intermediary initiative, implemented today in Finland but expected to become much more widespread.”
Massive offshore wealth
In short, he showed delegates how cross-border tax transparency initiatives have followed one another in rapid succession, and how an estimated 84 million offshore accounts representing some USD9.6 trillion, or 10% of global GDP are in place still today. “And,” he added, “the pace seems to be increasing, as we can see that there was just one major initiative from 2000 to 2010, and these days it is more like one each year.”
He highlighted how by the end of 2020 some 109 countries worldwide would participate in the CRS. “Simply put,” he explained, “all these initiatives mean that anonymity in cross-border banking is a thing of the past, and there is virtually no room at all now to move money across borders without the home tax regime knowing about it, or finding out.”
The action has started
As to the immediate implications, Fuchs observed that still today there is more data gathering than resultant action, but there is a growing number of tax authorities across the globe who have started to pursue undeclared offshore accounts in recent years, especially the UK, Belgium, and some others in Europe, Australia in APAC and some others such as Malaysia, Indonesia, and most recently also China, who have all declared publicly that they will be using CRS data going forward.
He noted that the US did not sign up to the CRS, but it has in FATCA its own set of reciprocal arrangements in place. “Most of those countries that did not yet participate in CRS are African or Central Asian nations,” he said, “but all the international financial centres - Switzerland, Hong Kong, Singapore, the Channel Islands, Panama, and so forth - participate in the CRS.”
Emerging countries are joining apace
“What is also interesting is that some countries, especially relatively less developed ones economically, have used the CRS actually as a starting point to roll out their own domestic reporting, which is very similar to CRS. Indonesia, for example, in 2017, they used CRS as the basis for their own regime. In fact, they have two worksheets in the CRS for the offshore accounts and domestic reporting for the accounts within the country. But to summarise, it is just beginning, from what we observe, and CRS data will be used more and more.
The pandemic, he observed, had resulted in relief budgets some ten times larger than even followed the onset of the global crisis of 2008. Japan, for example, has set aside more than 20% of its GDP for payouts and guarantees, India some 10%, and these numbers are replicated worldwide. “They need money,” he said, “they are in emergency mode, and they will try to recover tax money where it least hurts their economies and where they can achieve most traction, and one way will very likely again be offshore money in offshore accounts.”
Surveying the Asian market
He then highlighted a survey Hubbis and BearingPoint had published in September on the impact on wealth managers in APAC. “We uncovered a variety of findings,” he reported, the first of which is that for more than 50% of wealth management respondents, their clients operate cross-border investments and other activities. We also found out that CRS is the most challenging issue, we discovered that these tax implication matters are relatively unfamiliar territory for the banks and other firms and that around two-thirds of these issues are being handled at a centralised HQ level.”
The numbers speak for themselves
He noted that the survey found how 100% of private clients in Asia are becoming ever more aware that their offshore financial affairs are no longer discrete, and that 94% of respondents indicated that the banks and other firms are not reporting to those clients that data is being relayed to authorities. “Moreover,” he said, “we discovered that while such reporting to clients is really becoming an absolute necessity, it is only really being handled in response to ad hoc requests from those clients.”
He explained that BearingPoint’s firm perspective on all this is that in a world where authorities are investigating offshore money much more actively, the approach of the APAC wealth management community will be less and less acceptable or sustainable.
Europe ahead of the curve, Asia lagging behind
“European private banks have long been under pressure to help offshore clients declare their accounts,” he stated. “As a result, they have been ahead of the curve in terms of tax reporting as a client service, especially when they specialise in servicing high net worth clients. The banks are not only declaring to the authorities what they have to declare about CRS, FATCA, QI, and so forth but they nowadays also help the clients with specific tax reports. This allows clients to communicate very confidently with their home tax authorities on matters that are far from simple to compute and relay.”
Fuchs added that specialised client tax support that European banks do now provide in many cases have been very beneficial to cross-border clients, meaning that it becomes a valuable service that clients rely on and that becomes part of the private bank’s USP.
He closed his presentation by highlighting some courses of action for wealth managers. “These dramatic changes regarding cross-border tax transparency must be faced proactively, and the Covid-19 crisis will only increase the pressure on offshore account holders to come clean in the coming years.”
Tax reporting – a key competency
He added that tax reporting is becoming a key competency for any financial institution offering cross-border products and services. Jurisdiction-specific tax reporting has already become an essential service of European private banks, and the APAC region will surely follow suit. And given all this, investment in tax reporting knowledge and technology has the potential to turn a compliance cost driver into a competitive advantage.” And with that, he closed his presentation and opened the discussion to perspectives from the ‘assembled’ experts.
Key Observations in Brief
Heads remain in the sand
In Asia, clients remain largely unaware or perhaps even uninterested in matters of compliance, and with ever more regulations coming into effect or being actively applied is causing numerous concerns for the wealth industry.
In Europe, the banks are showing what can be achieved
In Switzerland, in France and elsewhere in Europe, the banks have accepted some time ago that tax reporting is both an obligation to the authorities and a service they can and indeed should offer to their clients.
Asia has not yet taken up the challenge
There was a widespread view amongst the experts that the whole concept of providing information to clients to help with their cross-border and domestic tax filings lags well behind in Asia.
Asian arms of international banks rely heavily on HQ
Some senior European bankers working in Asia explained that demand for this information, or possibly service, is minimal in Asia thus far, but that when required, the Asian-based entities rely heavily on support from the European HQs, where there is both expertise and experience.
Banks should be aware of their limitations
Although there will likely be a growing need for such information, and potential value in making it into more of a service – turning a challenge into an opportunity – the banks must be fully aware that they cannot cross the line in the sand to become tax advisors, either in the eyes of clients or the regulators.
Education is vital
The panel, as a whole, concurred that education of all parties concerned, including the clients, is of paramount importance ahead. Dealing with these matters on an ad hoc, or reactive basis will not be viable in the years ahead.
Technology offers support and solutions
The right digital solutions layered with the appropriate strategies and processes are vital in the gathering and remediation of the data the banks hold on their clients’ activities. Automation must replace manual processes. Data must be both accurate and then refined.
The clients will increasingly expect a better experience
Although Asia lags behind in this whole area, there is little doubt that private clients will expect more, especially as their authorities become more robust and sophisticated. Those banks and institutions that can build the delivery of this information into a core element of their offering will be better placed for client acquisition and loyalty. This will become a competitive advantage in a world where tax is becoming a key part of the bottom line for offshore investors.
The banks should grasp the nettle, but sooner not later
Why wait, when the inevitable changes and pressures are coming? Banks that can take the initiative in these areas should, rather than waiting for pressure from the regulators, or from demands from their clients, themselves under increasing pressure from their own authorities.
Layers of service can be added
In Europe, such is the progress in these areas that the banks are already moving beyond simple reporting, offering support such as tax reclaims support or tax simulations. Tax reporting can really be seen as just a first step towards comprehensive client service.
The Panel Discussion: Insights in Detail
A senior lawyer representing the Singapore/Asian arm of a major international law firm agreed with the issues Fuchs had raised and explained that there is also a widespread concern that private clients are not aware of a whole host of other initiatives including Beneficial Ownership and Economic Substance. “Accordingly,” he cautioned, “it will be fairly difficult to gauge the risk level from these clients because they themselves are unaware of how to manage their own compliance.”
Moreover, as to MDR, the Mandatory Disclosure Rules, he commented there are two types, the OECD version, and the DAC 6, or the EU version, with quite subtle differences between the two. “But the problem with these MDRs is they don't very well translate to a compliance officer’s checklist, they contain a great deal of discretion, and the language is very much modelled on interpretation by the practitioner,” he observed.
It will only become tougher
“So, if we thought the CRS was difficult, we believe MDR is a really huge problem coming, as well. Additionally, the way in which this legislation is being transposed into domestic regulation is not helpful, and results in practitioners at the sharp end having to make decisions on the fly. In short, it is a mess, and I think it is going to get worse, particularly when the MDRs hit, as they are retroactive as well.”
The Swiss-based head of tax reporting for a leading boutique private bank offered his views, confirming a Fuchs comment earlier that the banks were facing more and more requirements from the offshore clients to receive a tax report, which fulfils all the necessary tax rules necessary to declare their wealth in their countries.
European banks forge ahead
“We covered the main European countries at first, and now we are adding more and more exotic countries like Russia, Mexico, Argentina, South America, and we are now in this continuous process of adding tax modules, in fact working with BearingPoint’s EasyTax platform, EasyTax. Aside from the pandemic, we were therefore already advancing to fulfil the requirements for the offshore world.”
A senior member of a major global bank, based in Paris, then observed that tax reporting has indeed been becoming a key service for clients, essentially a mandatory service to offer. He explained that the bank had been addressing these issues for the past several years, and that the main concern now is to develop tax reporting based services for clients, to ensure that those client investments are tax compliant or tax suitable. “To do so,” he said, “we now provide this more as a service, and we are gaining some new assets, some new clients with this approach. To sum up, tax reporting is essentially mandatory, and the first step is providing the global tax reporting service for our clients.”
Asia drags its feet
A senior private banker with a Swiss boutique bank in Singapore added some heft to the views on Asia’s relative position, stating that as he observes it, Asia is clearly lagging behind Europe in all these areas. “Our Swiss and European offices have provided services such as these for the European clients for some years; it works like a well-oiled machine. We are beginning to see a bit of demand for this from clients here, requesting for specific tax reporting, so in these cases, we leverage our colleagues in Zurich, which ultimately is our competence centre for producing such reports since they have the technology and the expertise.”
A handful of requests to date
Nevertheless, he estimated that 2% or fewer of the clients had asked for such reports. “I think from our view, it is mainly about ensuring we have the service available, and when it really comes to more demand, that we are able to leverage our capabilities, we are ready for the wave, to offer that as a value-added service, for the clients. But let’s face it, this is not an appealing topic, everyone frowns when they hear about tax reporting, so we all need to try to change the mindsets somewhat, to position all this in a much more positive light.”
He indicated that what holds clients back in requesting tax reports is far less specific reporting requirements in the region, meaning less need for specialist tax reports. “They can work with the data they can already access from us,” he said, “so that is typically already sufficient for their needs in order for them to fulfil their tax returns. The tax regimes out here are generally not quite so sophisticated.”
Don’t step over the line
Fuchs commented that a core issue is that banks don’t want to be, indeed are not permitted to be, tax advisors. “They must not be seen as tax advisors by clients or the authorities,” he said. “However, I can say that tax reporting – the relaying of information not advise - is a standard service as of today in the European private banking world. We might call it tax assistance perhaps, providing the information for the tax advisor and the client to file a tax declaration correctly in their home country. This is about assembling and delivering data in a tidy report, to help them for example calculate capital gains taxes, but that calculation is not the bank’s mission or responsibility, not at all. Yet with the right data from the banks as a specialised tax information reporting service, the clients and their own experts can do that much more easily.”
Education is vital…for all
A guest highlighted the importance of client education on so many of these areas. “How CRS is dealt with in different countries is different, so it's important that we know how to deal with clients from different countries, we definitely see the need for advice and help, actually,” he said. “We do deal with these matters on an ad hoc basis nowadays, as the survey found. As a private bank, we are however trying to improve.”
Addressing the question as to how banks can build on the tax platform approach to transform their regulatory obligations into a better private banking client experience, Bella Lai offered her on the record views.
Why technology will help
“Technology is key when building up a capability for client tax assistance; banks will not want to set up manual processes and build up large expert teams in an area that is not their core business,” she commented. “The good news is that the CRS has forced banks to build up the data warehouses and ETL systems for larger banks and this had allowed all banks to remediate poor quality data so that they are better placed to set up a client tax reporting system. On that note, it is possible to also build upon their teams’ expertise and technology capabilities that are already in place. Much of the progress is in moving away from manual processes and working through new technology, and the overall mission is of course to offer clients a more complete private banking client experience for the day and age we live in.”
Data must be mined and refined
Another guest agreed but noted that data is no use if it is not accurate. “The integrity of the data is central to this,” he said. “And it must be available in a consistent manner for the end reporting to be accurate and useful. That's the biggest challenge that we've faced here in Singapore, essentially ensuring that our processes in terms of the way we book transactions in our systems, how we reflect transactions and so forth, that there is consistency in all of that because if every time you book a transaction, you do it in a different way, and you capture it differently on a tax report it just throws everything out.”
He added that to achieve this is realistically an ongoing battle. “Systems change, new products come on board, processes change, and we are always having to adapt and change things in order to align. People need to be aware that this is the kind of journey that they might be signing themselves up for.”
A European banker speaking from Zurich agreed, noting that from the technical point of view, his bank is working with different platforms. “It is challenging, and the crucial point is the quality of the data that we receive and the interface we have built to these booking centres outside of Europe. Naturally, the processes for the booking of transactions are not the same in each jurisdiction, and we are also working with two core bank systems, then we have to align this all into one stream for the tax reporting information. It remains challenging.”
Asia gradually embraces the rules
Another guest commented that in the Asian region, the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand are the next to join CRS exchange, followed later by Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos. “The Philippines is probably one to watch,” he said, “as they are trying to push through an amnesty bill where they also revoke their banking secrecy, and I can say that virtually every bank represented here today will have clients from there.”
A European private banking head based in Hong Kong offered his view that given the situation of the Asian tax authorities in various countries it will still be some time before this flows down to the individual clients having to report to the tax bodies.
Just a matter of time
“I am not aware of a single Asian client, except for a few who have maybe some US connections and requirements, requesting such data, and perhaps a few European clients based in Asia. Nevertheless, when this does start to happen, and I think it will, it's just a matter of time, it's going to be very complex indeed. I, for one, am really interested in how we as an industry are going to cope with this when it all comes out into the open.”
Turning a challenge to an opportunity
This led naturally to the question of how banks can turn such a difficult, challenging task into an asset in its client relationship management. Bella Lai offered her insights.
“Clients don’t benefit from the considerable build-up banks undertook to comply with the CRS; most banks don’t send data exchanged via CRS to their clients. So, from a client relationship perspective, it’s a lost effort – but it doesn’t have to. The more clients face pressure from tax authorities, the more help they need from their tax advisors but also from their banks; tax advisors need good data to be able to declare an offshore account with all its income and capital gains correctly; this is exactly where banks can help out and position themselves as competent partners, without having themselves to be involved in any tax advisory activity; a good, jurisdiction-specific client tax report is relatively easy to produce based on the investments in data warehouses and tax teams for the CRS, and by using existing technologies.”
Mind the gap
“This,” she added, “will be a competitive advantage in a world where tax is becoming a key part of the bottom line for offshore investors. I have spoken to a European private bank with a branch here Singapore was sharing some concerns around sharing client tax reporting to their HNWI clients. Through that conversation, it became apparent that the lack of exposure of tax requirements in this area has led to the misconception of what you can and couldn’t do for your clients. The gap of knowledge sometimes impairs the desire to embrace new concepts and disallow better client services which we hope through education will allow more tax transparency and benefits in extending these services to your wealthy clients.”
Lai added that it is all ultimately about the authorities seeking to stamp illicit financial flows. “But from the banks’ perspective,” she said, “if they can provide a better experience by actually start on this journey, rather than waiting to hear regulator and authorities at the doors, then they are already beginning to offer better value-added to the customer.”
Fuchs added that in Europe, the banks are already moving beyond simple reporting, offering support such as tax reclaim support or tax simulations. “It does not have to be just a “tax report”, it can be much more than that.,” he observed.
And with that, Lai offered her views on Outsourcing and Managed Services and whether this approach could be applied to tax information reporting.
Outsourcing and managed services?
“Our observation is that many banks wish to keep tax reporting in-house since it involves client-sensitive data,” she reported. “On the other hand, for FIs with smaller numbers of accounts, managed services are the only viable option, since the fixed cost of an in-house solution tends to be high. We also see regulators move into the direction of reporting platforms which are shared by all financial institutions of one market. Seen from these perspectives, tax reporting – CRS as well as client tax assistance – are definitely topics for which a cloud solution can make sense.”
This, she added, then leads to the topic of third-party risk and trust in working with the managed service partner. “Whilst I do not see managed services flying off the shelves as with cloud,” she said, “I am aware of FIs in this region that has started to embrace the concept of cloud and outsourcing. The point to check here when we say outsourcing it is a technology efficiency and not BPO. What remains as a challenge for the industry is often the lack of clarity to what extend can the FI engaged in managed services and cloud for regulatory compliance.”
More communication between FIs and regulators
She said that what she has seen globally and in Asia is that there is more calibration between FIs and the regulators are underway to help mitigate some of these concerns. “I have seen firms in this region who have explored managed services for CRS/QI/regulatory reporting and are encouraged when they engaged with their regulators on this topic who then realised how receptive regulators might be on this topic. I am not saying all regulators have a managed service cloud strategy, but most develop countries do, and I think it is fair to say in this region you can look at Australia, Singapore just to name a few.”
She concluded these views with a general comment that there are many benefits to managed services. “As an example,” she said, “the flexibility to the scaling of capacity to accommodate a surge in workload can be key during unpredictable times. More so now than before to ensure resilience rather than to be forced to seek interim quick fix.”
Working with the industry
Fuchs and Lai then drew the discussion towards a close. Fuchs explained to the assembled experts that BearingPoint is also supporting clients in the region prepare for their CRS audits. “We are helping make sure that the data is good quality, making sure that the data, when submitted, is accepted by the authorities for the first time. These are the key areas that benefit from more technology in general and where banks can improve significantly.”
Leveraging technology to deal with the pressure
He explained European private banks have been under a lot of pressure for the last ten years on undeclared offshore accounts. “They have found ways to assist clients without becoming tax advisors; what clients need is a handy summary of their tax relevant data,” he said. “This will help them greatly in keeping costs for advisors down when filing their taxes; it will reduce individual requests of clients to their RMs and back offices. Further, today there are technical solutions around to even provide country-specific tax reports without banks having to build up in-house expertise.”
Build your expertise…fast
Lai said that although the banks and the wealth industry firms have actually been exposed to CRS for a number of years now, there remains a lack of expertise, both from the compliance side as well as the operational teams. “It is tax, we must acknowledge it is not the most exciting topic,” she said, “so we need to achieve greater focus, greater education and having the right technology definitely helps with data quality, and simplifies these tasks greatly. We know that the authorities in this region are all, from an audit standpoint, very concerned about data quality.”
Making the first steps
“Agreed,” said Fuchs, “the data is already there, the data is being prepared for the authorities, so why not take the next step now and go in the direction of extended client service on the basis of that data. Tax reporting is really just a first step towards comprehensive client service. It seems both logical and very valuable to all parties concerned. Our advice is to understand precisely what is happening and what might happen ahead, and act well in advance, and turn this challenge and the associated cost implications, into a major competitive advantage with your clients.”
Overview of BearingPoint RegTech and its Global Tax Reporting & Compliance Solutions
BearingPoint RegTech is a leading international provider of innovative regulatory and risk technology solutions (RegTech and RiskTech) and services along the Regulatory Value Chain for financial services. Customers representing 6,000 firms worldwide, among them large international banks, a major part of the largest European banks, leading insurance companies as well as supervisory authorities and central banks, trust BearingPoint RegTech’s products and services.
BearingPoint RegTech has more than 25 years of experience in regulatory reporting, risk management, tax reporting and supervisory technology software solutions, and expanded to APAC in 2017, winning clients across the region with their award-winning tax reporting solution, FiTAX, and their client tax reporting solution EasyTax.
As the evolution of the tax transparency regimes has resulted in increased scrutiny by tax authorities worldwide, financial institutions are placing more emphasis on supporting clients with their respective jurisdictional tax reporting obligations.
This has now become a key differentiating factor, particularly for private banks and wealth management firms. BearingPoint RegTech’s tax reporting solutions offer financial institutions the possibility to cover both client tax reporting as well as regulatory tax reporting and facilitate a harmonised data management in this ever-changing regulatory environment.
Team leaders in Asia
There are two heads of the business in the Asia Pacific region. One is Bella Lai, Head of RegTech Asia Pacific. She joined BearingPoint RegTech around two years ago in order to drive the company’s market growth in Asia Pacific. Lai has over 23 years of experience in the financial industry and is at the forefront of regulatory and compliance digital transformation. She started her career as a trader and subsequently moved into myriads of business focused areas with firms like Reuters, SWIFT network and IHS Markit; aiming to bridge the gap between data, regulatory compliance and the financial market ecosystems.
And Stefan Fuchs is Swiss, from Zurich, and is a Manager at BearingPoint RegTech in Singapore. He has been with the firm for more than five years, following a roughly two-year stint at Credit Suisse in Zurich, and moved to Singapore to take up his current role in 2019.
The two key solutions that Lai, Fuchs and colleagues are promoting across the region from the Singapore hub for Asia are FiTAX, fast becoming standard software for financial institutions to generate tax reports for tax authorities around the world, and the EasyTax (International Client Tax Calculation & Reporting) software.
FiTAX goes places
BearingPoint RegTech’s FiTAX is a standard software solution for financial institutions to generate tax reports for tax authorities around the world.
FiTAX is today a sophisticated and holistic 360° tax reporting solution, and market-leading in numerous countries throughout the world. From data acquisition to uploading an encrypted report file directly into the tax authorities’ portals, FiTAX covers more than 130 jurisdictions.
The innovative reporting software fulfils the requirements of financial institutions to cover both the generic, and the country-specific, FATCA reporting requirements, it enables Qualified Intermediaries to prepare and send complete QI reports to the IRS in the US, while the CRS module enables financial institutions across the world to comply with CRS and AEOI. Moreover, the relatively new DAC6/MDR module serves intermediaries such as financial institutions, banks, trustees, asset managers and tax advisors in their drive to meet the new Mandatory Disclosure Rules (MDR) to comply with DAC6/MDR obligations.
FiTAX makes international tax reporting much easier, as it is a standardised and ready-to-use tax reporting software. Each module is independent and can be used as a stand-alone solution but in order to facilitate the implementation process, all reporting modules share the same user interface, the same IT infrastructure, the same access rights management and the same data.
EasyTax - towards a better client experience
EasyTax is BearingPoint RegTech’s standard software solution for producing country-specific tax reports, enables financial institutions to provide clients with a service to ease the burden of their tax filing duties. More than 80 financial institutions worldwide have already selected EasyTax to produce tax reports for their clients. A variety of client types, including private banks, wealth management firms, family offices, retail banks, banking package providers and tax reporting service providers, are currently using the EasyTax solution.
The standard tax reporting solution is built upon a history of more than 15 years of development and support for banks in assisting their clients’ tax filing obligations, and BearingPoint RegTech now offers EasyTax in an unprecedented range of countries.
As to target clients, EasyTax, the client tax reporting software, is more specifically aimed at private banks and wealth managers because this solution is targeted to private clients, i.e. wealthy individuals that have offshore accounts that need help in filing their very complex account structure in their home country according to local regulation.
More from Stefan Fuchs, BearingPoint