HMRC hosted another Charities CRS working group on 12 October. The following issues were on the agenda for discussion:
Human Rights Guidance
- HMRC has been collecting examples from the working group to increase transparency and address concerns where the exchange of information could put individuals at risk. Its new guidance has addressed some of these concerns.
- It was pointed out that HMRC has highlighted the absolute rights within the Human Rights Act, but it does not refer to the qualified rights of individuals, and these should also be considered.
- Some discretionary management scenarios were discussed by the group and it was suggested that HMRC provide examples of these in its guidance.
HMRC noted that it was difficult to provide examples to cover every scenario, because the facts of each individual case will determine whether or not it falls within the scope of CRS. However, it agreed to continue to refine its guidance where possible.
- HMRC confirmed that simply setting parameters for an investment manager (for example that he/she may only invest in ethical investments) does not mean that discretion is retained by charity trustees.
- HMRC will be producing a webinar for charities setting out a basic introduction to CRS, which should be available before December.
- HMRC was asked to produce a proforma for charities to use when completing the self-certification process. It advised that while this was not possible, some examples on the OECD automatic exchange portal might be useful instead.
- HMRC has been hosting some CRS Charity events in conjunction with STEP. If you would like more information please contact [email protected]
STEP will continue to attend the periodic working group to discuss ongoing technical issues with HMRC. The next meeting is in January.