Barbados Welcomes Weekly Suriname Flight
Travel between Barbados, Suriname and Guyana should now be easier, thanks to the new Fly All Ways service out of the Johan Adolf Pengel International Airport in Paramaribo, Suriname. The Fly AllWays inaugural flight touched down at the Grantley Adams International Airport last week and is expected to provide a weekly service from Suriname to Barbados on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. The service includes same day connections and reverse rotations, as well as one scheduled stop in Georgetown, Guyana. Tourism officials, led by Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and International Transport, Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner, were on hand to welcome the Fokker F70 flight, which was flown by Captain Nelson Seferina. During the official welcome ceremony, Senator Garner pointed out that the inaugural flight marked the first time in 10 years that Barbados had an air service out of Suriname. She added that the flight reintroduced a jet service between Barbados and Guyana for the first time since REDjet, and provided another option for those travelling to South America from within the Eastern Caribbean. “Fly AllWays will now provide greater opportunities to Barbados and, by extension, the region, and we look forward to what we expect will be a long and mutually beneficial relationship,” the Parliamentary Secretary stated. Chief Executive Officer of Fly AllWays, Amichand Jhauw, was among officials making the inaugural flight. He noted that the new airlift would be of great benefit to all of the countries using the service. “We don’t have ferries, trains or cruises. The only way to Barbados is via air and we are extremely glad to be able to provide direct airlift from Guyana to Barbados via Fly AllWays,” he said. Other officials on board the flight were Guyana’s Director of Tourism, Indranauth Haralsingh; that country’s Minister of Public Infrastructure, Annette Ferguson, and Minister of Tourism, Kemmie Williams; and Suriname’s Director of Transport Communication and Tourism, Dr. Joyce Blokland-Wijnstein. Senior officials of the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. were also at the airport to welcome the inaugural flight. These included Chairman, Alvin Jemmott; Senior Director, Support Service, Neville Boxill; Director, Caribbean and Latin America, Vicky Chandler; and Director, Marketing, Robert Chase. Article compliments BGIS.
Costa Rica and Germany sign agreement to end double taxation
Last Wednesday August 10 at Germany’s Federal Foreign Ministry Office, Costa Rica and Germany celebrated the ratification of the establishment of legal instruments as part of an agreement to eliminate double taxation of income and assets, stated Costa Rica’s Ministry of Foreign Relations in a press release Friday, reports the Costa Rica Star. The agreement aims to provide clear guidelines for both countries that will allow for the elimination of double taxation where such situations might exist. This would apply to individual’s income taxes, real estate taxes; and vehicle, boat and aircraft ownership taxes. The agreement will enter into effect starting January 1, 2017. This agreement also provides enhanced mechanisms for both countries to detect fiscal evasion, as well as allows them to link and coordinate their taxation systems, and have a more effective exchange of information. Most importantly, the agreement allows for a strengthening of the two country’s economic relations, stated the ministry. The valuable legal agreement offers Costa Rica enhanced judicial security, and with it, a greater opportunity for trade and for investment by Europe’s strongest national economy, said ministry officials. Costa Rica’s Legislative Assembly voted in favour of the agreement, which was a long time in the making, this year on February 2. The instruments were signed by Carlos Lizano, interim Business Attache for the Costa Rican Embassy in Germany, who was accompanied by Giancarlo Luconi Coen, Costa Rican Ambassador to Germany, and by Dr. Götz Schmidt-Bremme, Germany’s Legal and Consular Affairs Director for the Federal Foreign Ministry Office, who represented Germany in signing the legal instruments. Article compliments IFC Review.
Many reporting entities unprepared For FATCA, CRS
New research shows that financial institutions are generally confident about meeting existing and incoming automatic exchange of information obligations, reports Tax News. However, the study also found that a significant proportion of the industry is facing higher costs and risking fines by being under-prepared for new compliance requirements. The research by Aberdeen Group and commissioned by Sovos Compliance, the tax compliance and reporting software firm, shows that there is “a large gap in preparedness” for reporting requirements under the OECD Common Reporting Standard (CRS), the United States Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), and the United Kingdom’s equivalent regime, commonly referred to as CDOT. Worryingly, many institutions, Sovos said, related high rates of inaccurate filings and excessive compliance costs, and expressed fears of significant business impacts, including reputational damage and falling customer numbers. In a survey of 100 leaders of financial institutions subject to the CRS that is being rolled out globally through the end of 2018, 64 percent of respondents said their organization is “significantly prepared” to cope with the demands of automatic EoI. However, the report showed that less than half of filings under FATCA, which has been effective for more than two years and upon which the CRS is substantially based, are accurate and complete. “This research shows that financial institutions are far less prepared for FATCA, CRS, and CDOT compliance than they feel and are putting themselves at risk of significant impact to their profit margins due to fines and the costs of compliance support,” said Nick Castellina, Vice President and Research Group Director of Business Planning and Execution at the Aberdeen Group. According to the survey’s findings, the key to accurate AEoI reporting is having an appropriate information system in place, with successful institutions much more likely to have a single centralized information retrieval and reporting platform than separate software programs for each AEoI requirement. “We found that institutions that have implemented Automatic Exchange of Information solutions are far more prepared to handle compliance,” Castellina noted. “In fact, top performers are currently 38 percent more likely to have a centralized AEoI solution. Institutions with these solutions are more likely to be able to automate the cleansing, consolidation, and reconciliation of essential data for filing, ensuring efficiency, accuracy, and compliance.” Institutions with more effective AEoI systems are also more likely to enjoy lower compliance costs than their less prepared competitors, according to the study, with the most successful firms seeing a 75 percent lower increase in costs than their peers. Nevertheless, Savos said that the level of operational costs, which has risen by as much as 20 percent, is “troubling.” Moreover, survey respondents have had six percent of their gross proceeds withheld due to non-compliance with FATCA. Consequently, half the respondents plan to implement a centralized AEoI platform to connect data from multiple systems in one place to limit costs and compliance risks. “The nature of the problem with AEOI is that it’s changing dynamically,” said Andy Hovancik, CEO at Sovos Compliance. “It’s no longer a matter of simply automating the reporting. Financial institutions must deal with data from multiple systems spread across dozens of regions around the world.” Article compliments IFC Review.