Singapore, 18 January: The educational arm of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the ICC Academy, in partnership with BearingPoint RegTech, has launched a professional certificate programme on the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) – an international regime for automatic exchange of financial accounts to combat offshore tax evasion. Designed for compliance, finance and tax professionals working in financial institutions, the advanced-level programme provides in-depth understanding of the Common Reporting Standard.
Commenting on launch of the new programme, ICC Academy General Manager Daniel Kok said: “We are delighted to launch our Certificate on the Common Reporting Standard (CCRS), which aims to help professionals build a complete understanding of how to incorporate the CRS as part of a strategic compliance operating model.
“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, governments in various countries are facing an economic downturn, with experts calling for a more aggressive tax response to the crisis. As such, it is crucial for compliance and tax professionals working in financial institutions to understand the rationale, key requirements and intention of the global CRS initiative – which can reduce and eliminate secretive offshore tax avoidance schemes.”
More than ever, the pandemic has not only highlighted the global reliance on digital and pharmaceutical behemoths, while also spotlighting the tax behaviour of individuals and companies. A case in point is the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ)-led Panama Papers investigation, which exposed the offshore financial dealings of politicians, companies and criminals, and helped governments recover at least US$1.2 billion.
To counter such practices and level the playing field, the CRS regime was developed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), together with G20 countries. The aim is to equip tax authorities of various countries with an effective tool to facilitate automatic exchange of information on financial accounts, thereby providing information on their residents’ wealth held abroad and tackling offshore tax evasion.
Also commenting on the new certification Management Board Member of BearingPoint RegTech Ronald Frey said: “In spite of having an international reporting standard in hand, industry practitioners working in banks often face hurdles while implementing the CRS. Lack of client awareness on relatively new tax transparency regulations, difficulty in validating reasonableness of tax status claims and annual reporting obligations are some of the key issues that front office, compliance and operational staff in banks face on a day-to-day basis. This professional certificate on CRS targets each of these pain points to better educate staff in financial institutions on how to navigate the tax transparency regimes.”
Divided into six lessons, the four-hour interactive course covers all aspects of the CRS regime, from intention of the automatic exchange of information and reporting requirements to feed due diligence procedures, to strategies for remediation of pre-existing accounts and assigning tax status to accounts while monitoring change in circumstances. The lessons focus on best practices of implementing CRS requirements together with broader Anti-Money Laundering and Know-Your-Customer (AML/KYC) compliance practices.
“The CRS is here to stay, and we are committed to helping industry professionals increase their knowledge and competence in this area. We believe that this training will prove very useful for financial institutions looking to develop and maintain internal expertise on the CRS, as well as to build a long-term compliance strategy. We recommend a holistic approach that leverages the synergies of multiple tax-transparency regimes with their respective client due-diligence requirement,” added Mr Frey.
The curriculum will be delivered via the ICC Academy’s innovative digital platform, which can be used on multiple devices. The recently upgraded platform offers intuitive navigation and enhanced features, such as a study guide, an integrated and searchable course glossary, a quiz review dashboard for assessment tracking, achievement badges, automatic bookmarking and pre-assessment games.
Learn more about the Certificate on the Common Reporting Standard (CCRS) and try our interactive demo. The certification is available for US$350 and can be purchased today.
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