The deadline for financial institutions to submit third-party data to the South African Revenue Service (SARS) has come and gone. This is an international requirement that could ultimately affect the fees South African consumers of financial products pay. Banks, long-term insurers, asset managers and others had to exchange financial account information in terms of the common reporting standard (CRS) for the first time in 2017. The deadline to do so was May 31. The common reporting standard was developed by the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) and endorsed by the Group of 20 (G-20) finance ministers. It is the global standard for the automatic exchange of financial account information. The intention is to facilitate greater tax transparency, help tax authorities tackle base erosion, profit shifting (mainly by multinational companies) and tax evasion, and improve tax compliance. Anne Casey, chair of the international tax committee of the South African Inst...

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