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Wednesday , December 11 2019

Tax returns to reveal dual nationality of Kuwaiti citizens or expats – report

A colorful sunset over the suburbs of Kuwait. (Jaber Abdulkhaleq — KUNA)

KUWAIT CITY, Jan 14: Kuwait’s move to implement the requirements of the International Joint Reporting determined in CRS, and the consequent provision of legal cover to allow the secrecy of its banking and investment data, is not only of concern to expatriates, because “The agreement will open a new window and disclose the names of those who hold dual nationality,” reports Al-Rai daily.

Reliable sources told the daily that, “like the obligation required by FATCA to identify Americans who hold accounts outside the United States, all financial institution customers, whether banks or those with investment accounts in companies, portfolios or funds, will have their other nationalities identified irrespective whether they hold additional passports or nationalities — European, Asian or Arab.

What is more controversial in this regard is that, unlike the US citizenship, many Kuwaitis hold the nationalities of other countries, according to recent reports and information which were published by the Al-Rai daily, including those holding the Maltese passports (the Al-Rai daily had reported earlier that many citizens of Gulf countries including Kuwait have purchased the Maltese passport). The sources said that “the high proportion of countries which have signed the joint reporting agreement, including Gulf countries increases the expectations that many of the Kuwaitis will be under pressure to disclose their other nationality (if they hold one) whether European or Arab or even Asian.

The sources pointed out that “banks or investment companies are not responsible for the data recorded by the client in his tax returns”, and explained that “a citizen who provides false information will be subjected to the laws of the concerned country, in relation to its procedures with tax evaders”.

As for the responsibility of the Ministry of Finance to deal legally with citizens who carry additional citizenship, the sources explained that “the disclosure of dual nationality is not within its competence, and the Ministry is not required to provide the Ministry of Interior statements of any dual nationality unless the Council of Ministers requests it. The Ministry acts as the informant on its own initiative.

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