Czech Republic: Declarations of Beneficial Ownership no longer valid until revoked

03.09.2018

Clearstream Banking1 informs customers that following recent discussions between the Czech Tax Office and the Czech National Bank (CNB) in its role of paying agent for Czech government bonds and T-bills, our local depository UniCredit Bank Czech Republic and Slovakia (UniCredit) has announced that effective

immediately

CNB will no longer accept Declarations of Beneficial Ownership (DBOs) as one-time certificates.

Background

The DBOs are documents certifying the name and status of the final beneficial owner.  They must be provided by all beneficial owners wishing to obtain a reduction or exemption of Czech withholding tax through the relief at source, quick refund or standard refund processes. Three types of DBOs are necessary according to the status of the beneficial owner:

Until now, the DBOs were considered as valid until revoked and had to be provided once before the first relief at source or quick refund application or before the first applicable standard refund deadline.

The CNB decided that DBOs will now be required for each income or redemption payment and should be issued after the record date. Alternatively, custodians could provide a declaration that all valid documents, including the DBO, are in place and will be delivered upon request of the CNB or tax office. This alternative solution is the one chosen by UniCredit.

Note: This change is the result of a new approach of CNB followed by the Czech custodians, including UniCredit, and applicable to all types of income payments (interests, dividends and redemptions) even those for which CNB is not paying agent.

Impact on customers

Based on decision taken by UniCredit to apply the alternative solution, including to the DBOs provided to paying agents different from CNB, customers will not be required to provide a new DBO before each income or redemption payment.

However, the DBOs will be given a validity of three years with the obligation to renew them passed the three years deadline.

UniCredit have reviewed the validity this year meaning that the DBOs issued in 2015 or earlier should be renewed by the end 2018. For the ones issued as of 2016, the validity will end after three years (example: in 2019 when issued in 2016, in 2020 when issued in 2017, etc.)

The content of the DBOs remains unchanged.

Validity deadline of the DBOs and renewal

The validity deadlines of the current DBOs apply as follows

Year of Issuance Expiry date
2015 or earlier31 December 2018
201631 December 2019
201731 December 2020
201831 December 2021

Renewal process

Customers are recommended to start the renewal process as soon as possible and in any case before the first income payment to which it applies.

After the expiration date of the DBOs, first one being on 31 December 2018, and in the absence of a valid renewed DBO the maximum tax rate of 35% will be applied. 

Please refer to our Market Taxation Guide – Czech Republic for further information concerning the tax forms to use.  

Further information

For further information, please contact the Clearstream Banking Tax Help Desk, Clearstream Banking Client Services or your Relationship Officer.

______________________________________________________ 

1. Clearstream Banking refers collectively to Clearstream Banking S.A., registered office at 42, avenue John F. Kennedy, L-1855 Luxembourg, and registered with the Luxembourg Trade and Companies Register under number B-9248, and Clearstream Banking AG (for Clearstream Banking AG customers using Creation Accounts), registered office at 61, Mergenthalerallee, 65760 Eschborn, Germany and registered in Register B of the Amtsgericht Frankfurt am Main, Germany under number HRB 7500.