What is the Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI)?
AEOI is the exchange of financial account information between Tax Authorities in relevant countries. The law requires this information to be collected by Financial Institutions around the world for reporting to Tax Authorities.
AEOI is made up of two information sharing frameworks:
- The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) which is a US framework to identify US citizens and tax residents with accounts in foreign (non-US) jurisdictions. This has been in place since 1 July 2014; and
- The Common Reporting Standard (CRS) under which details of foreign tax resident accounts are shared between participating Governments. Phased implementation of this regime commenced 1 January 2016
Under the AEOI, all Financial Institutions (including ANZ) must identify accounts held by customers who are foreign tax residents or entities connected to foreign tax residents. Financial Institutions must report these to the relevant Tax Authority who will then automatically exchange the account information with the relevant foreign Tax Authority(ies).
Governments (in countries committed to the AEOI) have enacted domestic laws to require Financial Institutions to collect and report this information and have entered into international agreements to exchange the information with other Governments.
What does this mean for customers?
This means customers will be asked questions about their Tax Residency when they open a financial account with a Financial Institution (and in some other scenarios).
Existing Individual/Entity Customers:
If you have an existing account, ANZ may contact you to confirm your country(ies) of tax residence and request additional information, forms and/or documents. This is to establish whether you have accounts that need to be reported under the FATCA or the CRS laws. We may also contact you if information indicates that you could be a foreign tax resident.
New Individual Customers:
If you open a new account, the law requires ANZ to ask you to certify your country(ies) of tax residence(s). We may ask you to provide information, forms and/or documentation.
If you are a foreign tax resident, you need to provide your taxpayer identification number (TIN) or equivalent number used to identify you to the Tax Authority in the foreign country. If you don’t provide a TIN, you will be asked to provide a reason for not doing so.
New Entity Customers: (such as companies, trusts, partnerships, associations etc.)
If you are opening a new account on behalf of a legal entity or arrangement (such as a trust or partnership), the law requires ANZ to obtain information, forms and/or documents from you (within certain timeframes) about:
- The tax residence(s) of the entity.
- The nature of the entity’s business.
- In some circumstances, the individuals who control the entity or have specific connections to the entity. This includes their tax residence(s), TIN(s) and other required information.
These requirements ensure all Financial Institutions comply with their obligations under the FATCA and the CRS laws.
What do I need to do?
It is important that you respond if ANZ contacts you requesting information. If you don’t respond, the law may require ANZ to treat you as if you are a tax resident in a foreign country, even if you are not. If you intend to open a new account and do not provide the relevant details, ANZ may not be allowed (by law) to open the account for you.
You should respond truthfully and seek advice from an independent tax agent or advisor where required when you state your tax residence(s) or provide other information to ANZ. Penalties may apply (under local and other law) if you provide false or misleading information.
What happens with my account information?
If you are a foreign tax resident (under the AEOI laws), your identity details, account balance and other information will be provided to the relevant Tax Authority. The Tax Authority also receives your information if you have not responded to requests for further information as a result of being identified as a possible foreign tax resident. The Tax Authority then exchanges the information with the Tax Authority in the country(ies) of your tax residence(s).
All information reported under these laws is handled in the strictest confidence by the Tax Authorities and is protected by national laws, administrative practices, and binding international treaties. This is in the same way that all taxpayer information is generally handled.
This information is to help you understand your obligations under the AEOI laws. It does not constitute any form of advice, has not taken into account your personal circumstances and is general in nature. If you have questions about your tax residence status, you should contact your relevant tax authority (in your country of residence), as applicable, or seek advice from an independent tax agent or advisor.