Learn more about our reporting obligations under Common Reporting Standards (CRS) and United States’ Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).
As a financial institution, we have certain obligations to ask all customers additional questions regarding their tax residency.
The Common Reporting Standard (CRS) is legislation developed in response to the G20 request and approved by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). CRS is a global standard for the automatic exchange of financial account information. It requires financial institutions (FIs) to report accounts held directly or indirectly by foreign tax residents to their local tax authority and requires tax authorities to exchange the account information. The goal of CRS is to limit the opportunities for taxpayers to circumvent reporting.
CRS determines how Financial Institutions are to collect and report financial account information (tax information) of foreign tax residents to the Australian Tax Office (ATO). This means that BNK, Better Choice and other financial institutions need to report to the ATO any depository accounts held by individual and business customers who are foreign tax residents. The ATO will then exchange this information with the relevant country’s tax authority.
This obligation requires that financial institutions ask all customers additional questions regarding their tax residency.
Additional Obligations for United States
From 1 July 2014 Better Choice, as a division of BNK Banking Corporation was required by law to identify and report certain account information to the Australian tax office (ATO). This obligation stemmed from changes to the Taxation Administration 1953 (Cth) in response to the United States’ Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and the agreement between Australian and the United States to collect and report information of US tax residents/citizens who pay tax, to the Australian Tax Office. Under FATCA we are required to determine whether accounts are reportable by asking individual and business customers about their foreign tax status.
What is a tax resident?
Each country has different rules which govern tax residency. For individuals, these rules are often based on the amount of time you spend in that country or whether your home is there.
I’m only a tax resident in Australia, what do I need to do?
You will still be required to confirm your tax residency. It is optional to provide your Australian Tax File Number (TFN)
I’m an existing customer, do I need to do anything?
If you have an existing account, we 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 CRS laws. We may also contact you if the information indicates that you could be a foreign tax resident.
What happens when I open a new account?
If you open a new account, the laws in certain countries may require we ask you to provide various information such as your country(ies) of tax residence(s), tax identification number(s), providing certifications, 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.
If you open a new account on behalf of a legal entity or arrangement (such as a trust or partnership), the laws in certain countries may require we ask you to provide various information, certifications, forms and/or documents (within certain timeframes) about:
I’m not sure what to declare, what should I do?
If you are unsure about your tax residency, you should seek advice from a professional tax adviser. You can also visit the ATO website – ato.gov.au/crs
The tax residency rules provided to the OECD by jurisdictions committed to automatically exchanging information under CRS can be found on the OECD page for Rules Governing Tax Residence. If your country is not listed on the OECD page, you can refer directly to the tax authority site for your country.
I’m an overseas student, what do I need to do?
All customers have to provide their tax residency information when opening an account.
Do children under 14 years of age need to do anything?
Where the child is the account holder, the child or their authorised representative must provide the child’s tax residency information. Just because the account holder is a minor does not exempt them from answering the CRS questions.