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Common Reporting Standard (CRS) and Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA)
We recommend you contact a professional independent tax advisor to discuss your personal tax situation, to help you understand the international regulations and ensure you comply with them. We do not offer tax advice and are unable to help you decide your tax status or guide you with filling in forms. We can however provide some general explanatory information which we have included below.
What is the CRS?
The CRS was approved by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in 2014, and is a single global standard on Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI). The aim of CRS is to have a globally co-ordinated approach to the disclosure of financial account information in respect of individuals and organisations, in order to combat tax avoidance. The CRS imposes on all financial institutions in participating jurisdictions, duties of identification, classification and reporting of accounts held by reportable customers to its local country tax authorities. There will then be a reciprocal automated exchange of this information between tax authorities in participating jurisdictions. Section 891F of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 implements CRS into Irish Law.
What is FATCA?
The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) is a piece of U.S. legislation. Its aim is to combat tax evasion by U.S. citizens and residents who hold assets off-shore by improving the exchange of information between the U.S. and foreign tax authorities. In December 2012, the Irish Government signed an agreement with the U.S. in relation to the implementation of FATCA in Ireland. The agreement provides for the automatic reporting and exchange of information on an annual basis in relation to Financial Accounts held in Irish Financial Institutions by U.S. persons, and the reciprocal exchange of information regarding U.S. Financial Accounts held by Irish residents. Section 891E of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 implements FATCA into Irish Law.
What is the impact of FATCA and CRS on You?
When opening personal accounts, we have a legal requirement to obtain a CRS and FATCA Self-Certification from the customer as part of the account opening documentation. This Self-Certification is required to (a) determine whether the account holder is a U.S. Citizen, (b) determine the account holders’ residence(s) for tax purposes, and (c) obtain the applicable foreign Tax Identification Number (TIN) if appropriate. We must also confirm the reasonableness of the Self-Certification based on information obtained in connection with the account opening. If customers do not provide all the information requested, we will not be able to proceed with opening the new account until the relevant information is provided.
Where there is a conflict between the tax certification and other customer information that we have on file, we are obliged to request customers to provide us with a reasonable explanation and documentation supporting the reasonableness of the tax certification provided. An example of such a conflict would be if a customer declares that they are tax resident in the Republic of Ireland but they have a UK mailing address
The explanation required will depend on the specific circumstances of each customer. It should explain why the customer is satisfied that they are tax resident in the jurisdiction provided in the tax certification completed at account opening. It should also include a detailed explanation as to why there is a difference between the jurisdiction of tax residence included on the tax certification and other information held by us.
If we take an example of a customer who certifies that they are tax resident in the Republic of Ireland but who has a Spanish mailing address, a reasonable explanation might be that they are living and working in Ireland but continue to have their post sent to their parents address in Spain.
If a personal customer is a U.S. Citizen and/or has a tax residence outside of the Republic of Ireland and does not provide us with a foreign TIN*, we cannot open the account. (*except in limited circumstances e.g. where foreign country does not issue TIN)
We are obliged to submit an annual return to the Irish Revenue providing information on reportable customers (e.g. U.S. Citizens and other customers who are tax resident outside of the Republic of Ireland). The Irish Revenue will then forward this information to the relevant participating jurisdiction.
Under the CRS and FATCA, we are required to undertake certain identification and due diligence on our customers. We may contact customers requesting that they complete a CRS and FATCA Self-Certification form where we do not hold the necessary information, or, where there is a change in circumstances on a customer’s account(s) which may indicate a change in their status for CRS and/or FATCA eg. a change of address from one country to another. If the customer does not provide us with a completed Self-Certification we may be required under law to provide some of their details to the Irish Revenue as someone who has not replied. Providing a completed Self-Certification form will help us to decide if we need to share your information or take you out of scope of reporting.
Who will be reported?
U.S. citizens and persons who are resident outside of the Republic of Ireland for tax purposes are reportable.
What information will be reported?
If a customer has a tax residency outside of the Republic of Ireland or are a U.S. Citizen, we are required to report the following details in respect of all accounts that a customer holds with us to the Irish Revenue (where relevant): name, address, date of birth, place of birth, account number, U.S. citizenship and/or jurisdiction(s) of residence, Tax Identification Number (TIN), account balance or value at year end and payments made with respect to the account during the calendar year. Irish Revenue will report this data to the tax authorities of each participating country where the customer is tax resident or to the IRS in the case of U.S. citizens.
Information on Tax Residency and Citizenship
Tax residence relates to where you live and pay tax and citizenship relates to where you were born or the country of your passport. You can be tax resident in one country and a citizen of another. Each country has its own rules on tax residence.
A person coming to live in the Republic of Ireland or who are returning to the Republic of Ireland after living abroad for a number of years may not be tax resident in the Republic of Ireland from the date of arrival and may continue to be tax resident in the country in which they previously resided. Further information on tax residency and the implications for people coming or returning to live in the Republic of Ireland is available on the Irish Revenue website.
Further information on U.S. Citizenship and tax residence is available here.
Further information on tax residency of jurisdictions is available here.
What is a TIN?
A Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) is a generic term for the unique reference number held for an individual or entity issued by the relevant Tax Authorities. For example this might be your National Insurance Number or Social Security Number for individuals. For entities, this might be your Employer Identification Number, Unique Business Reference or Corporation Tax Number. Other examples can be found via the Tax Identification Numbers (TINs) webpage.
Unable to provide a U.S. TIN
A person born in the U.S. is regarded as a U.S. citizen. Where a customer is a U.S. citizen we cannot proceed to open the account where the customer is unable to provide us with a U.S. TIN. Where a customer advises that they have never received a U.S. TIN, in order to open an account, the customer must apply for a U.S. TIN, or, renounce their U.S. Citizenship. In order to apply for a U.S. TIN, U.S. citizens must complete an application form and provide supporting documentation and present themselves in person at the U.S Embassy in Dublin. This link gives information on the process.
Information on renouncing your U.S. citizenship through the U.S. Embassy in Dublin is available here.
How frequently will you have to provide information for FATCA / CRS purposes?
Customers should promptly advise us of any change in their tax residency status. To the extent that there is a change in the account information of a customer, we may be required to contact them to obtain additional information so that we can update their account classification for FATCA / CRS.
When might you have to recomplete a Self-Certification form?
You can find more information on Revenue.ie
Tax Advice and Disclaimer
We recommend you contact a professional and independent tax advisor to discuss your tax situation, to help you understand the international regulations and ensure you comply with them.
Please note that the information contained in this document is for information purposes only and is intended for general distribution. Please note that KBC does not offer taxation advice and will not be liable for any errors contained in Self-Certification forms. If you have any questions on CRS/FATCA you should contact your tax advisor or the Irish Revenue.