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.
- 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 Insignia Financial Ltd.) 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).
Local laws (in some countries such as New Zealand, the Cayman Islands, etc) may prohibit Insignia Financial Ltd from opening accounts and/or require Insignia Financial Ltd to freeze or close existing account(s).
Existing Individual/Entity Customers
If you have an existing account, Insignia Financial Ltd 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 information indicates that you could be a foreign tax resident.
New Individual Customers
If you open a new account, the laws in certain countries may require Insignia Financial Ltd to 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.
New Entity Customers (such as companies, trusts, partnerships, associations etc.)
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 Insignia Financial Ltd to ask you to provide various information, certifications, forms and/or documents (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 CRS laws and guidance.
What do I need to do?
If Insignia Financial Ltd requests information from you, it is important that you respond as soon as possible. If you don’t provide the required information within a reasonable time frame, the law may require Insignia Financial Ltd to do one or more of the following:
- Treat you as if you are a tax resident in a foreign country (although you may not be a foreign tax resident).
- Report your details (or the fact that you did not provide the requested details) to the relevant tax authority(ies).
- Not open your new account.
- Freeze or close your existing account(s).
Please ensure that you provide true, complete, and accurate information to Insignia Financial Ltd and seek advice from an independent advisor where required to assist with your Tax Residency or other relevant information. Please note that penalties may apply under local and other laws if you provide false or misleading information.
Self-certification for AEOI (forms)
Insignia Financial Ltd collects tax residency information in various ways, often via an account opening or on-boarding form.
If you are unsure of your tax obligations, please seek independent professional advice.
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(ies). The Tax Authority(ies) 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 the same way that all taxpayer information is generally handled.
This information is to help you understand your obligations under the AEOI laws. The information provided is general in nature and it does not constitute advice and has not taken into account your personal circumstances. If you have questions about your tax residence status, you should contact your relevant tax authority (in your country of residence) or seek advice from an independent licensed tax agent or advisor to ensure your personal circumstances are taken into account.
If you are unsure of your tax residency, 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, please refer directly to the tax authority site for your country.
For general information about AEOI, please refer to the local tax authority websites listed in the table below.
If you were born in the U.S., are a U.S. Citizen and/or hold a U.S. Passport
If you are unsure of your tax residency status for the United States of America, please refer to further information available in the Joint Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) FAQ as published by the relevant U.S. government authorities.