If you've received a letter from your bank requesting that you complete a Tax Information Form, chances are there's a very good reason for their correspondence.
Ignoring this request is never advised and the sooner you act, the better.
In this article, we cover a number of the most common questions we are frequently asked about Tax Information Forms and what you should do in the event of receiving one.
Read on to find out more or click a jump menu below to skip to a question that relates to you.
- What is FATCA & CRS?
- What is a Tax Identification Number (TIN)?
- I'm Unsure How to Complete the Tax Information Form. Can I Ask the Bank for Advice?
- What are Self-Certifying Documents?
- Do I Need to Complete a Tax Information Form If I Don't Live in the UK or US?
- What's the Timeframe for Completion of the Bank Tax Information Forms?
- What's My Country of Domicile?
- I'm Tax Resident in More Than One Country. Do I Include Each Country on the Form?
- If I Open an Account With a Different Bank, Surely I Won't Have to Complete a Tax Identification Form?
- Speak to Us or Comment!
What is FATCA & CRS?
FATCA stands for the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act and is a US legal and regulatory requirement designed to curtail tax evasion.
The legislation was introduced to ensure US taxpayers pay US tax and declare their worldwide income to Inland Revenue.
The Common Reporting Standard (CRS) was developed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to facilitate the automatic exchange of information.
CRS, however, is on a much bigger scale, there are currently 148 jurisdictions committed to its implementation.
Banks and other financial organisations are required to collect information about the tax residency of their account clients in preparation for any request for such details by the tax authorities.
As a result of the above it is now a legal requirement to complete a Tax Information form.
What is a Tax Identification Number (TIN)?
This is your unique number issued in your country of origin to you as a tax payer.
Some jurisdictions however, do not issue specific tax numbers. UK residents for example can use their National Insurance number.
I'm Unsure How to Complete the Tax Information Form. Can I Ask the Bank for Advice?
Banks are unable to advise on how to complete the Tax Information Form.
It would be advisable to consult with your Tax Adviser or Marine Accounts.
What are Self-Certifying Documents?
This is the Tax Information form.
By completing and signing the form, you are certifying that the information you have provided on the Tax Information form is correct and applicable to your circumstances.
Do I Need to Complete a Tax Information Form If I Don't Live in the UK or US?
Yes, in line with FATCA regulations, which came into effect on 1 July 2014 and the implementation of CRS, which came into effect on 1 Jan 2016.
Banks are required to capture Tax Identification Numbers for all clients.
What's the Timeframe for Completion of the Bank Tax Information Forms?
If your bank doesn’t receive your Tax Information form you will be sent a reminder.
Failure to produce the documentation that they require could see your account closed.
It is strongly advisable that you provide your bank with an accurate, signed Tax Information form to ensure correct reporting, which will avoid complications between you and the relevant tax authority.
Failure to respond to such a request can result in your account being frozen or even closed completely.
What's My Country of Domicile?
This is usually the country in which you were born and the country you have a valid passport.
I'm Tax Resident in More Than One Country. Do I Include Each Country on the Form?
Yes, you will need to write each country of tax residence on the form as well as the TIN (if applicable).
If I Open an Account With a Different Bank, Surely I Won't Have to Complete a Tax Identification Form?
All Banks that hail from the 148 countries that have signed up to CRS & FATCA, are required to keep on record details of where their clients are tax resident.
Speak to Us or Comment!
If you have concerns about completing a Tax Information Form received from your bank, we'd like to hear from you. Get in touch with us today or leave a comment in the section below.
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Any advice in this publication is not intended or written by Marine Accounts to be used by a client or entity for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties that may be imposed on any taxpayer or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party matters herein.