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Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA)

What is FATCA?

FATCA is an acronym which stands for the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act.  FATCA was introduced by the United States (US) Congress and aims to improve compliance with US tax laws by US citizens.

The Australian government has signed an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) with the US government with respect to FATCA and the Australian government subsequently passed legislation to impose the obligations within the IGA into Australian law.  As a result, in certain circumstances Suncorp Bank may be required to provide certain information in connection with financial accounts to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), who may in turn pass this information on to the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

FATCA is particularly complex and its application is still not completely certain at this time.  The above high-level summary and the other information found on this FATCA FAQ page is based in part on regulations, official guidance and the IGA, all of which are subject to change or further guidance being issued by the ATO or IRS which may be in a materially different form.  You should consult your own legal or tax adviser to determine how FATCA may impact you.

What is the purpose of FATCA?

FATCA is intended provide the IRS with information in respect to US persons that may be investing and earning income through non-US institutions.

Is Suncorp Bank registered for FATCA?

Suncorp Bank and its related entities are registered with the IRS and have received Global Intermediary Identification Numbers (GIINs). Find out more, including our GIINs.

What is the impact of FATCA?

Suncorp Bank is required to annually report information on financial accounts held directly or indirectly by US Persons.

Suncorp Bank is committed to being fully FATCA compliant. In order to do this and therefore identify our customer’s FATCA status, Suncorp Bank may contact you for further information or documentation. Suncorp Bank may also ask all new to bank customer’s questions concerning their FATCA status.

When did the IGA become effective?

The IGA became effective from 1 July 2014 and may impact all new and existing customers of Suncorp Bank.

Is FATCA a one-off requirement?

No, FATCA is an ongoing compliance obligation for Suncorp Bank. From 1 July 2017 Suncorp Bank’s reporting obligations will be extended under the Common Reporting Standard ("CRS"), which require Suncorp Bank to report to the ATO on accounts held by foreign tax residents. Find out more about CRS.

Who does FATCA apply to?

FATCA will generally impact both personal and business customers who:

  • hold products that could be considered to be deposit products (as we know them in Australia), and
  • are US citizens, US residents or otherwise governed by US tax laws.

However, FATCA is far reaching and other customers may also be impacted. Please read all FAQs if you feel you or your business may be impacted by FATCA.

What if I don’t want to disclose my US tax status?

Suncorp Bank is required to report on its customers on the basis of the information and documentation in its possession. This is also an opportunity for customers to update their personal details held by Suncorp Bank.

If you choose not to provide Suncorp Bank with any information about your US tax status, we may not be able to open your account or may be obliged to report your account information to the ATO. 

Is Suncorp Bank the only bank to be affected by FATCA?

No, all Australian Banks and some other Financial Institutions are required to comply with FATCA. However, each institution’s approach to adopting and complying with the requirements of FATCA may differ.

Why has my other bank asked me to complete different documentation?

You may be asked for different documentation from Suncorp Bank than from another bank. The manner in which other banks and/or other financial institutions request customers to confirm their tax status for FATCA may vary.  

What do I need to do if I am an affected customer?

Suncorp Bank is in the process of reviewing the impact of FATCA for our customers and will correspond to affected customers in due course.

Please note that you may receive more than one request for documentation if you have multiple relationships with different members of the Suncorp Group. It is important that you respond to all requests, even if you believe you have already supplied the requested information.

What is a Taxpayer Identification Number (“TIN”)?

A TIN is an identifying number used by the IRS for tax purposes in the US.

What information is passed on to the ATO?

Suncorp Bank may need to pass on personal and financial information to the ATO including account name, address, US taxpayer identification number, account number, account balance and all amounts paid into the account during the year.

The information which Suncorp Bank reports to the ATO is determined in accordance with the requirements of the IGA.

What other parties will receive my information?

The ATO will receive your personal information and then pass this information to the IRS in accordance with the relevant laws.

Does FATCA only apply to new accounts?

No, FATCA may impact all customers. All new and some pre-existing customers will be required to provide information to Suncorp Bank concerning their US tax status.

Will Suncorp Bank stop accepting US customers due to FATCA?

US Citizens and residents remain welcome to open accounts with Suncorp Bank provided they are willing to comply with and disclose the relevant information required by the FATCA reporting requirements.

Who can I contact for more information about FATCA?

If you are unsure, you should seek advice from a lawyer or tax adviser.  Suncorp Bank cannot provide you with any legal or tax advice.

Please refer to the Suncorp Group Privacy Statement. If you need further assistance, please call Suncorp Bank on 13 11 55.