Foreign Tax Liability
Why do we collect foreign tax information?
Suncorp Bank is required to collect information from our customers about their foreign tax residency status in order to comply with Australian laws which implement the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and the Common Reporting Standard (CRS).
The CRS and FATCA require Financial Institutions (including Suncorp Bank) to collect foreign tax residency information from their customers. Suncorp Bank may then be required to provide that information to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) together with certain other customer and account information. The ATO will automatically exchange this information with the relevant foreign tax authority. In parallel, the ATO will receive information on Australian residents with accounts in other jurisdictions.
The purpose of the CRS and FATCA is to assist tax authorities across the world to ensure compliance with their own local tax laws, minimise offshore tax evasion and ensure everyone pays the correct amount of tax within the relevant jurisdiction.
What is FATCA?
FATCA was introduced by the United States (U.S.) Congress and aims to improve compliance with U.S. tax laws by U.S. citizens, U.S tax residents and other individuals and entities with a relevant connection to the U.S. In 2014 the Australian Government signed an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) with the U.S. Government with respect to FATCA and subsequently the Australian Federal Parliament passed legislation to make the IGA obligations Australian law.
What is the CRS?
The CRS was introduced by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and is a single global standard for the collection, reporting and exchange of financial account information of foreign tax residents. In 2015 Australia subscribed to international OECD convention implementing the CRS and subsequently the Australian Federal Parliament passed legislation in 2016 to make the CRS law in Australia.
What does this mean for our customers?
Customers will be asked to declare their foreign tax residency status upon opening an account with Suncorp Bank. If you are an entity you will also be asked upon account opening to declare the foreign tax residency status of your Controlling Persons. If you are an existing customer, Suncorp Bank may contact you for further information or documentation to declare your foreign tax residency status. Our obligations apply to new and existing individual customers as well as new and existing entity customers.
What happens if I don’t answer questions about foreign tax residency?
If you choose not to provide Suncorp Bank with the required information about foreign tax residency or provide us with incorrect or incomplete information, we may not be able to open your account, may have to restrict access to your account or may report information about you and your accounts to the ATO (who may then share this information with tax authorities in other countries).
What do I need to do?
When you open an account as a new or existing customer you will need to respond to all the questions we ask you about the foreign tax residency status of you and your Controlling Persons, even if you are not a foreign citizen or foreign tax resident. If your foreign tax residency status changes after you open an account, you will need to notify us promptly of those changes.
If you receive a request from Suncorp Bank to complete forms about FATCA, CRS or your foreign tax residency, please complete and return them by mail to:
Reply Paid 1453
Brisbane QLD 4001
Alternatively, you can provide the document to staff at your local Suncorp branch.
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 you respond to all requests, even if you believe you have already supplied the information requested.
If you have not been contacted by Suncorp Bank and would like to notify us of your foreign tax residency status or changes to your foreign tax residency status, please complete the form below which applies to you and return it via the same method described above.
- The Self Certification Declaration – Individuals. This form is only to be used by individuals.
- The Self Certification Declaration – Entities. This form is only to be used by Entities.
Who can I contact for more information?
This general information is to assist you in understanding Suncorp Bank’s legal obligations in relation to the collection and reporting of foreign tax residency information. Suncorp Bank is not able to provide you with legal or tax advice. If you are unsure of your foreign tax residency status or how to complete the associated questions or forms, you should seek advice from a lawyer or tax adviser.
You can find further information on:
Frequently Asked Questions
Foreign tax residency is determined by the laws of each foreign country and will differ between countries. For individuals and Controlling Persons of an entity, this might be determined by your residency, citizenship or how much time you reside in a particular country. For entities, this might be determined by your country of incorporation or establishment or where effective management and control of your entity is located. A useful resource on the rules governing tax residency for foreign countries can be found at: OECD Automatic Exchange Portal – Rules governing tax residence. If you are unsure whether you are a resident of a foreign country for tax purposes, please contact your lawyer or tax adviser for assistance. We are unable to give you advice in relation to your foreign tax liability status.
What information is passed on to the ATO?
Suncorp Bank may need to pass on personal and financial information to the ATO about you and your Controlling Persons (if applicable), including account name, address, date of birth, Tax Identification Number (TIN), country(ies) of tax residence, FATCA/CRS entity classification (if applicable), details of role or ownership interest in customer entity, account number, account balance and all amounts paid into the account during the year.
A TIN is an identifying number used for tax purposes to deal with the tax administration in a particular country. For example, Australia’s relevant TIN would include our Tax File Number (TFN) which Australians normally quote when completing annual tax returns. Most foreign countries will have an equivalent functional tax identification number.
If you are unsure what your TIN equivalent is, a useful resource can be found at: OECD Automatic Exchange Portal – Tax identification numbers or you should contact your legal or tax adviser for further guidance. We are unable to give you advice in relation to your TIN.
A summary of definition of the main entity classifications can be found at the ATO Glossary.
Full definitions of entity classifications for FATCA can be found in the FATCA Inter-Governmental Agreement.
Full definitions of entity classifications for CRS can be found at Part II(B) of the OECD’s Standard for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information in Tax Matters.
If, after considering the above resources, you are still unsure of your entity classification you should contact your legal or tax adviser for further guidance. We are unable to give you advice in relation to your CRS or FATCA entity classification.
Controlling Person is generally a natural person who exercises control over an entity. Control depends on the legal structure of the entity.
For a corporation, a Controlling Person may include a director, senior management and any natural person who holds, directly or indirectly, more than 25 percent of the shares or voting rights of an entity as a beneficial owner.
For a trust, a Controlling Person may include the settlor(s), the trustee(s), the protector(s) (if any), the beneficiary(ies) or class(es) of beneficiaries and any other natural person(s) who exercise effective control over the trust.
For a partnership, Controlling Person means any natural person who exercises control through direct or indirect ownership of the capital or profits of the partnership, voting rights in the partnership or who otherwise exercises control over the management of the partnership.
Over 100 jurisdictions have committed to implement the Common Reporting Standard to exchange information.
For a list of countries committed to CRS, refer to the Commitment and Monitoring section of the OECD CRS website.
Please note Suncorp Bank is required by law to collect customers’ foreign tax residency information and report it to the ATO even if the foreign country of the customer is not contained in the list referred to above.
As a Reportable Financial Institution, Suncorp automatically falls within scope of the CRS requirements (without the need to register). This requirement arises under Australian law, therefore, there is no requirement to register.
However, Suncorp Bank and its related entities are registered under FATCA and have received Global Intermediary Identification Numbers (GIINs). Find out more, including our GIIN, by following the hyperlink.