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Foreign Tax Liability

What is CRS?

CRS is an acronym which stands for Common Reporting Standard. CRS was introduced by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) for automatic exchange of financial information in tax matters.  

The Common Reporting Standard is the single global standard for the collection, reporting and exchange of financial account information on foreign tax residents.

On 3 June 2015, Australia subscribed to international OECD CRS convention and passed legislation through the Australian Federal Parliament in 2016 giving domestic effect to the requirements. 

Banks and other financial institutions will collect and report to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) financial account information on foreign residents for tax purposes. The ATO will exchange this information with the participating foreign tax authorities and, in parallel, will receive information on Australian residents.

In certain circumstances Suncorp Bank may be required to provide certain information about your foreign tax status and your accounts to the ATO who may then share your information with other foreign tax authorities.

The OECD CRS regime is separate to the United States (US) Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) regime. While the requirements are similar, Suncorp Bank is required to comply with both regimes. For more information on FATCA requirements, please refer to the FATCA FAQ.

What is the purpose of CRS?

Financial institutions report information to the tax administration authority in the jurisdiction in which they are located. The tax administration authority may then exchange that information with a foreign subscribing tax authority, as required under the CRS. The reciprocal exchange of information between international tax authorities will assist in addressing offshore tax evasion and other forms of non-compliance.

Is Suncorp Bank registered for CRS?

No. 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.

Separately, 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.

What is the impact of CRS?

Suncorp Bank is required by law to identify our customers’ foreign tax liability status. We are also required by law to annually report information on financial accounts held directly or indirectly by foreign residents for tax purposes.

Suncorp Bank may contact you for further information or documentation. Suncorp Bank may also ask all new to bank customers questions concerning their foreign tax liability status.

Is CRS a one-off requirement?

No, CRS is an ongoing compliance obligation for Suncorp Bank. Suncorp Bank’s reporting obligations under the legislation require us to report to the ATO on accounts held by all foreign residents for tax purposes.

Who does CRS apply to?

CRS will generally impact both personal and business customers who:

  • hold deposit products and in some cases lending products; and
  • are foreign residents for tax purposes or are controlled by a foreign resident.

However, CRS is far reaching and other customers may also be impacted. Please seek your own tax advice if you are unsure how you or your business may be impacted by CRS.

Which countries are participating jurisdictions for CRS?

Over 90 jurisdictions have now committed to implement the Common Reporting Standard to start exchanging information in 2017 or 2018.

For a list of countries committed to CRS, refer to the Commitment and Monitoring section of the OECD CRS website, or download Status of Commitments for Automatic Exchange of Information (pdf).

However, we are required by law to collect customers’ foreign tax status information and report to the ATO even if the foreign country of the customer is not contained on the above list.

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

Suncorp Bank is required to report on its customers based on 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 the required information under the CRS regime, we may not be able to open your account, may have to restrict access to your account or may report your account information to the ATO (who may then share this with other foreign tax authorities).  Is Suncorp Bank the only bank to be affected by CRS?

No, most Australian banks and some other financial institutions are required to comply with CRS. However, each institution’s approach to adopting and complying with the requirements of CRS 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 way other banks and/or other financial institutions request customers to confirm their tax status for CRS may vary.  

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

If you haven’t received a letter and would like to notify Suncorp Bank of your foreign tax liability status, please complete:

The completed form/s can be emailed to or mailed to:

Suncorp-Metway Ltd
IPC 4BK230
Reply Paid 1453

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 information requested.

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

A TIN is an identifying number used for tax purposes to deal with the tax administration in the foreign country.

For example, Australia’s relevant TIN would include our Tax File Number (TFN) which we normally quote when completing our annual tax returns. Most foreign countries will have an equivalent functional tax identification number.

The OECD has issued guidance on TINs for foreign countries, viewable here.  If you are unsure what your TIN is, please contact your tax adviser for further guidance.

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, date of birth, TIN, foreign tax residency status, account number, account balance and all amounts paid into the account during the year.

Suncorp Bank will only report the specified information that is required under law. Your information is otherwise protected in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

What other parties will receive my information?

The ATO will receive your personal information from us and then pass this information to the foreign tax authority in accordance with the relevant laws.

Does CRS only apply to new accounts?

Initially from 1 July 2017 the CRS will only apply to new accounts but within the following months the CRS may impact all customers. All new and some pre-existing customers will be required to provide information to Suncorp Bank concerning their foreign tax liability status.

Will Suncorp Bank stop accepting foreign resident customers due to CRS?

No. Foreign residents remain welcome to open accounts with Suncorp Bank provided they are willing to comply with and disclose the relevant information required for CRS reporting.

Who can I contact for more information about CRS?

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.