- What is the Common Reporting Standard (CRS)?
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) introduced CRS in order to improve cross-border tax compliance and to combat tax evasion. CRS is a global standard for the automatic exchange of financial information (AEOI) between participating jurisdictions that have agreed to adopt it. Compliance is mandatory under local law in each participating jurisdiction, including Hong Kong (HK). As a responsible international citizen and a leading financial centre, HK has committed to implementing AEOI and commencing the first information exchanges by end of 2018.
- Why are you asking me for my jurisdiction(s) of tax residence?
As part of the Bank’s legal obligations under the Inland Revenue (Amendment) (No. 3) Ordinance 2016 (“the Amendment Ordinance”) in HK which came into effect on 30 June 2016, we are required to collect certain tax information to establish the country/ies of tax residence of our account holders. The Bank may be further obliged to report, on an annual basis, information regarding financial accounts held by our account holders who are tax residents in other reportable jurisdictions, to the local tax authorities where these financial accounts are maintained.
Completing the CRS Self Certification form will ensure that we hold accurate and up to date information about your country of tax residence.
If your circumstances change and any of the information provided in this form becomes incorrect, please let us know immediately and provide an updated Self Certification form.
- Which types of clients are affected by CRS due diligence and reporting?
Clients that hold financial accounts with the Bank will be subject to CRS required due diligence procedures. Clients affected include individuals (whether banking directly or indirectly through an entity), sole proprietors and entities such as corporations, partnerships and trusts. Generally, clients that are identified as reportable persons, i.e., tax residents of reportable jurisdictions, will be subject to reporting. Therefore, clients whose jurisdiction of tax residence is Hong Kong only are not subject to reporting for CRS purposes.
- What is the definition of “tax residence”?
Tax residence is referred to in the Amendment Ordinance as “jurisdiction of residence”, which means a territory of which an individual or entity is a resident for tax purposes. In general, whether or not an individual or entity is a tax resident of a jurisdiction is determined by having regard to the person’s physical presence or stay in a place (say, for example, whether a person has stayed over 183 days in the same place within a tax year) or, in the case of a company, the place of incorporation or where the central management and control of the entity lies. That a person has paid taxes charged by a jurisdiction (say, value-added tax, withholding tax or capital gains tax) does not automatically render that person a tax resident of that jurisdiction. For assistance in determining your country (or countries) of tax residence, please seek professional tax or legal advice. Neither the Bank nor any of its employees are able to assist in this matter.
- What are the ‘clients’ obligations under the Amendment Ordinance?
Clients are responsible for providing their countries tax residence when opening Financial Accounts with the Bank. They must provide personal data and a certification of their countries of tax residence to the Bank when opening accounts, and for certain entities, the information on their controlling persons. It is the responsibility of the clients to provide true, correct and complete information in the self-certification to the best of their knowledge and belief. Clients should also provide the Bank with a new updated CRS Self Certification form within 30 days of any changes in circumstance that would render the information in the form inaccurate or incorrect.
- What are the obligations of the Bank to establish the tax residence of its clients?
Under the Amendment Ordinance, the Bank has a legal obligation to perform due diligence and to, if required, report clients who hold reportable accounts. The Bank is not in a position to provide clients with tax advice, assist clients in the determination of their countries of the tax residence or assist clients in completing the CRS self certification form. It is the responsibility of the clients to provide true, correct and complete information in the self-certification to the best of their knowledge and belief.
- What is a Taxpayer Identification Number ?
A Taxpayer Identification Number, or a functional equivalent in the absence of a TIN. A TIN is a unique combination of numbers assigned by a country’s tax authority to a person (individual or entity) and used to identify that person for the purposes of administering the country’s tax laws.
Some jurisdictions do not issue a TIN. However, these jurisdictions often utilise some other high integrity number with an equivalent level of identification (a ‘functional equivalent’).
Examples of that type of number include, for individuals, a social security/insurance number, citizen/personal identification/service code/number, and resident registration number while Business number is assigned for entities. For example, in Hong Kong, the TIN is the Hong Kong Identity Card (HKID) Number for individuals and the Business Registration number for entities.
- What information will be reported to the tax authorities?
If you (or for certain types of entities, your Controlling Persons) are tax residents of reportable jurisdictions, then the Bank is required to report your (or your Controlling Persons’) account information including the name, address, date of birth, jurisdiction of residence, tax identification number (TIN), account number, account balances and certain income, etc, to the Inland Revenue Department (IRD). The IRD will then exchange the information with the tax authorities of the relevant reportable jurisdictions that have signed AEOI agreements with HK.
If Hong Kong is the sole tax residence of the account holder, his/her financial account information will not be reported to the IRD for CRS reporting purposes.
- Where can I go for further information?
If you have any questions about the Self Certification form or this overview, you can contact our hotline at 852 2282 2313 or your Relationship Manager or visit a branch.
|For more information about CRS, please visit:
If you are unsure of your country of tax residence and acceptable Tax Identification Number (TIN), you may wish to seek advice from your legal or tax advisor or visit the OECD’s AEOI website below for more information on defining your country of tax residence and the acceptable TIN:
|For more information about tax residence and TINs, please visit:
- What are the consequences if a client fails to provide a self certification to establish his/her country of tax residence?
The Bank may be obligated to decline any requests for new accounts, decline to enter into any further transaction for existing clients that do not provide a completed CRS self certification form and applicable documentation. Generally, all new clients are expected to provide the relevant CRS form to open any new financial account with the Bank. If you do not respond to the Bank’s request for a self certification and depending on the details on your record, the Bank may need to treat your account as a reportable account.