Frequently asked questions
The Common Reporting Standard (CRS) is a new information-gathering and reporting requirement for financial institutions in participating countries, to help fight against tax evasion and protect the integrity of tax systems.
The CRS seeks to establish the tax residency of customers. Under the CRS, financial institutions are required to identify customers who appear to be tax resident outside of the country where they hold their accounts and products, and report certain information to our local tax authority. They may then share that information with the tax authority where you are tax resident.
Under the CRS, tax authorities require financial institutions such as HSBC to collect and report certain information relating to their customers’ tax statuses.
If you open a new bank account, invest in new financial products or change your circumstances in some way, we will ask you to certify a number of details about yourself. This process is called “self-certification” and we are required to collect this information under the CRS.
All financial institutions – that includes banks, insurers and asset management businesses – in participating countries are required to be compliant with the CRS.
In line with the CRS requirements, we will be asking you for your:
- Place of birth* (for Individual and Controlling Persons)
- Date of birth*(for Individual and Controlling Persons)
- Country(ies) of tax residence
- Taxpayer identification number(s)*
- Place of registration/incorporation (for Entities)
- Entity Type (for Entities)
- Controlling Person Type for certain Entity Types (for Controlling Persons)
*this does not apply in all participating countries and is subject to local law requirements.
This will depend on where you live and your circumstances. Please contact a professional tax advisor or check the OECD website for more information on how to determine your tax residency, as HSBC cannot give tax advice.
The information I have been asked for on the forms is similar to the information I have been asked for under FATCA. Why is this different?
Even if you have already provided information under the United States government’s Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), you may still need to provide additional information for the CRS as these are different regulations with different requirements.
FATCA is US Law and requires financial institutions to identify US Persons and report in line with local FATCA regulations, based on citizenship. The CRS requires financial institutions to identify the tax residency of all our customers and in most cases report information on customers who are tax resident outside of the country where they hold their accounts.
Under the CRS, we are legally required to establish the tax residency status of all our customers, even if you are tax resident in the same country as where you hold your account. However, typically your details will not be reportable to the tax authorities for CRS purposes.
Once we have a valid self-certification on file, you will only be asked to complete another when you update certain information on your account or we believe your reportable status may have changed.
HSBC is required to report your tax details under the legal obligations introduced by countries participating in the CRS.
HSBC will respect your data privacy. We will only disclose your information to the relevant tax authorities if we are legally required to do so.
Customer information is protected by a strict code of secrecy and security which all members of the HSBC Group, their staff and third parties are subject to.
We are required by law to verify the details you have provided as part of your self-certification. We might ask you for a copy of your passport to verify your identity or for some other evidence of your tax residency declared in your self-certification.
The information reported to tax authorities will have been provided in the self-certification form, and details about the accounts and products you have with us, including:
- the balance or value
- the total amounts of interest or payments credited
For a list of countries participating in the CRS, alongside the dates that they will start exchanging information, please see the OECD CRS portal.
Page last updated October 2016
- CRS Self-Certification for use by Individuals (CRS-I): Download PDF: Link opens in a new window
- CRS Self-Certification for use by Entities (CRS-E) : Download PDF: Link opens in a new window
- CRS Self-Certification for use by Controlling Persons (CRS-CP): Download PDF: Link opens in a new window
- Frequently asked questions
- Glossary of useful CRS terms
- HSBC counterparties – CRS information