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Frequently asked questions

Commercial Banking – New Zealand

What is the CRS?

The Common Reporting Standard (CRS) is a new information-gathering and reporting requirement for financial institutions in participating countries/jurisdictions, to help fight against tax evasion and protect the integrity of tax systems.

Who is reportable?

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/jurisdiction where they hold their accounts and products, and report certain information to the local tax authority. They may then share that information with the tax authority where you are tax resident.

Why are you asking me for my jurisdiction(s) of tax residency?

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.

Are all banks doing this?

All financial institutions – that includes banks, insurers and asset management businesses – in participating countries/jurisdictions are required to be compliant with the CRS.

What information are you asking customers to provide and verify?

In line with the CRS requirements, we will ask you for your:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Date of birth (for Individual and Controlling Persons)
  • Country(ies)/jurisdiction(s) 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)

How is my tax residence defined?

This will depend on where you live and your circumstances. Please contact a professional tax adviser 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 in connection with 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 (which has also been brought into local New Zealand law) and requires financial institutions to identify US Persons and report in line with FATCA regulations, based on citizenship. The CRS requires financial institutions to identify the tax residency of all customers and in most cases report information on customers who are tax resident outside of the country/jurisdiction where they hold their accounts.

I live in the same country/jurisdiction as I pay tax so why do I need to give you these details?

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/jurisdiction as where you hold your account. However, typically your details will not be reportable to the tax authorities for CRS purposes.

How often will I need to provide this information?

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.

Why is HSBC providing tax authorities with my tax details?

HSBC is required to report your tax details to the local tax authority pursuant to Part 11B of the Tax Administration Act 1994.

Will HSBC respect my data privacy?

Yes. We will only disclose your information to the local tax authority for the purposes of the CRS if we are legally required to do so.

Privacy and your information

Your privacy matters to us. Any information supplied to us will be used and shared in accordance with the Terms and Conditions which govern your relationship with us.

Is my information safe?

Customer information is protected by a strict code of secrecy and security which all members of the HSBC Group and their staff are subject to.

I have provided you with my details. Why are you asking me for supporting documents?

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.

What information will be reported to tax authorities?

The information provided in the self-certification form, and details about the accounts and products you have with us, including account information such as the account balance or value and payments made to the account.

Which countries/jurisdictions are participating in the CRS?

For a list of countries/jurisdictions participating in the CRS, alongside the dates that they will start exchanging information, please see the OECD CRS portal – CRS by jurisdiction.

What if my country/jurisdiction of tax residence is not a participating jurisdiction?

New Zealand tax authorities have adopted what is known as the “wider approach” to due diligence. Under the wider approach to due diligence, we are required to identify any relevant foreign tax resident irrespective of whether such persons are tax resident in a Reportable Jurisdiction (jurisdictions that New Zealand will be providing CRS information to).

Where can I find further information and advice?

For further information on your tax residency, please refer to the rules governing tax residence that have been published by national tax authorities. You can also find out more at the OECD CRS portal.

Page last updated September 2018