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Common reporting standards (CRS)
Governments around the world have introduced standards to allow increased sharing of information between tax authorities under a framework known as Automatic Exchange of Information (AEoI). One piece of legislation is known as the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) and is seen as a critical tool in the world wide fight against tax evasion.
To date more than 100 jurisdictions have committed to adopting the CRS. These include countries such as the UK as well as areas that are subject to their own distinct tax regulations such as Jersey, Guernsey, Isle of Man etc. Any reference to countries in the FAQs relates to all jurisdictions who have committed to adopting the CRS.
To comply with the CRS, Participating Countries must obtain certain customer information from their Financial Institutions and exchange that information on an annual basis with other Participating Countries.
In the UK, we are required to complete CRS reporting to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) by 31 May every year in respect of customers we have identified as Reportable Persons or Reportable Entities.
The Common Reporting Standard (CRS) is a global standard for the automatic exchange of Financial Account information between governments.
CRS helps fight against tax evasion around the world and protects the integrity of systems by improving transparency.
It needs all Financial Institutions including companies within Lloyds Banking Group, who operate in Participating Countries, to gather certain customer information and report it to local tax authorities.
Under CRS, we must identify customers that are a tax resident in one country with Financial Accounts held in another, for inter-country reporting purposes.
If you are UK tax resident only, and only hold Financial Accounts in the UK, then you will not be reported by any UK companies but may be asked to confirm your tax residency.
If this applies to you, we will write asking you to complete a Tax Residency Self-Certification form, and document proof of tax residency. Other reasons we may send you a Tax Residency Self-Certification form could be:
We also may need you to contact us so we can update the information we hold, such as:
Local tax authorities would need certain information on Reportable Persons / Reportable Entities and their Financial Accounts.
We may write to you asking you to fill in a Tax Residency Self-Certification form. It is really important that you complete this document because otherwise you may receive repeated requests until we collect the necessary information.
Lloyds Banking Group is obliged to report to the local tax authority the customers with a Financial Account who are tax resident in one Reportable Country but with Financial Accounts held in another. The local tax authority will then pass this information onto the Reportable Country where it has been established that the customers are resident for tax purposes.
In the first instance, you may like to look at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) website, where more in-depth technical information on the rules governing tax residency are available by each national tax authority.
There has been significant coverage on CRS and there are many information resources available, including on HMRC’s website.
CRS Frequently asked questions
To help you understand the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) and why Halifax needs to comply, we put these FAQs together.
Important Note: Halifax can’t give advice to customers on CRS or any other tax-related matters.
If you have further questions or you do not understand your tax obligations, please seek independent advice from a tax or financial adviser.
Halifax, together with other Financial Institutions across the world, must follow the Common Reporting Standard requirements, with respect to due diligence and reporting.
We must identify customers that are a tax resident in one country with Financial Accounts held in another, for inter-country reporting purposes. Providing local tax authorities with certain information on Reportable Persons / Reportable Entities and their Financial Accounts.
Where the customer is a tax resident in a Reportable Country, the information is shared with His Majesty's Revenue & Customs (HMRC) who may in turn go to the tax authority of the Reportable Country.
All banks need to comply with CRS legislation. We are obliged to identify customers if we understand them to be tax resident in one Participating Country but with Financial Accounts held in another. Where the customer is tax resident in a Reportable Country, this information is reported to HMRC who may in turn provide it to the tax authority of the Reportable Country.
All banks and their branches in Participating Countries are legally obliged to comply with the Common Reporting Standard.
We contact customers in order to collect tax residency information. We may ask you to complete a form for example if:
For individual customers with accounts in a Participating Country, this is usually based on:
For entities with accounts in a Participating Country, this is usually based on:
Some of the information we hold for you could be missing or incomplete, so we need to discuss and confirm your information.
This will help us understand if we need to send your details to the local tax authority, to meet CRS regulations.
We may contact the local tax authority, if we identify customers that are a tax resident in one country with Financial Accounts held in another.
This is a legal requirement for Halifax to do, to meet UK law.
For Individuals / Controlling Persons
CRS applies to certain accounts with investment features such as Savings, Current Accounts, Cash Value Life Insurance and other investments.
Please note - CRS regulations allow for exceptions such as Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs), lending products and loans.
CRS reporting is complete on a yearly basis, after the end of a given calendar year.
If we identify Reportable Persons / Reportable Entities, and they close the account during the calendar year, it would still appear in the report for that year.
After this, your account won’t appear in subsequent years.
For example, local tax authorities would need reportable accounts that were open for all or part of one year, into the next.
Under CRS, we must identify and report customers that are a tax resident in one country with Financial Accounts held in another, for inter-country reporting purposes.
Local tax authorities would still need certain information on suspected Reportable Persons / Reportable Entities and their Financial Accounts.
Halifax, together with other Financial Institutions across the world, must follow the Common Reporting Standard requirements. This is a legal requirement to meet UK law.
Please contact us if you believe we shouldn’t be sharing your information with the local tax authority.
We will re-issue a Tax Residency Self-Certification form, which you should complete and return along with document proof of tax residency, such as a passport/driving licence.
You may receive multiple letters if you fail to respond to the initial request to complete a Tax Residency Self-Certification Form. You may also receive further Tax Residency Self-Certification Forms, for example if your circumstances change or you open additional products.
You may also receive requests from other financial institutions if you have accounts with them. Please complete each request you receive.
No. By law we must share this data with relevant tax authorities.
Under the terms of the Data Protection Notice (DPN), included in your product terms and conditions, consent is not needed in such circumstances.
We would need to contact you if the information we hold changes in a way that could affect your tax residency.
If your circumstances change, you’ll need to let us know what these changes are within 30 days from the date of the change.
This could include, for example, a change of tax residence or change of address that could affect your tax residence.
We contact customers if we have insufficient tax residency information. Or if we have information that indicates they’re a tax resident in one country with Financial Accounts held in another.
If you are unhappy that we have asked you to complete the form, please refer to our complaint process.
You can find some useful guidance on where you might be tax resident on the OECD website.
If you are still unsure, please seek independent tax advice.
A Taxpayer Identification Number is a unique identifier assigned to individuals and entities for tax purposes. It could consist of a combination of letters, numbers or both.
If you are a Tax Resident in the UK, the TIN will be your National Insurance (NI) Number or Unique Tax Reference (UTR) Number.
You can find further information on TIN formats for your country of tax residence through the OECD website.
We need a response from you within 90 days of the date on the letter.
If this date has passed, we still request that you try to return the Tax Residency Self-Certification form as soon as possible.
If you have received a request to complete a Tax Residency Self-Certification form, simply complete, date and return the form using the prepaid envelope provided.
Note - You can photocopy the form, but please return documents dated with an original signature.
Usually the completed Tax Residency Self-Certification form is all that you need to send back. If we have requested certified copies of further documents, please include these with the form. This could include: a valid passport, National Identity Card, Armed Forces Identity Card, current driving licence or Certificate of Tax Residence.
Below are some quick definitions of some common tax compliance jargon.
Controlling persons are the natural persons who have ultimate control over an entity.
In the case of a trust, the controlling persons include the:
Under Common Reporting Standard (CRS) this is as a legal person or arrangement such as a corporation, organisation, partnership, trust or foundation.
An entity is any customer that holds a business account, product or service. Under CRS, sole traders are not entities but individuals.
The term “Financial Account” means an account issued or supported by a Financial Institution.
A Financial Account is not an excluded account as per the CRS.
A ‘jurisdiction’ is an area with its own distinct tax regulations and depends on the country, county, city or state.
This is a country that has made a commitment to exchange information in line with the OECD CRS.
There may not be an effective agreement in place, meaning we don’t need to report anything just yet.
This is a country that has an agreement in place to exchange information in line with the OECD CRS.
If a customer holds a Financial Account and is a resident for tax purposes in a Reportable Country, or suspected of being tax resident in such country, they are reportable for CRS.
Each country has its own rules for defining tax residence.
A ‘Reportable Person’ is any individual reported under the CRS regulations. A person is only reported under the CRS regulations when they are identified as being tax resident in a Reportable Country and hold Financial Assets outside of this country. For example a French tax resident individual holding a current account with Halifax would be reported under CRS annually to HMRC.
As well as personal account holders, certain entities resident in a Reportable Country or those which have individual Controlling Persons who are resident for tax purposes in Reportable Countries may be reportable.
We may write to a customer if they have a change in circumstances that could make them a tax resident in a Participating Country.
We may also write to pre-existing customers who have Financial Accounts with us, where we do not have tax residency information or new accounts are opened, to complete a Tax Residency Self-Certification form.