From 1st July 2017, financial institutions around the world, including Bell Potter Online, are required to collect tax residency information from their clients. This is known as the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) and it follows on from the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) introduced over the last 2 years.
As a consequence of these changes, we’ve updated our online application forms to gather information about your clients tax residency. Under the CRS, we will also need to review existing accounts and monitor changes to your client’s tax status. This information will be reported to the Australian Tax Office who will share the information with other tax jurisdictions with the aim of cutting down on global tax evasion.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has developed the rules to be used by all governments participating in the CRS and these can be found here.
What changes you will see
In order to comply with this legislation, our online application for all account types (excluding superannuation funds) will include questions as to the tax residency of your clients. This will include any instances where your clients, who are tax residents of Australia, are also tax residents of another country. Superannuation funds are exempt as by definition they are solely for Australian tax residents.
An example of the questions asked is as follows:
We are also required to ask clients to keep us informed of any tax changes. You’ll find this new acknowledgement in the application form:
I/We certify that the tax information provided is correct and I will notify Bell Potter Online on 1800 330 088 as soon as practicable if there is any change. This includes scenarios where the trust makes any changes to the trustees, trust beneficiaries or any beneficial owners and who are a foreign resident other than the individual(s) noted herein.
What you need to do
1. For pending Bell Potter Online accounts initiated without the new tax questions and acknowledgement, we will need clients to complete the:
2. Client accounts created online after 1st July will automatically include the new changes.
We have some time to have these forms completed for pre-existing clients and we will be in touch in the near future with more detail on this, including working with you on how to gather and report this information.
For more information, please don't hesitate to contact our support team at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 1800 330 088.
If you have any questions on how to define tax residency status, please visit the OECD website or speak to a tax advisor.