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  • The Westpac Group is committed to ensuring we uphold our responsibilities to customers and our regulators

  • The Westpac Group is committed to ensuring we uphold our responsibilities to customers and our regulators. This means we comply with the reporting obligations under Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and Common Reporting Standard (CRS) legislation. Both relate to international tax transparency and the exchange of financial account information.

    What we do in summary:

    • We comply with our reporting obligations and collect data regarding your tax residency status
    • We will ask new customers, and their associated parties, and may ask current customers for their status under both obligations and report it to the relevant bodies. 

    CRS

    CRS is an Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) initiative to address income tax evasion. The global agreement requires financial institutions to obtain and report foreign tax residency information of account holders, and their associated parties, to their local tax authority. The local tax authorities of participating countries will exchange reported information on an annual basis.

    FATCA

    FATCA is United States (US) legislation which requires all financial institutions to identify and report customers who may be US residents for taxation purposes, to their local tax authority.

    What are our obligations?

    To comply with CRS and FATCA, financial institutions are required to collect, maintain and check information about the foreign tax residency of their customers, including their country(ies) of foreign tax residency and their Tax Identification Number (TINs). Where applicable, financial institutions must report certain information to relevant tax authorities. The Westpac Group complies with CRS and FATCA in all participating jurisdictions, according to the local legislation in each jurisdiction.

    What does this mean for new customers?

    All new customers will be asked if they are a tax resident of a foreign country. A tax residency is the country where an individual or entity (partnership, trusts, etc.) typically submits an income tax return, or may be liable to pay tax. This applies to individuals, entities, and any of their associated parties such as beneficial owners and/or controlling persons of organisations.

    What does this mean for existing customers?

    If you have an existing account or product with us, we may contact you if we have information to suggest that you are a foreign tax resident.  We may also contact you if you open a new account or product, and have not previously advised us of your foreign tax residency status.

    It is important that you respond to any requests and confirm your tax residency status to ensure that your customer information is accurate, and that we don't inadvertently report incorrect information.

    If you do not provide this information to us we may be required to limit the services we provide to you, including placing a restriction on your account.

    Where can I go for further information?

    If you have any questions about CRS or FATCA, please call our Foreign Tax Operations team.

    Phone: 1300 725 863 (9am-5pm on Monday-Friday, AEST time).

    Customers outside Australia please call +61 2 9845 4749.

    If you want to know more about FATCA, see the US Internal Revenue Service

    If you want to know more about CRS, see:

     

     

      • What is FATCA?

        The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act.

        This is legislation intended to help the US tax revenue service (IRS) collect tax from US residents living abroad.

        It requires all financial institutions to identify and report customers who may be US residents for taxation purposes to the Australian Tax Office. The ATO reports this information to the US Government (IRS).

        How can the US do this?

        Although this was a US initiative, the G20 supports it and intends to drive a worldwide program that has similar aims

        Countries around the world, including Australia, are planning to or have already entered into bi-lateral agreements with the US to support the FATCA regulations.

        What does the statement on this form mean?

        The statement assumes that you are not a US resident for tax purposes unless you call us to tell us otherwise.

        Why are you (RAMS) doing this?

        RAMS is owned by Westpac which operates and serves customers around the world and supports international efforts to reduce tax avoidance. It is essential that we meet international regulatory requirements.

        Are other banks doing this?

        Financial institutions and customers who don't register to participate with the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act may face financial implications.

        We understand that most banks are registering; however, you should check with any that are relevant to you to verify.

        What if I don't self-certify?

        That's not a problem; however we suggest you contact a taxation professional to discuss your specific circumstances. If we do have evidence on file that suggests that you may be US, we will contact you directly to confirm.

        What happens if I am US but I don't tell you?

        We aren't able to give advice of that nature and suggest you contact a taxation professional to discuss your specific circumstances. If we do have evidence on file that suggests that you may be US, we will contact you directly to confirm.

        I need more information about FATCA?

        RAMS Foreign Tax Operations: 1300 725 863

        Or writing to us at:

        RAMS Foreign Tax Operations
        GPO Box 4008, Sydney 2000

      • Foreign tax residency refers to the country(ies) in which you are liable to pay tax, irrespective of whether a tax return must be filed or any tax is actually payable. This applies to individuals, entities, and any of their associated parties, for example, beneficial owners and/or controlling persons of organisations.

        If you need help to determine your tax residency status, please contact your independent taxation advisor, as we are unable to provide taxation advice.

        The OECD website provides information about tax residency in relation to CRS.

      • We will only disclose your personal information to the local tax authority in accordance with the legislation and as per the RAMS Privacy Policy.

      • A TIN is an identifying number or equivalent (e.g. social security number, personal identification number, national identification number) issued by a country of tax residency that is used for tax purposes. If you are unsure about your TIN, contact the relevant tax authority or your independent taxation advisor.

      • Beneficial Owner/Controlling Person refers to the individual(s) that directly or indirectly owns a legal interest in the entity of 25% or more and/or exercises actual effective control over the entity, whether from an economic or other perspective, such as through voting rights. In addition, in the case of a trust, a Beneficial Owner/Controlling Person includes the settlor(s), trustee(s), appointer(s), protector(s), beneficiary(ies) or classes of beneficiaries and in the case of an entity other than a trust, the term includes persons in equivalent or similar positions.