• Foreign tax resident reporting – how the automatic exchange of information affects you

    Australia is one of many countries that has committed to new global standards on the automatic exchange of financial account information. This information is required by law to be collected by financial institutions around the world for reporting to tax authorities. Tax authorities will exchange this information to help make sure everyone pays the right amount of tax.

    What this means for you

    The Australian Government has enacted laws and entered into international agreements. This may affect you as a customer of a financial institution. These laws implement automatic exchange of information (AEOI) with:

    • the United States (US) under a system known as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). This is for US citizens and tax residents only and applies from 1 July 2014
    • other countries under the Common Reporting Standard (CRS). The CRS applies to all foreign tax residents from 1 July 2017.

    This means Australian financial institutions must identify accounts held by customers who are foreign tax residents or entities connected to foreign tax residents. They must report these accounts to the ATO. We will then report the account information to the foreign tax authorities.

    Similarly, overseas financial institutions must identify their Australian tax resident customers and report their accounts through their local tax authorities to us.

    On this page:

    See also:

    If you have an existing account

    If you have an existing account, your financial institution may contact you to confirm your country or countries of tax residence. This is to establish whether you have any accounts that need to be reported under the FATCA or the CRS laws.

    They may also contact you if their records indicate that you could be a foreign tax resident. This might be because you have provided an address or other information for a country outside Australia.

    If you open a new account

    From 1 July 2017, your financial institution must ask you to certify your residence for tax purposes if you open a new account. They may ask you to provide forms and documentation. This will apply for most types of financial accounts.

    If you are a foreign tax resident, you will need to provide your taxpayer identification number (TIN) or equivalent. This is the number used to identify you to the tax authority in the foreign country. If you don’t have one, you will be asked to provide a reason.

    Find out about:

    Accounts held by entities (such as companies, trusts, partnerships, associations)

    If you are opening a new account on behalf of a legal entity or arrangement (such as a trust, partnership, company or association), from 1 July 2017 your financial institution must obtain information from you about:

    • the tax residence of the entity
    • the nature of the entity’s business
    • in some circumstances, the individuals who control or beneficially own the entity or have specific connections to the entity. This includes their tax residency and their TIN or equivalent if they are a tax resident outside Australia.

    Your financial institution may also contact you for this information for your existing accounts. This will help them comply with their obligations under the FATCA and the CRS laws.

    What you need to do

    It is important that you respond if your financial institution contacts you requesting information. If you don’t respond, they may have to treat you as if you are a tax resident in a country outside Australia, even if you are not.

    If you intend to open a new account and do not provide the relevant details, the financial institution must not open the account for you. These requirements help ensure the AEOI laws worldwide are effective. They increase tax transparency by identifying people who have offshore accounts and investments.

    You should respond truthfully and to the best of your knowledge when you state your tax residency or provide other information to your financial institution. Penalties may apply if you deliberately or recklessly provide false or misleading information.

    What happens with your information

    If you are a foreign tax resident under the AEOI laws, your identity details, account balance and other information will be provided to us. We will also receive your information if you were identified as a possible foreign tax resident and you didn’t respond to requests for further information. We will then send your information to the tax authority in the country of your tax residency.

    If you are an Australian tax resident and you have an account in a financial institution overseas, we will receive your information from the tax authority of that jurisdiction.

    All information reported under these laws is handled in the strictest confidence by the ATO and foreign tax authorities. National laws, administrative practices, and binding international treaties protect your information. This is in the same way that all taxpayer information is generally handled.

    Foreign tax information

    If you have some connection to a foreign country, the following may help you complete forms given to you by your financial institution:

    Tax residency

    In considering whether you are a tax resident of a country other than Australia, a useful resource is the compilation of rules governing tax residency for other countries on the OECD's Automatic Exchange Portal.

    If tax residency information for a specific country is not available from this link, or you need more information for a country, you should contact the tax authority of that country.

    See also:

    Tax identification number

    If you are a tax resident of a country other than Australia, you will be asked for your tax identification number (TIN) issued to you in that country, if one has been issued to you. TIN is an international term which may have a different name in some countries. If you don’t have a TIN or equivalent, you will be asked to provide a reason.

    See also:

    Foreign tax authorities

    Following are the TIN equivalents and the names of tax authorities for some countries.

    Foreign tax authorities by country

    Country

    TIN or equivalent for individuals

    Tax authority

    Brazil

    Cadastro de pessoas físicas (CPF)

    Receita Federal

    Canada

    Social insurance number (SIN)

    Canada Revenue Agency

    China

    Tax ID number or Chinese ID card number

    State Administration of Taxation

    Colombia

    Single tax registration (RUT)

    Dirección de Impuestos y Aduanas Nacionales

    Germany

    Tax identification number (TIN)

    Federal Central Tax Office

    Hong Kong

    Hong Kong identity card (HKID) number

    Inland Revenue Department

    India

    Permanent account number (PAN)

    Income Tax Department

    Indonesia

    Tax ID number (nomor pokok wajib pajak)

    Direktorat Jenderal Pajak

    Ireland

    Personal public service number (PPS No)

    Irish Tax and Customs

    Japan

    Individual number

    National Tax Agency

    Malaysia

    Income tax number (ITN)

    Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia

    Nepal

    Permanent account number (PAN)

    Inland Revenue Department

    New Zealand

    IRD number

    Inland Revenue

    Pakistan

    National tax number

    Federal Board of Revenue

    Philippines

    Taxpayer identification number

    Bureau of Internal Revenue

    Singapore

    Tax reference number

    Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore

    South Africa

    Tax reference number

    South African Revenue Service

    South Korea

    Resident registration number

    National Tax Service

    Taiwan

    Taxpayer ID number

    National Taxation Bureau of Taipei

    Thailand

    Tax ID number

    Revenue Department

    UK

    National insurance number (NINO) or unique taxpayer reference (UTR)

    Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs

    United States of America

    Social security number (SSN), employer identification number (EIN) or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN)

    Internal Revenue Service

    Vietnam

    Tax identification number

    General Department of Taxation

    Disclaimer

    This information is to help you understand your and your financial institution’s obligations under the AEOI laws. It does not constitute a ruling or binding legal advice. If you have questions about your tax residence status, you should contact the ATO or the tax authority of your country of residence, as applicable, or seek advice from a tax agent or advisor.

    Factsheet

    This information is also available in a factsheet Foreign tax residency reporting (NAT Number JS37889) which you can order online from our publications ordering service. You can download the factsheet or request to have a copy emailed to you.

    • Download a copy:  
      • go to our publications ordering serviceExternal Link
      • click on Search PDF publications
      • key in JS39015 in the Publication field, with Media – Online Publications selected, and press Search
      • click on the link to download Nat Number JS39015 Foreign tax resident reporting (PDF, 161KB).
    • Order a copy by email:  
      • go to our publications ordering serviceExternal Link
      • go to the Order by post section
      • if you're an existing user, key in your email address and password, accept the conditions and Login to the online ordering service. If you're a new user, register using I'm a new user
      • request a copy of Nat Number JS39015 Foreign tax resident reporting (PDF,  161KB) to be emailed to you, by following the prompts.
      Last modified: 26 Jul 2017QC 50821