Customer tax operations

Tax legislation and
how it affects you
and your bank

What is international tax legislation?

Learn more about important tax legislation, what some of it means and how it can impact you, your banking and get some additional help with it all.

Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA)

The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) is United States legislation passed in March 2010. It requires non-US financial institutions to provide reports to the US regarding their customers who are ‘US persons’ for US tax purposes and who hold accounts with the financial institution. US financial institutions will also have separate reporting obligations.

Please note

The UK and US Governments have entered into a reciprocal agreement, under which Royal Bank of Scotland will report US customers to their local tax authority and not directly to the US IRS. The local tax authority is responsible for sharing this information with the IRS and the bank will play no part in this process.

We will be undertaking a review of our customers, as required by the regulations, to understand who is (and is not) a ‘US person’ for US tax purposes.

The term ‘US person’ includes, but isn’t limited to, the following:

  • A citizen of the US, including any person born in the US but living in another country (who has   retained their US citizenship).

  • A person living in the US, including US Green Card holders.

  • Certain people who spend a significant number of days in the US each year.*

  • US corporations, US partnerships, US estates and US trusts.
     

*To better understand what is meant by ‘certain’ people’ and ‘significant’ number’, please refer to our Glossary.

Rest assured that being classified a ‘US person’ will not affect your day-to-day banking service, but will help us identify customers whose account details may need to be shared with their local tax authority. If you’re identified as a ‘US person’, we’ll write to you for self-certification.

If you’re an existing Royal Bank of Scotland customer, you may need to provide specific documentation, so we can apply the right FATCA classification to your accounts. If you are classified as a ‘US person’, we will be required to report information about you and your accounts to your local tax authority, every year.

Please note that Royal Bank of Scotland cannot offer any tax advice about FATCA, and we recommend you contact a professional and independent tax advisor to discuss your personal tax situation.

FATCA will have minimal impact on most customers, who won’t need to take any action. However, Royal Bank of Scotland may still contact you to confirm your status as a ‘non-US person’.

If your entity is classified as a ‘US tax person’ for tax purposes, we must pass on details of the entity’s account(s) to the relevant tax authority.

Each year financial institutions must report information on all financial accounts (for example, current accounts, savings accounts, deposit accounts, custodial account, certain insurance policies and interests in investment funds) held directly or indirectly by ‘US persons’. As a result Royal Bank of Scotland will review its customers, to ensure all accounts are correctly identified and reported, where required.

Royal Bank of Scotland must review its customers, to ensure all accounts are correctly identified and reported, where required. This is because under FATCA, financial institutions must each year, report information on all financial accounts (for example, current accounts, savings accounts, deposit accounts, custodial accounts, certain insurance policies and interests in investment funds) held directly or indirectly by ‘US persons’

If you’ve received a FATCA Tax Status in the post and need help with it, please read our easy-to-understand Guide

For more information about FATCA please visit the IRS website.

UK Crown Dependencies and British Overseas Territories and FATCA

The UK Crown Dependencies and British Overseas Territories have all agreed to share tax information with the UK government. This will allow for the automatic exchange of tax information for UK taxpayers.

See our Glossary for a list of the UK Crown Dependencies and British Overseas Territories.

Classification of new customers’ tax residency came into effect on July 2014. The automatic exchange of information is not scheduled to start until 2016, in order to give banks and other financial institutions time to build and test their systems for exchanging information.

To find out more about UK Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories Legislation, visit your local tax authority website.

Common reporting standards (CRS)

CRS is The Common Reporting Standard on Automatic Exchange of Information. This is a legal framework created by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development with close cooperation with the G20 and EU.

It requires financial institutions to report information (to the appropriate tax administration), about financial assets held on behalf of taxpayers, from jurisdictions with which their tax administration exchanges information. This information is exchanged “automatically” every year.

Every year financial institutions must report information on all financial accounts (for example, current accounts, savings accounts, deposit accounts, custodial accounts, certain insurance policies and interests in investment funds) held directly or indirectly by account holders "resident" in countries other than my bank’s tax jurisdiction.

As a result, Royal Bank of Scotland will review its customers, to ensure all accounts and entity accounts are correctly identified and reported, where required

We will be reviewing our customers, as specified by the regulations, to understand who is liable to pay tax in their country of residence. The term ‘resident’ will differ for each tax jurisdiction.

See the “residency” criteria of each jurisdiction

How we classify you will not affect your day-to-day banking service, but will help us identify customers whose account details may need to be shared with the appropriate tax authority.

If you’re an existing Royal Bank of Scotland customer, you may need to provide specific documentation, so we can apply the right CRS classification to your account(s). If we need more information we'll write to our customers.

If you are considered a resident of a country participating in the CRS Automatic Exchange of Information you may be asked to provide Royal Bank of Scotland with additional information/documentation. We will also have to report information about you and your account(s) to your local tax authority each year.

CRS will have minimal impact on most customers, who won’t have to take any action. However, Royal Bank of Scotland may still contact you to confirm your status as a resident of your bank’s tax jurisdiction

To find out more please visit your local tax authority website.

Support and guidance

Get some help and guidance on filling in our forms and see more useful information about tax, FATCA and CRS 

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