The Common Reporting Standard (CRS) - FAQ

What is the Common Reporting Standard (CRS)?

The Common Reporting Standard (CRS) is an agreement by governments around the world to develop a global standard for the automatic exchange of financial account information.

This legislation is known as the Common Reporting Standard and is basically an automatic exchange of financial account information between governments. It’s about improving transparency in the fight against tax evasion and in so doing protecting the integrity of the tax systems of the Participating Ju-risdictions. To date more than 100 countries, including the UK, Islands (Jersey, Guernsey, Isle of Man) and Gibraltar, have committed to adopting the CRS.

How does CRS work?

Under CRS, Leeds Building Society is required to identify customers with accounts/products held with, but who are tax resident in a different country outside of the UK. E.g. to achieve this, we would ask customers if they were either born in the United States of America (or are a citizen) or if they have any tax liabilities (i.e. are tax resident) outside the UK.

Why are you asking me if I have tax liabilities outside of the UK?

Under the CRS, tax authorities require financial institutions such as Leeds Building Society to collect and report certain information relating to their customers’ tax statuses.

If you open a new account in branch, via the post or online, or you change circumstances in some way, e.g. a change of address, we will ask you to certify a number of details about yourself. This process is called “self-certification” and we are required to collect this information under the CRS.

What does the term 'tax resident' mean?

This generally means anywhere where you pay some form of income tax to the local tax authority for that jurisdiction. E.g. in the UK this would be HMRC. However, this may depend on where you live and your personal circumstances. Please contact a professional tax advisor or your local tax authority for more information on how to determine your tax residency.

Are all building societies and banks doing this?

All financial institutions that operate in countries who participate in CRS are required to be fully com-pliant with the CRS.

What information are you asking customers to provide?

As part of the CRS requirements, the key CRS information we will ask you is:
Name
Address
Date of birth
Nationality
Country of birth
Country(ies) in which you are tax resident
Whether you are a citizen of the United States of America
Taxpayer identification number(s)

**this does not apply in all participating countries and is subject to local law requirements

CRS seems similar to what I was previously asked under FATCA regulations. Why is this different?

You may have already provided information under the United States government’s Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). However, for the CRS, it may still be necessary for you to provide addi-tional information as these are different regulations with different requirements.

FATCA is USA Law and requires financial institutions to identify US Persons and report in line with local FATCA regulations, based on citizenship (not tax residency). The CRS requires financial institu-tions to identify tax residency of customers and report information on customers who are tax resi-dent outside of the country where they hold their accounts.

I live in the same country that I pay tax. In this case, why do I have to provide this information?

Under the CRS, we have a legal obligation to establish the tax residency status of all our customers. This is still the case, even if you are tax resident in the same country as where you hold your account. However, in this case, typically your details will not be reportable to tax authorities for CRS purposes.

Where can I find out more about the CRS?

There are resources available on the HMRC’s website. You may also want to view the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) website where more in-depth technical infor-mation on the rules governing tax residency have been published by each national tax authority.

This webpage is not tax advice and Leeds Building Society cannot provide tax advice. However, we will try and help with any queries you may have. Please visit your local branch or telephone 0113 225 7777.