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The United States Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and the global equivalent known as the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) require financial institutions to register with the IRS (in relation to FATCA) and IRD (in relation to both FATCA and CRS) and report certain financial information about foreign customers to the IRD.

This information is then exchanged with other countries as part of a global effort to prevent tax evasion through the use of foreign financial accounts.

The rules are controversial and extremely complicated. They also affect entities not generally regarded as “financial institutions” in the ordinary sense. For example, family trusts, law firm trust accounts and private investment companies are often captured.

Non-compliance can lead to personal liability for the controlling persons of the entity concerned.

Kensington Swan has experts in all areas of FATCA/CRS compliance. We are leaders in this area of NZ law having provided advice to numerous financial institutions, professional firms and regulatory bodies since the regimes were introduced.

1. Entity classification

The first step to compliance for a financial institution is to properly classify each group entity as either a financial institution or a non-financial entity. This is often quite difficult.

2. Customer Due Diligence

We prepare documents for financial institutions to assist them to gather the necessary data about their customers so that it can be analysed and reported as necessary.

3. Registration and reporting

We advise financial institutions on the procedure for registration and reporting under the FATCA/CRS regimes. In some cases we do this on behalf of financial institutions.

4. Training

We regularly present seminars and deliver training sessions to financial institutions, professional firms and regulatory bodies in relation to FATCA/CRS matters.




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