Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act

Automatic Exchange of Information (‘AEOI’)

Automatic Exchange of Information is a term used to describe the international sharing of tax payer information by tax authorities in various countries and territories (in accordance with a number of agreements, regulations and legislation).

The main purpose of AEOI is to reduce global tax evasion and improve tax compliance, particularly in relation to assets held in countries where the owner is not resident for tax purposes.

As a result of AEOI related legislation and regulations, financial institutions (including Bank of Ireland) are legally required to obtain, and report to tax authorities, certain information in respect of their customers.

The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act ‘FATCA’ came into effect on 1 July 2014 with the aim of capturing information in respect of United States persons. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (‘OECD’) then published the Common Reporting Standard (CRS), which was broadly modelled on FATCA and involves capturing information on persons who are tax resident in any country or territory which has signed up to participate in the CRS (over 100 countries have signed up to participate). The CRS came into effect on 1 January 2016. Both FATCA and CRS are explained in further detail below.

FATCA – Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act

FATCA Overview

The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) is United States legislation which was passed in 2010. It requires foreign (non-US) financial institutions to provide returns detailing their account holders who are ‘Specified US Persons’ (include link to BoI glossary for definition) for US tax purposes.

FATCA came into effect on 1 July 2014. The aim of FATCA is to prevent global tax evasion and improve tax compliance by preventing US Persons from using non-US financial institutions to avoid US taxation on their income and assets.

The US Government has entered into reciprocal arrangements (intergovernmental agreements) with the UK and Ireland (among other countries) to exchange financial account information. Under these agreements, Irish and UK financial institutions report details of Specified US Persons (include link to BoI glossary for definition) together with certain account information to their local tax authorities and not directly to the US Internal Revenue Service (‘IRS’) (the United States tax authority). Each local tax authority is then responsible for exchanging the information with the IRS.

Impact on Bank of Ireland and our customers

As a result of FATCA, Bank of Ireland is required to obtain, and report to the local tax authorities in the jurisdictions in which we operate, certain information in respect of our customers who are Specified US Persons. The relevant tax authorities then exchange the information with the IRS.

FATCA affects many of Bank of Ireland’s customers. We may need to request information or documentation from you (the Bank of Ireland customer) in order to verify your status for FATCA reporting purposes. You may be requested to provide information or documentation in the following circumstances:

  • as part of the onboarding (account opening) process if you are a new customer;
  • if you are an existing customer of Bank of Ireland for whom we don’t hold the necessary information; or
  • if you are an existing customer and there is a change of circumstance on your account(s) which may indicate a change in your status for FATCA reporting purposes (e.g. a change of address to or from a US address).

Please note that you may receive more than one request for FATCA information if you have multiple relationships with the Bank of Ireland Group. It is important that you respond to all requests for FATCA information even if you believe you have already supplied it.

Additional information

For more detailed information on FATCA, please:

  • read the frequently asked questions;
  • visit the page about FATCA on the IRS website;
  • visit the page about FATCA on the Irish Revenue Commissioners’ website (if your Bank of Ireland account is located in the Republic of Ireland);
  • visit HM Revenue & Customs ‘International Exchange of Information Manual’, which contains information about FATCA, on the Gov.UK website (if your Bank of Ireland account is located in the United Kingdom); and/or
  • consult a professional tax advisor.

Please note that Bank of Ireland cannot provide tax advice.

Global Intermediary Identification Numbers

Various entities within the Bank of Ireland Group have been assigned Global Intermediary Identification Numbers (‘GIIN’s). All GIINs issued by the IRS are available to view on the IRS website at the following link:

https://apps.irs.gov/app/fatcaFfiList/flu.jsf

FATCA – Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act: FAQs

 

FATCA Overview


  • 1. What is FATCA?

    The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (‘FATCA’) is legislation that was introduced by the United States government in 2010 as part of the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act. It is designed to prevent tax evasion and improve tax compliance in the U.S. by preventing U.S. Persons (link to definition in BOI glossary) from using banks and other financial institutions to avoid US taxation on their income and assets.

    FATCA came into effect for financial institutions on 1 July 2014.

  • 2. What is the impact of FATCA?

    FATCA requires foreign (non-US) financial institutions to report details of assets held by their account holders who are “Specified U.S. Persons” (link to definition in BOI glossary) on an annual basis. Foreign financial institutions who do not comply with FATCA may be subject to withholding on withholdable payments.

  • 3. How do I know if I am affected?

    FATCA legislation affects both personal and non-personal/entity customers who are treated as a US Person (link to definition in BOI glossary) for US tax purposes. The FATCA legislation also affects certain types of entities with US owners.

    Non-US persons will also be indirectly affected, as they may need to answer a number of questions to ensure that they are correctly designated as not FATCA reportable.

    It is important that you respond to any requests for FATCA information received from Bank of Ireland.

  • 4. When did the FATCA legislation become effective?

    The FATCA legislation came into effect for financial institutions on 1 July 2014.

  • 5. Is Bank of Ireland the only bank to be affected by FATCA?

    No. All banks and other financial institutions are affected by FATCA; however, their approach to adopting FATCA may differ according to the rules adopted by each country in implementing FATCA. Bank of Ireland is committed to being fully compliant with FATCA in all countries in which we operate.

  • 6. What does Bank of Ireland have to do to comply with FATCA?

    In order to comply with FATCA, Bank of Ireland is required to:

    • register with the IRS to obtain a Global Intermediary Identification Number (‘GIIN’);
    • request information from all customers who are opening new financial accounts in order to determine whether they are reportable for FATCA purposes;
    • review our existing customer base to identify customers who could be potentially FATCA reportable (and contact them to confirm their details) in order to determine whether they are reportable for FATCA purposes;
    • monitor accounts for changes in circumstances which may indicate a change in a customer’s status for FATCA reporting purposes (e.g. a change of address to or from a US address); and
    • report details of accounts held by Specified U.S. Persons (link to definition in BoI glossary), or certain entities which are controlled by Specified US Persons, to the local tax authorities on an annual basis (who subsequently exchange the information with the IRS). Bank of Ireland may also need to report information about customers who do not provide the required information to us when requested.
    • In addition, in certain circumstances when doing business with non-compliant entities, Bank of Ireland may be required to apply 30% US withholding tax on certain types of US income paid to such customers.
  • 7. Is FATCA applicable to personal or non-personal/entity customers?

    FATCA legislation impacts both personal and non-personal/entity customers who hold an account or wish to hold an account with Bank of Ireland.

    Please refer to the appropriate section below for further information.

 

Personal Customers


  • 8. Am I only affected if I am a citizen of the US?

    No. All new personal customers are required, as part of account opening procedures, to answer questions to confirm whether they are US citizens and resident for tax purposes in the United States. Using this information, the Bank can determine whether the customer is reportable or not for FATCA purposes.

    Existing personal customers may also be asked to provide FATCA related information in the following circumstances:

    If there is a change of circumstance on a customer’s account(s) which may indicate a change in their status for FATCA reporting purposes (e.g. a change of address to or from a US address).

    If an individual’s account information contains any of the following criteria, Bank of Ireland may need to request further information or documentation to determine if the customer is a US Person under FATCA.

    • US citizenship or US residence.
    • US place of birth.
    • US mailing or residence address (including US PO boxes).
    • US telephone number.
    • Standing instructions to transfer funds to a US address or an account maintained in the US.
    • Current effective power of attorney or signatory authority granted to a person with a US address.
    • ‘In care of’ or ‘hold mail’ address which is the sole address for the account holder.
    • Having one of these criteria does not mean that the customer is a Specified U.S. Person (link to definition in BOI glossary), only that the customer needs closer scrutiny so Bank of Ireland may request additional information.

  • 9. What does FATCA mean for me if I am a US person?

    If you are a US Person (link to definition in BOI glossary) you may be asked to provide Bank of Ireland with additional information or documentation. You may also wish to visit the IRS website to determine if you need to complete and submit any additional IRS forms.

    If you are a Specified US Person (link to definition in BOI glossary), Bank of Ireland may be required to report details of your account(s) to the local tax authority on an annual basis.

    Please note that being classified as a ‘US person’ should not otherwise affect your day-to-day banking service provided by Bank of Ireland.

  • 10. What does FATCA mean for me if I am not a US Person?

    For most customers who are not US Persons, FATCA has minimal impact. Bank of Ireland may however need such customers to provide self-certifications to confirm their FATCA status.

    Once Bank of Ireland has sufficient information/reason to believe that a personal customer is not a US Person, no further action and no reporting is required (unless such a customer’s circumstances change over time, in which case the customer would need to provide Bank of Ireland with updated information so that the Bank could amend its records).

  • 11. Does FATCA replace existing US tax rules that I already follow?

    FATCA does not replace the existing US tax regimes; it may however add additional requirements and complexity to the existing US tax rules which you may already follow. Should you need further advice on US tax rules, we recommend you consult the IRS website or contact a professional tax advisor to discuss your personal tax situation.

  • 12. What happens if a joint account is held by a US person and a non-US person?

    A joint account which has one owner who is a Specified US Person is treated as a reportable account and the details of the joint account holder who is a Specified US Person (link to definition in BOI glossary) are included in FATCA reporting.

    The joint account holder who is not a Specified US Person does not have their personal details (such as name and address) included in FATCA reporting. However, the total account balance held by both parties to the joint account must be included (i.e. the balance is not split among the joint account holders) for FATCA reporting purposes.

  • 13. How frequently will I have to provide information for FATCA purposes?

    FATCA is an ongoing information gathering and reporting process.

    If you have previously provided Bank of Ireland with your FATCA information, you are required to notify the Bank if there is any subsequent change to that information.

    If you are an existing customer, and have never previously been asked to provide FATCA information, we may contact you to obtain additional information or documentation in order to confirm your FATCA status as we are required to review our existing customer base to identify customers who could potentially be FATCA reportable. This could also occur where your account information is subjected to any changes which would give the Bank reason to believe that you may be a US Person (for example, a customer changing their address to a US address).

  • 14. What information will Bank of Ireland report to the local tax authority?

    Where a personal account holder is found to be FATCA reportable, financial institutions must generally report the following information to the local tax authority:

    • the account holder's name, address and United States Tax Identification Number (TIN);
    • the account holder's date of birth (in certain circumstances);
    • the account number or functional equivalent;
    • the account balance or value at the end of the reporting period or at the date of closure (if the account was closed during the reporting period);
    • the following amounts paid or credited to the account (depending on the account type) during the reporting period:
    • with respect to depository accounts, the total gross amount of interest;
    • with respect to custodial accounts, the total gross amount of interest, dividends, other income and proceeds from the sale or redemption of property; and
    • with respect to other accounts, the total gross amount paid or credited to the account including the aggregate amount of any redemption payments.
    • The reporting to each local tax authority will take the form of an annual FATCA return.

  • 15. I was born in the US but left as a small baby. I do not believe I should be considered a US citizen. What do I need to do?

    In most situations, a child that is born in the United States will automatically receive American citizenship.

    Individuals who have a US place of birth must therefore indicate on their self-certification form that they are a United States citizen and provide a US TIN - unless they can provide Bank of Ireland with:

    • a copy of their Certificate of Loss of Nationality of the United States;
    • a reasonable explanation as to why they do not have such a certificate; or
    • the reason why they did not obtain US citizenship at birth.
 

Non-Personal/Entity Customers


  • 16. Am I only affected if I am a US company?

    No. All new non-personal/entity customers are required, as part of account opening procedures, to confirm their classification/status for FATCA reporting purposes.

    Existing non-personal/entity customers may also be asked to provide FATCA related information. If a non-personal/entity customer’s account information contains any of the following criteria, Bank of Ireland may need to request further information or documentation to determine if the entity is reportable under FATCA.

    • US place of incorporation or organisation;
    • Classification of an account holder as a US resident in the customer files;
    • US mailing or residence address (including US PO boxes);
    • US telephone number;
    • Standing instructions to transfer funds to a US address or an account maintained in the US;
    • Current effective power of attorney or signatory authority granted to a person with a US address; or
    • ‘In-care-of’ or ‘hold mail’ address which is the sole address for the entity.

    Having one of these criteria does not mean that the entity is a Specified U.S. Person (link to definition in glossary), only that the customer needs closer scrutiny so Bank of Ireland may request additional information.

  • 17. What do I need to do as a non-personal/entity customer?

    In order to establish your status for FATCA purposes, we may need you to provide information or documentation, such as Bank of Ireland’s self-certification form. If you are a new customer, you will be asked to provide the FATCA information as part of the onboarding (account opening) process. We will also be communicating with affected existing customers that need to provide such documentation, detailing when it will need to be provided by.

    See the forms section for details of the forms accepted by Bank of Ireland for FATCA purposes.

  • 18. Does FATCA replace existing US tax rules that my entity already follows?

    FATCA does not replace the existing US tax regimes. It may however add additional requirements and complexity to the existing US tax rules which your entity may already follow. Should you need further advice on your entity’s compliance with US tax rules, we recommend you consult the IRS website or contact a professional tax advisor.

    Please note that Bank of Ireland is unable to provide tax advice

  • 19. How frequently will I have to provide information for FATCA purposes?

    FATCA is an ongoing information gathering and reporting process.

    If you have previously provided Bank of Ireland with the FATCA information for your entity, you are required to notify the Bank if there is any subsequent change to that information.

    If you are an existing non-personal/entity customer, and have never previously been asked to provide FATCA information, we may contact you to obtain additional information or documentation in order to confirm your entity’s FATCA status as we are required to review our existing customer base to identify customers who could potentially be FATCA reportable. This could also occur where your entity’s account information is subjected to any changes which would give the Bank reason to believe that your entity may be a US Person (for example, an entity changing its address to a US address).

  • 20. Under what circumstances would Bank of Ireland need to report FATCA information about my account to the local tax authority?

    The purpose of FATCA is to prevent Specified US Persons (link to definition in BOI glossary) from using banks and other financial institutions to avoid US taxation on their global income and assets. Bank of Ireland is therefore required to report information to the local tax authority in respect of all accounts held by:

    • Specified US Persons; or
    • certain entities (Passive NFFEs) with controlling persons that are Specified US Persons.
    [Please refer to the glossary (include link) for the definitions of Specified U.S. Persons, Passive NFFE and controlling persons.]

    In addition, Bank of Ireland may also need to report information about customers who do not provide the required documentation to us. For example, where Bank of Ireland identifies any of the criteria outlined at FAQ 16 above, but the customer does not provide the requested self-certification form to confirm their information, Bank of Ireland may be required to include them in FATCA reporting on the basis of the identified criteria.

  • 21. What information will Bank of Ireland report to the local tax authority?

    The information reported to local tax authority will depend on the FATCA classification of the customer.

    Where a no-personal/entity customer is found to be FATCA reportable, financial institutions must generally report the following information to the local tax authority:

    • the account holder's name, address and United States Tax Identification Number (TIN);
    • the account number or functional equivalent;
    • the following amounts paid or credited to the account (depending on the account type) during the reporting period:
    • with respect to depository accounts, the total gross amount of interest;
    • with respect to custodial accounts, the total gross amount of interest, dividends, other income and proceeds from the sale or redemption of property;
    • with respect to other accounts, the total gross amount paid or credited to the account including the aggregate amount of any redemption payments;
    • the account balance or value at the end of the reporting period or at the date of closure (if the account was closed during the reporting period); and
    • in relation to an account holder who has been identified as a Passive NFFE with controlling persons who are Specified US Persons;
    • the name, address, United States Tax Identification Number (TIN) and date of birth (in certain circumstances) of the controlling person(s).

    The reporting to the local tax authority will take the form of an annual FATCA return.

    Please refer to the glossary (include link) for the definitions of U.S. Persons, Specified U.S. Persons, Passive NFFE and controlling persons.

 

What do I need to do?