The Common Reporting Standard Act (Gemeinsamer Meldestandard-Gesetz; GMSG) has been in force since 1 January 2016. This law is the Austrian implementation of Council Directive 2014/107/EU, an EU directive on the exchange of financial information that originated in the OECD standard for the automatic exchange of financial information, the Common Reporting Standard.
The goal of the Common Reporting Standard is to establish the exchange of information between the participating countries and thus ensure the tax compliance of persons who are resident for tax purposes in CRS countries and own assets abroad. At the beginning of 2016, more than 50 countries were signatories as so-called early adopters. Now, over 100 countries take part in the international exchange of information.
What does the Common Reporting Standard mean for me as a customer?
This legal regulation requires all Austrian financial institutions to obtain self-certification from all customers in order to document the tax residence and the corresponding Taxpayer Identification Number(s) for customers residing or domiciled in CRS countries together and thus to determine whether and in which CRS country a transaction/account must be reported. This makes it possible to ensure that reports are not submitted to countries in which the customer is not resident for tax purposes.
As a private individual with an online banking agreement, you can easily submit your data directly through 24YOU → Red menu bar on the right side of the page – “MY 24YOU” → Tick the “User profile” → Scroll to the end of the page → Select “Change tax domicile” → Fill out the “Self-certification Form for Retail Customers” yourself and confirm it via TAN.
In all other cases, please directly contact your advisor in the branch.
How does the data exchange take place?
The reportable data are submitted annually by UniCredit Bank Austria to the Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF), which then handles the data exchange with the participating countries.
The reportable data include:
- Name and address of the account holder(s)
- Country/countries of residence and Taxpayer Identification Number(s) (TIN)
- Date and place of birth
- Account/securities account number(s)
- Account balance(s) and securities account value(s) at the end of the relevant calendar year or reporting period
- Gross income and revenue
The annual reporting pertains to all customers (natural persons, legal entities, and controlling persons in the case of passive entities) who are resident for tax purposes in a country that participates in the CRS.
The countries with which Austria exchanges data are determined annually by way of an ordinance. This can be found in the RIS legal database as Verordnung des Bundesministers für Finanzen zu § 91 Z 2 GMSG über die Liste der teilnehmenden Staaten (“Ordinance of the Federal Minister of Finance pursuant to Section 91 Item 2 GMSG on the List of Participating Countries”).
When is someone resident for tax purposes in a given country?
Tax residence is generally based on the regulations of the country in question. Indications in this context include attributes such as the principal residence, the habitual residence or centre of vital interests, or – for companies – the registered domicile or location of the company’s management.
Persons are generally subject to unlimited taxation (of the worldwide income) in the country of tax residence. In cases of doubt, a tax advisor must be consulted to determine one’s tax residence(s).
What happens if I do not declare my tax residence?
Without a complete, plausible, and signed self-certification form, we may not initiate new business for existing customers or new customers.
Existing customers for whom a connection to a country participating in the CRS is identified in the course of an electronic data review must be reported in all countries for which there is a CRS connection. This reporting is mandatory for all financial institutions.
Where can I get more detailed information regarding my tax residence?
If you are uncertain about your tax residence, please contact your tax advisor. The bank advisors at UniCredit Bank Austria are not permitted to provide advice about tax matters.
You can also get help from the advisory centres of the Tax Authority Austria or the OECD’s online portal: Rules governing tax residence
How often does a self-certification form have to be submitted?
A self-certification form is required to be submitted once for each customer. If there is a change in the tax residence, e.g. due to a change of address (to a different country), an updated self-certification form must be submitted within 90 days and the elimination of the previous country must be proven with valid documentation (e.g. with a certificate of residence or other official documents).
Otherwise, reportable accounts must continue to be reported to all participating countries for which there is a CRS connection in the customer master data. The reporting may only be ceased if the proper documentation has been submitted.
An active entity generates the majority of its gross income (> 50%) via income from the real economy (e.g. income from the production or sale of goods and/or services).
A controlling person is a natural person who exercises control over a legal person/entity that is the holder of an account. In Austria, this is generally interpreted in line with the anti-money laundering/know your customer regulations.
The reporting duty pertains to all customers (natural persons, legal entities, and controlling persons in the case of passive entities) who are resident for tax purposes in a country that participates in the CRS and are not legally excluded from the definition of a reportable person.
A passive entity generates more than 50% of its gross income and/or assets via passive sources (e.g. interest, dividends, rent, licensing fees from investments).
Passive entities must disclose whether they have controlling persons and in what countries these controlling persons are resident for tax purposes. The accounts are reported to all countries participating in the CRS in which the entity itself or the controlling person(s) is/are resident for tax purposes.
TIN stands for Taxpayer Identification Number. Not every country issues a TIN. Additional information can be found in the external links (→ OECD – Information about Taxpayer Identification Numbers [TINs] in Various CRS Countries)