FAQs regarding the Common Reporting Standard/Gemeinsamer Meldestandard-Gesetz

How does the Common Reporting Standard/Gemeinsamer Meldestandard-Gesetz affect customer’s relationship with the Financial Institution?

According to the Gemeinsamer Meldestandard-Gesetz (GMSG) Financial Institutions are obligated to identify their customer’s tax residence as well as the corresponding tax identification number and to save these information to fulfill their reporting obligations.

As from 1 October 2016 customers are required to provide a reasonable Self-Certification upon account opening in order to declare their tax residence as well as their tax identification number.

If a customer has already provided a reasonable Self-Certification he/she is not required to provide another Self-Certification in case of further account openings. Only if there is a change in customer’s data, account holders are required to inform the Financial Institution and provide a new reasonable Self-Certification.

Also for pre-existing accounts (accounts opened before 1 October 2016) customer are required to provide a reasonable Self-Certification if reportable indicia where identified by the Financial Institution. Upon providing this Self-Certification customers are able to confirm the already identified indicia and to provide their respective tax identification number. Furthermore, customers can cure identified indicia by providing a reasonable valid Self-Certification and other appropriate Documentary Evidence. However, if customers do not provide the Financial Institution with a reasonable Self-Certification (and in certain cases also valid Documentary Evidence) the Financial Institution is legally bound to report the account based on indicia identified.

In which circumstances will accounts be reported?

If a customer was identified as tax resident in a Reportable Jurisdiction (= a Jurisdiction with which Austria is committed to exchange information), the accounts as well as certain data of the customer (in certain cases also data of the controlling person) will be reported by the Financial Institution to the Austrian tax authority. The Austrian tax authority will then exchange the information with the respective authorities of the countries in which the customer (or in certain cases the controlling person) is tax resident. The same applies for customers which are tax resident in Austria but have also other tax residencies in Reportable Jurisdictions.

The GMSG reporting starts in 2017 and includes data about the previous calendar year.

Which data will be reported?

In general the Financial Institution is required to report all reportable financial accounts (Depository Accounts, Custodial Accounts, etc.) of customers who are tax resident in a Reportable Jurisdiction.

The reportable customer and account data include:

  • Name and address
  • Jurisdiction(s) of residence and the respective tax identification number(s)
  • Date and place of birth
  • Account number/number of the custodial account
  • Account balance(s) and values of a custodial account as at the end of the respective calendar year/reporting period
  • Gross income amounts and gross proceeds

Also in case of an account closure the Financial Institution is obligated to report the account as closed to the Austrian tax authority.

Where can I gather further information regarding my tax residence?

It has to be noted, that the tax residence is mainly defined according to the local provisions of the respective jurisdiction. Indicia could be the place of residence, the Habitual Residence or the centre of vital interests.

If customers are unsure about their tax residence, they should consult their tax adviser in order to clarify their residence for tax purposes. Further customers may also consult certain information centers of the tax authority or the portal of the OECD (Automatic Exchange Portal).

It has to be noted that Financial Institutions are prohibited from providing any tax or legal advice regarding the declaration of tax residence/s of their customers.