Foreign Tax Residency

International tax compliance regulations have been introduced to protect the integrity of tax systems around the world. The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) enable the exchange of customers’ foreign tax residency information between countries and are intended to help combat global tax evasion.

Westpac NZ, along with other financial institutions, is now required to identify, collect and report information about customers’ foreign tax residency to New Zealand Inland Revenue. Inland Revenue may then share this information with the relevant tax authority, if an agreement is held with that country.

To meet our obligations we now ask for foreign tax information when an account is first opened with us, or if you’re already a customer, we may contact you if we think you could be a foreign tax resident.

Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA)

Introduced internationally on 1 July 2014, FATCA is US law created to identify US citizens and tax residents who use offshore accounts to evade their US tax responsibilities. New Zealand has an agreement with the US, and FATCA requirements have been incorporated into New Zealand law. Financial institutions must identify customers who may be ‘US persons’ and report their account information to Inland Revenue. Inland Revenue may then pass this information on to the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

US persons include:

  • US citizens, including those resident outside the United States
  • US permanent residents, including green card holders
  • People born outside the US with a US parent
  • US tax residents
  • Certain persons who spend a significant number of days in the US each year
  • Corporations, estates and trusts, and other entities controlled by US persons.

Common Reporting Standard (CRS).

The CRS is a global framework for the collection, reporting, and exchange of financial account information between tax authorities around the world. New Zealand is one of many countries that has committed to this initiative which is designed to ensure everyone pays the right amount of tax. NZ financial institutions, from 1 July 2017, are now required to identify, collect and report information about customers’ foreign tax residency to Inland Revenue. Inland Revenue may then share this information with the relevant tax authority, if an agreement is held with that country.

Any questions?

For more information about the international tax compliance regulations you can search ‘FATCA’ or ‘CRS’ on the New Zealand Inland Revenue website.

For any other questions, please contact our Foreign Tax Operations team on:

  • Phone (within NZ): 0800 432 822, 8.30am - 4.30pm, 5 days a week
  • Phone (from overseas): 0064 9 352 2437 (international toll charges apply)
  • Email: FTO@westpac.co.nz
  • Post: Westpac NZ, Foreign Tax Operations, P.O. Box 934, Shortland St, Auckland, 1140, NZ
  • Fax: 09 366 0831

We are unable to provide tax advice, so if you’re unsure about your tax residency status please contact your local tax authority (Inland Revenue in NZ) or speak with a professional tax adviser.