What is the Common Reporting Standard?
CRS stands for the Common Reporting Standard which is a standard for automatic exchange of financial account information followed by jurisdictions all over the world with a view to maximising efficiency in preventing tax evasion. The CRS was developed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) as a model for automatic exchange of tax residency information between countries’ tax authorities.
Acting under the CRS, financial institutions should determine what is the customer’s country for tax purposes. They have an obligation to establish the tax residency of their customers.
CRS in Poland
Poland’s regulation enabling exchange of financial account information with other countries is the Act on the exchange of financial account information with other countries of 9 March 2017 (the “CRS Act” or the “CRS regulation”). The provisions of the CRS Act with respect to the identification of reportable accounts and exchange of financial account information with countries’ tax authorities enter into force on the 1st of May 2017.
Obligations arising from the CRS
Primary obligations of financial institutions:
- to follow due diligence procedures to verify financial accounts and identify reportable accounts and obtain the account holder identifying information that is required to be reported for such accounts;
- to record what is done to fulfill the abovementioned obligations (e.g. record the date, type and details of actions taken, for example the date of account classification or receipt of the customer’s declaration);
- to gather documents required to fulfill the abovementioned obligations, especially tax residency declarations of account holders and controlling persons and other documents (e.g. residency certificates, identity documents, company registration documents, audited financial statements).
Financial institutions obtain data and customers’ declarations to establish their tax reporting obligations under the CRS.
Account holders and (in certain cases) controlling persons (entity’s beneficial owners) have an obligation to submit a tax residency declaration and certain documents required under the CRS Act upon each request of the financial institution. This obligation applies especially when:
- specific products are sold (deposit products, e.g. personal account, current account, deposit account and brokerage account), or when
- the customer’s data are modified.
Additionally, account holders should:
- notify the financial institution of any change in circumstances having impact on the customer’s tax residency status within 30 days of any such change;
- provide the financial institution with an updated declaration within 30 days of any such change in circumstances.