The Common Reporting Standard (CRS) is the result of the efforts by the G20 nations to develop a global Standard for the Automatic Exchange of Information (AEoI). To facilitate AEoI, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), together with the G20 countries and in close cooperation with the EU and other stakeholders, have developed CRS. AEoI is about improving transparency in the fight against tax evasion and thus protecting the integrity of the tax systems of the participating jurisdictions.
Julius Baer’s position on AEOI
The Julius Baer Group and all its entities are committed to implementing the necessary requirements to fulfil AEoI. Julius Baer’s booking centres in Germany, Guernsey, Luxembourg and India are so-called ‘early-adopter jurisdictions’ and implemented the standard effective from 1 January 2016, with the first reporting from 2017 onwards. All other Julius Baer booking centres will start exchanging data in 2018.
Clients in scope
As a general rule, clients who maintain a financial account at a bank in a country outside their tax residence jurisdiction will be subject to due diligence and reporting requirements as set out in the CRS and require closer scrutiny. The due diligence and reporting (i.e. disclosure) requirements apply to accounts held by both individuals and legal entities.
A client (individual or legal entity) will be impacted by AEoI
- if the client’s tax residence is not the country where the client maintains a financial account with Julius Baer (e.g. a German resident client maintaining an account with Bank Julius Baer & Co. Ltd. in Zurich); and
- if these countries have agreed to exchange data under the CRS (e.g. Germany and Switzerland implemented an intergovernmental agreement); and
- if, in the case of a legal entity/corporate client, the entity is not exempt from AEoI reporting.
Documentation requirements for affected clients
If an agreement exists, the bank holding the account has to assess if such client is subject to reporting under the AEoI by verifying different criteria. Such criteria vary depending on whether the financial account is held by an individual or a legal entity client. For new accounts, the bank will collect the necessary information such as client’s tax residence jurisdiction in forms (e.g. self-certifications) which will be part of the account-opening process.
Participating jurisdictions and bilateral agreements
So far 101 jurisdictions have committed themselves to implementing the AEoI. However, the enforcement is subject to local law and needs to be enacted by every single jurisdiction. More country-specific information can be found on the Automatic Exchange of Information (AEoI) portal. The portal provides a comprehensive overview of the work of the OECD and the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes in the area of the AEoI.
For information about jurisdictions that have bilateral agreements in place to exchange data with each other, please visit http://www.oecd.org/tax/automatic-exchange/international-framework-for-the-crs/exchange-relationships/
Clients booked in Switzerland
Julius Baer is obliged to report its clients who, during a calendar year, have tax residence(s) in a country with whom Switzerland has agreed to exchange data (a so-called ‘Reportable Jurisdiction of Switzerland’). The official list of the current Reportable Jurisdictions of Switzerland is published by the State Secretariat for International Financial Matters (SIF): https://www.sif.admin.ch/sif/de/home/themen/internationale-steuerpolitik/automatischer-informationsaustausch.html