In summary

  • New laws require you to tell us about your tax residency on account opening and to let us know if this changes
  • CommBank will need to report certain account information to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO)

Customer Tax Information

The Australian Government has committed to a new global standard on the automatic exchange of financial account information.  Their aim is to cut down on tax evasion by sharing information about foreign tax residents with other tax authorities. This requires financial institutions from around the world, including the Commonwealth Bank group, to collect tax residency information from their customers.  This is known as the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) and it follows on from the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).

CRS requires us to capture tax residency information for customers before they open an account.  We also need to review existing accounts and monitor changes to customer information for indicators that the customer might be a tax resident in another country. If we think we need further information from you, we will contact you asking you to complete our Tax Residency Self-Certification Form. 

Information reported by financial institutions to the ATO will be exchanged with other tax authorities to assist in making sure everyone pays the right amount of tax. The collection and sharing of foreign tax information will be done in accordance with our Privacy Policy and we will only share information required to meet our statutory obligations.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a tax resident?

Each country has different rules which govern tax residency. For individuals, these rules are often based on the time you spend there or whether your home is there.

When do I provide it?

You will need to declare your tax residency when opening a new account or when requested by the bank.

How do I do this?

When opening an account you will be asked for your tax residency details. This information can be provided in NetBank, by calling us on 13 2221 or by visiting any of our branches.

What is a Tax Identification Number?

If you are a tax resident of another country, you will be asked for your Tax Identification Number (TIN) issued to you in that country, if you have one. TIN is an international term which may have a different name in some countries.

What happens if I have an existing account?

Next time you open a new account you may be asked for your tax residency information, if we do not already have it.

What happens when I open a new account (and I am not already a customer at CommBank)?

You will be asked to declare your tax residency when opening a new account at CommBank.

What happens if I’m only tax resident in Australia?

You will still be required to confirm your tax residency information. Provision of your Australian Tax File Number (TFN) is optional.

I’m an overseas student, what do I need to do?

All customers need to provide their tax residency information when opening an account.

What should I do if I’m not sure what to declare?

If you are unsure about your tax residency, you should seek advice. We cannot give tax advice to our customers.

Do I need to provide tax residency information if I’m an organisation (not an individual)?

As a general rule yes although some organisations are exempt such as financial institutions, government bodies or listed organisation.

What is the process for children under 14 years of age?

Where the child is the account holder, the child or their authorised representative must provide the child’s tax residency information. Being a minor does not exempt them from answering these questions.

Further information

For further information on FATCA

Visit the IRS web site and search for FATCA

For further information on CRS

Visit the OECD or ATO web sites and search for CRS 

For further information on Tax Identification numbers

Visit the OECD web page on TINs