New Zealand shares information with tax authorities in other countries to ensure people with financial interests overseas pay the right amount of tax. The changes, which came into effect in July 2017, mean the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) receives information from foreign tax authorities about New Zealand residents’ offshore investments.
Your bank may ask you for more information about your accounts or any new accounts you want to open. In doing so, your bank is simply meeting its legal requirements.
Your bank is unable to give you advice on how to answer questions about tax residency. If you have any questions, you should seek advice from an accountant or financial advisor.
If you have a company, trust or partnership account, your bank may ask for:
- the entity’s tax residence
- the nature of the entity’s business
- how the entity gets its income
- how the entity is managed
- the nature of the entity’s assets
- the tax residence of individuals who control the entity.
You should reply truthfully and with reasonable promptness to questions from your bank about your tax residency, the nature of your entity, or accounts you control.
If you don't supply the required information about existing accounts, the bank may have to treat you as a foreign tax resident. Similarly, the bank may not be able to open an account if you don't supply the required information.
Your bank may ask such questions even if you don’t have overseas interests because banks must incorporate these legal requirements into their standard processes.
IRD can fine you up to $1,000 for failing to provide information, or providing false information. Misleading information can also incur criminal charges.
For more information:
You should reply truthfully and with promptly to you bank's questions about your tax residency, the nature of your entity, or accounts you control.
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Updated July 2021